Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Chris Warren : part three

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

My concept of poetry now is unrecognisable from what it once was. I once liked to think, loftily, that I knew exactly what a poem was, and what constituted quality, but am happy to say that nowadays I haven’t the faintest clue. I have always had ambitions to blur the lines between my art and my poetry to create an odd amalgam that was neither one nor the other. Nowadays the line has become so successfully blurred for me that I’m never entirely how to describe or explain what I’ve done. I have had people on Twitter tell me that have loved a recently posted poem, that I didn’t even recognise was poetry. I also recently had a spot on the Chaudiere Books blog post for Poetry Month showcasing one of my visual poems from 2016. The poem was one of six from a collection containing micro poems designed around Rorschach ink blots. Since I made them I have completely forgotten what the content of those micro poems were, so am as much in the dark as to what they mean as anyone else. There is something wonderful about that. I am more than happy to have visual work I have done described as poems, or poems I have written described as something else entirely. For me to dictate that the things I make are immovably one thing or another does nothing but compromise viewer autonomy and devalue the work. If you say it’s poetry then I don’t really feel it’s my place to argue.

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