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An Introduction to Place

Image by Benjamin Davies

An Introduction to Place

Robert Hampson

‘less need for exegesis /more a matter of breaking patterns’

(Place, p. 85)

This seminar has a dual function: an introduction to some ideas about space and place, and an introduction to Place, Allen Fisher’s long work of the 1970s, through engagement with some of its contexts and some of its antecedent texts. It will consider spatial practices and the politics and poetics of the urban environment. The core text is Allen Fisher’s Place (Reality Street). Iain Sinclair’s Lud Heat and the poetry of Hope Mirrless, Redell Olsen, Frank O’Hara, Diane di Prima, Eileen Miles, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain will be brought in as comparators in the discussion of an urban poetics. You might also prepare by reading Alex Davis and Lee M. Jenkins (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry or Jeff Nuttall’s Bomb Culture. Supervisions extending from this session might involve the production of creative-critical responses to the work studied. 



(With apologies: by their nature some of these texts are hard to find. The volumes by Fisher, Olson and Pound are more readily accessible; Barton has been reprinted numerous times.)

Nicholas Barton, The Lost Rivers of London (1962).

Joseph Berke (ed.), Counter Culture (London: Peter Owen, 1969).

Robin Bunce and Paul Field, Renegade: The Life and Times of Darcus Howe (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain, Coteries (Merseyside: The Knives Forks And Spoons Press, 2018).

Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (Detroit: Black & Red, 1973).

Guy Debord, panegyric, volumes 1 & 2 (London: Verso, 2004).

Alex Davis and Lee M. Jenkins (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Mike Davis and Jon Wiener, Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties (London: Verso, 2020).

Allen Fisher, Place (Hastings: Reality Street, 2005).

Allen Fisher, Brixton Fractals (London: Aloes Books, 1985).

Allen Fisher, Imperfect Fit: Aesthetic Function, Facture and Perception (University of Alabama Press, 2016).

Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-century Poetry ([1978] Swindon: Shearsman, 2016).

Christian Habekost, Verbal Riddim: The Politics and Aesthetics of African-Caribbean Dub Poetry (Rodopi, 1993).

Robert Hampson & cris cheek (eds), The Allen Fisher Companion (Swindon: Shearsman, 2020). 

Robert Hampson & Will Montgomery, ‘Innovations in Poetry’ in Peter Brooker, Andrzej Gasiorek, Deborah Longworth, Andrew Thacker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp.63-84.

Robert Hampson & Allen Fisher, ‘Skipping Across the Pond: Interaction between British and American Poetries 1964-1970’ in Abigail Lang and David Nowell Smith (eds), Modernist Legacies: Trends and Faultlines in British Poetry Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp.42-57.

Home, Stewart (ed.), What is Situationism? A Reader (Edinburgh: AK Press, 1993).

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Selected Poems (London: Penguin Books, 2006).

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tings an Times: Selected poems (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bloodaxe Books, 1991).

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dread Beat & Blood (London: Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, 1975).

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Voices of the Living and the Dead (London: Race Today Publications, 1974).

John La Rose, The New Cross Massacre Story (London: Race Today Collective, 1984)

Tom McDonough (ed.), Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002 

Hope Mirrlees, Collected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet, 2011).

Jeff Nuttall, Bomb Culture (London: Paladin, 1970).

Redell Olsen, ‘The Minimaus Poems’ in redell Olsen,  Secure Portable Space (Hastings: Reality Street, 2004).

Charles Olson, ‘Projective Verse’ in Paul Hoover (ed.), Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994), pp.613-21.

Charles Olson, The Maximus Poems (New York: Jargon, 1960).

Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Sadie Plant, The Most Radical Gesture: The Situationist International in a Postmodern Age (London: Routledge, 1992).

Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading (London: Faber, 1951).

Ezra Pound, Cantos (London: Faber, 1975).

Wilhelm Reich, The Function of the Orgasm (London: Panther Books, 1968).

Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (London: Souvenir Press, 1970).

Wilhem Reich, The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality (London: Souvenir Press, 1971).

Wilhelm Reich, Listen Little Man (London: Souvenir Press, 1972).

Simon Sadler, The Situationist City (Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press).

Lytle Shaw, Frank O’Hara: the poetics of coterie (Iowa City: University of Iowa press, 2006).

Iain Sinclair, Lud Heat (London: Albion Village Press, 1975).

Sukhev Sandhu, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City (London: Harper Collins, 2003).

Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life (Practical Paradise Publications, 1972).

Alfred Watkins, The Old Straight Track (1925).

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