Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Declan Gould, documentary and disability poetics

Many thanks to Declan Gould (and Brian Teare, her professor); she wrote a paper about the way Waveform (DiPietra and Leto, 2011) meets at the intersection of disability poetics and documented poetics.

Here is a passage from the paper. I can put you in contact with her if you would like to read more:

               While there are points of tension between disability and documentary poetry, there are also points of overlap, such as their mutual interest in community-building, or, as Ferris puts it, a rejection of the view of disability as an “individual phenomenon” (Ferris).   Indeed, by utilizing a collaborative writing practice in Waveform, DiPietra and Leto create, in Nowak's words, a collective “first person plural” (Metres, Nowak 19).  As previously mentioned, DiPietra and Leto's collaborative process for writing Waveform involved agreeing upon various points of departure, exchanging a series of notes and poems via email, and then blending and interweaving these texts.  According to DiPietra, during the process of synthesizing the notes and poems, “we would sort of explode it all, and [then] wove it together into this larger whole” (DiPietra, Personal Interview).  However, as Leto explained, the emailed notes between her and DiPietra were not originally intended to be a part of Waveform:

At some point we realized that our emails were not just part of the collaboration but had become part of the poem we were building and we began to work with them in that way. For assemblage: Amber would take a section on her own and then make suggestions as to order, placement, what we could let go of, what should be included, then I would do the same and then we would take that material and come together to review what we generated.  (Leto, Personal Interview). 

By the end of the blending process, the hybrid text created by DiPietra and Leto's re-ordering, deleting, conversation, cutting, and pasting had been transformed into a single voice.  However, Leto explained that “The voice, to my ear, can be distinguishable because I know who wrote what. But I have heard readers, even friends say both: that they could not distinguish two separate voices or that they could[,] but that either way Waveform had taken on its own” (Leto, Personal Interview).

When Declan writes back to my snail mail letter, I may post some lines from her own long poem--it features zombies, digestion, sourdough starter. It is very dear and weirdly personal for me.

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