“Set in Stone”: Lemn Sissay and SuAndi’s Landmark Poetics

Osborne, Deirdre. 2011. “Set in Stone”: Lemn Sissay and SuAndi’s Landmark Poetics. In: Arturo Cass and Cordelia Grobner, eds. Performing Poetry: Race, Place and Gender in the Poetry Performance. 24 Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, pp. 197-217. ISBN 978-90-420-3329-0 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter explores the performativity activated by my term “landmark poetics” drawing upon Michel de Certeau’s poetic valuing of the everyday life that thrives amid the gaps of larger power structures. Unlike poetry spoken, or performed aloud, the reception of landmark poetics is unmediated orally or aurally (the poet is not normally physically present during its infinite deliveries). Its actualising is dependent upon the paradox of public introspection - in the mind’s eye and internal voice - of the reader and spectator. A literal and literary interface is created between the concrete and the abstract; an ensemble of relations juxtaposing past/present, local/international, to function as a memorial and commemoration, public art and public record. Lemn Sissay’s “The Gilt of Cain” set in Michael Visocchi’s sculpture, Fen Court, London, is discussed alongside the work of his contemporary, SuAndi, whose poems are inscribed in Manchester’s first black public monument at Dulcie School (now demolished) and in the promenade of poetry plaques, “Words on the Discs” that line Salford’s centenary walkway to the Lowry Arts Centre, Manchester.

Item Type:

Book Section


landmark poetics, Lemn Sissay, SuAndi, Black British poets, spoken-word poetry, performance poetics

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)



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Date Deposited:

03 Oct 2011 14:16

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2017 11:34



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