Yale Working Group in Contemporary Poetry

Steve Evans

Posted in WGCP Communications by wgcp on May 19, 2009

Steve Evans, an important voice in the work being done on contemporary poetics, joined the Working Group in Contemporary Poetry on April 24 at the Beinecke Library to discuss his seminal work on phonotextuality.  Evans’s opening insistence is that recordings of poets reading their poems are treated as somehow illustrating the poem, and are not considered as texts in and of themselves.  Given the proliferation of recordings, Evans suggests that the time of seeing these recordings as somehow adjunct is past and that considering them as texts opens  a valuable field of inquiry in ways that combine developments in performance studies, sociology, and literary studies. The proliferation of recordings means that what were transient, ephemeral events–readings–are now captured in time, but that their very presence suggests that the recordings offer something that people are interested in.  The interest alone serves as a point of entry for thinking about what cultural function the recordings serve.

A complete and detailed account of this meeting is available: WGCP Meeting Minutes, Steve Evans Visit

Related links:  Lipstick of Noise at Third Factory; PennSound

Image: Steve Evans, photographed by Ben Friedlander

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