Reading uncreative writing: conceptual poetry, reading practices and God's word

Over the few decades a new kind of avant-garde writing has come to prominence in North America and around the world, fitting itself into the contours of what we call the postmodern condition. Labelled conceptual poetry, or conceptual writing, this kind of art rejects Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s description of poetry as ‘the best words in their best order.’ Rather, conceptual poetry emphasises things like procedural anti-lyrical formalism, an ‘unboringly boring’ aesthetic as well as the wholesale appropriation and remediation of other texts. It is often accused of being non-serious, or not poetry at all. This paper consists of an introduction to conceptual poetry, as well as an exploration of some the ways that it continues to create and promote new reading practices. Of course, for Evangelical Christians who take the Bible seriously and who have a stake in the processes of careful exegesis, conceptual poetry indicates one important aspect of a new and challenging hermeneutic atmosphere that seems to be taking shape on the horizon. To that end, this paper suggests some possible implications that reading uncreative writing may have for the way that future readers might interact with the biblical text.


Author Affiliation: 
Charles Sturt University - Wagga Wagga


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