Genre and its ‘Diss-contents’: Twenty-First-Century Black British Writing on Page and Stage

Osborne, Deirdre. 2016. Genre and its ‘Diss-contents’: Twenty-First-Century Black British Writing on Page and Stage. In: Katy Shaw, ed. Teaching 21st Century Genres. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 67-88. ISBN 9781137553898 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The designation of genre blending or crossing— as framed by the perception of how certain genres are ‘meant’ to operate for certain creative modes— can signal a writer’s position in relation to mainstream culture and its processes of critical reception, canon-making and ultimately, cultural longevity. While the protean capacities of language as sounded and heard, or written and read, offers two distinctive conduits for creative expression— that are not mutually exclusive but mutually implicated— certain frameworks of cultural reception and critique have accorded differential status to the spoken and the printed word. This is especially identifiable when accounting for the intermediality of dramatic-poetics and the poetics of performance in contemporary black British literature, where the possibilities of trans-generic and poly-generic writing disrupt the straightforward application of critical generic verities.
In considering the intermixing of the genres of both poetry and drama, this chapter explores the dual indebtedness of two (self-termed) contemporary black British writers— debbie tucker green and Lemn Sissay— to both spoken-word and stage-performance contexts, to show how their use of combinational generic categories elicits inter-compositional framings of poetry and plays that acknowledge a text’s performance on and off the page.

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Book Section

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Theatre and Performance (TAP)


December 2016Published

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14 Mar 2017 12:05

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2021 12:23


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