This book offers a new reading of Marcell Mauss' and Lewis Hyde's theories of poetry as gift, exploring poetry exchanges within 20th and 21st century communities of poets, publishers, audiences and readers operating along a gift economy. The text considers trans-Atlantic case studies across fields of performance and ecopoetics, small press publishing and poetry institutions, with focus on Joan Retallack, Bob Holman, Anne Waldman, Bob Cobbing, and feminist performance. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett focuses on innovative poetry that resists commodification, drawing on ethnography to show parallels with gift giving tribal societies; she also considers the ethical, philosophical and psychological motivations for such exchanges with particular reference to poethics. This book will appeal to researchers in modern poetry, poetry teachers, advanced students of modern literature, and those with an interest in poetry.
Dr. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newman University, Birmingham. She studied English at Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London. Her poetry includes Rivering (2017) and Swims (2014). She is currently writing a book titled A Dictionary of the Soil.
1 Gifts.- 2 Wagers.- 3 Rapport as Return: Bob Holman, Spoken Word and Bowery Poetry.- 4 Becoming a Bridge - The Poet's Bodhisattva Vow: Anne Waldman and Naropa.- 5 A Circuit of Energies: Bob Cobbing, Sound Poetry and Writers Forum.- 6 Gendered Gifts: Feminist Performance Practice.- 7 Difficult Gifts: Ecopoethics and the Task of Environmentalism.- 8 Conclusion.