We have now uploaded our discussion document, Mapping Poetic Emergence 1.0. The aim of this document is an attempt to describe some of the significant stages which are usually observable during the process of poetic emergence. These represent our initial thoughts relating to poetic emergence; the document will be updated and adapted during the course of the project.
We warmly welcome your comments and questions relating to this document; your feedback will help to inform our thinking as the document evolves. We encourage posting here on our blog,and you can also contact us directly at devolved.voices [@] aber.ac.uk.
Had a lot of fun reading the discussion document about emergence, not just because I loved the concept of mapping this but because I was putting myself on the map, stuck somewhere in stage 5. But I think I’m a gate-keeper too, albeit with a creaky gate. I was amused by your taking the terminology of emergence so seriously but then you do it so well, so clearly — and it is does help to disentangle what on earth we ARE talking about when we use these terms. So well done! I am interested that the spoken word artists didn’t feature much: they seem to me to be following a different pattern of emergence, but it overlaps. I like the way this whole thing is a bit like a game too. I never did get to the final level on any computer game I ever played, and I figure (as a poet) I may never get onto the school syllabus either.
Thanks for doing all this so openly. I think your web resource promises to be unmissable.
Thanks for such positive comment, Helena.
Pleasure. My blog today, (http://www.happenstancepress.org/index.php/blog/entry/poets-emerging-emerged-or-emergency) albeit somewhat comical, should bring more folk to your page and hopefully whip up some more discussion. I think the project sounds immensely interesting and if I can contribute anything useful at any point, please let me know. I have not yet published a poet living in Wales, though Gill McEvoy (in Chester) is close, but this will change soon.
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Out of genuine interest, what’s the eventual aim of this project? I mean, I can see it might be fun to define different stages in the development of poets’ careers, but supposing you arrive at an agreed diagnosis, what are you going to do with it? I can’t see any practical use for the information, offhand.
Hello, Sheenagh. As the document states, it provides us with a framework ‘against which the judgements we make about which living writers we should devote most attention to can be justified and will carry weight. We suggest, therefore, that the notional phases and stages of an individual poet’s emergence might be mapped as follows’. The project focuses on those poets emerged since 1997. If you have a look on the home page, you’ll see that there will be several outcomes, including four books (one full-length scholarly volume which will place contemporary Welsh poetry in English in its British poetic context, another which will provide detailed studies of major figures within the field, a book of extended interviews with key poets, and a final book of essays which will consider the specific question of poetic production within the context of devolution) and a selection of recordings with poets coming under our focus (interviews and readings). Best wishes, Kathryn
Yes, as Kathryn says, this is really just something to help us frame other aspects of the project. The project’s website contains some more ongoing work and a full explanation of what we’re trying to do: http://www.aber.ac.uk/devolvedvoices/
The two main factors that I would be interested to see explored are the impact of Creative Writing higher degrees on the career path (I think we are seeing the fruits of this in very recent years) and that of Performance Poetry. I’m just a casual observer on these aspects but would you like to get some feedback on these elements from poets who have gone through these slightly less traditional routes to emergence. Would you like me to put you in touch with them or shall I just send them the document and invite their comments?
Hello Liza. We’ll definitely be exploring the role of CWDs in developing poetry careers – particularly in light of how this may enhance connectedness. There’s an interesting point to be made especially, I think, about how contact with an established poet teaching at a CWD might be fruitful in helping to kickstart a poetry career. We touch on this in point 5 of other relevant factors – academic mentoring. Performance poetry won’t be covered under the focus of the project. A variety of reasons for this – but not any reflection of a lack of respect or interest in performance poetry. I would really appreciate you sharing this document with all those you feel may be interested in commenting. They can also email us at devolved.voices [@] aber.ac.uk, if they’d rather approach us privately. Thanks for your input, Liza. Appreciated. Best wishes, Kathryn