This is a 120-page poem on the relationships between fathers and daughters which is original in its use of collaged and detourned texts, and through its extremely unusual subject matter. Following on from previous volumes, it blends many of the translation techniques catalogued or devised by the author into a voice in which 'original' writing exists side-by-side with experimental translations of multiple texts. The volume is also original in its interrogation and synthesis of the social poetics of the Second Generation New York School and the disjunctive language of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. Through its extensive use of quotation as a preface, similar to Melville’s Moby Dick, a canon and context is created for the poem. The preface, through its use of so many other authorial voices, foregrounds the intertextural location of the text and creates a site in which a canon of fathers-writing-about-daughters is developed. The authors listed in the preface serve as formal inspirations for the following textural engagement and detournement as much as their texts provide material for the creation of a new father-daughter canon. The text itself makes use of many source poems. It detournes and draws upon, amongst others, famous quotes from William Carlos Williams and utilizes, as allusive referential source texts, poems by Alice Notley, and Bernadette Mayer. It stands as a (the?) male contribution to a traditionally and exclusively female genre. The incorporation of other registers and voices—from Walt Whitman to The Simpsons—into the poem serves to make the poem a site of communication and relationship itself. W.C.Williams’ famous quote “A poem is a machine made of words,” in On Fathers<On Daughtyrs, becomes “a poem is a machine made of girls”—and the daughters, concurrently, exist as machines made of poems. There is no other long poem, experimental or otherwise, on the father-daughter relationship by a male writer which has any common contemporary currency—if there is any poem at all. It is for these reasons, both formal and subject-based, that makes On Fathers<On Daughtyrs an original contribution to our literature.
|Publisher||Boiler House Press|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Nov 2017|
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences - Senior Lecturer
- Research Centre for Literature and Inclusion