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By Z. Skoulding

This ebook specializes in the position of town, and its tactics of mutual transformation, in poetry through experimental girls writers. Readings in their paintings are positioned within the context of theories of city area, whereas new visions of the modern urban and its international relationships are drawn from their recommendations in language and shape.

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Additional resources for Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities

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It’s to you. Stop. But Am I alright you don’t ask me. (Riley, 2000a, p. 39) The ‘listening particles’ that move from the mind like ammunition place the complex exchanges of language and consciousness not in the self but in the physical space between speakers. Such a dialogue brings the abstract, linguistic collective of the polis into conjunction with the lived experience of the city. Riley critically reframes notions of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’, suggesting: ‘it’s conceivable that the unconscious is better imagined not as a deep pouch of self, but as something outside of it, and hanging between people’ (Lecercle and Riley, 2004, p.

S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1963, pp. 61–80), Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems (Olson, 1960) and William Carlos Williams’ Paterson (Williams, 1995), in which fragmentation of form becomes a means of exploring the loss or splintering of collective urban identities. , 1984), this is a predominantly masculine heritage, though looking further back, Notley’s work refers not only to Dante but also to a slightly later mediaeval text, Christine de Pizan’s City of Ladies (De Pizan, 2006), which creates a textual space Alice Notley: Disobedient Cities 45 for women structured around the imaginary space of the city by addressing gendered traditions.

Whereas the language category tends to fix and ossify meaning, the walker’s identity is constantly shifting in relationship to lived spaces. ” ’ (Riley, 1988, p. 1). If, as Barry has pointed out, her poems tend not to fix external locations, it is because place, though known through the body, is destabilized by an identity that changes over time and in response to different situations. 1 Negotiating that force requires an understanding of language as ‘impersonal’; like the call in the street it arises from a situation and is not personally directed at the addressee.

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