An Intertextual Poiesis: The luminous image and a “round loaf of Indian and Rye"

Paul HETHERINGTON, Cassandra Atherton

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Making poetry and the act of reading are intimately connected. Such reading, along with poetry research and scholarship, has the capacity to open new avenues for creative thought and fresh pathways to creative work, particularly through intertextual strategies. In this way, literary scholarship may provide a lens for seeing more deeply into one’s own creative writing practice; and reading and writing may be viewed as having intimate linking tendrils. The nineteenthcentury American poet Emily Dickinson produced a large body of work characterised by numerous intertextual strategies and references, much of which speaks to the present day. Further, her poetic preoccupations focus on issues connected to the self and personal identity – and an associated critique of conventional mores – providing an exemplar for contemporary poets with related interests and preoccupations. For instance, Cassandra Atherton’s book, Exhumed, uses the metaphor of interring and disinterring to discuss a range of intertexts buried or unearthed in her prose poetry, and these works humorously interpret and selfreflexively explore the experience of women writing; and Paul Hetherington’s prose poetry sequence, Palace of Memory, makes use of significant intertexts – including from Dickinson – to assist him in ‘reading’ his own experience and making new work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalNew Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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