Topo-poetics: Poetry and Place

Timothy Cresswell

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis is a practice-led Creative Writing thesis. The main part of the thesis is a collection of 50 pages of poems that have the themes of place, landscape, belonging, travel and displacement at their heart. These include a selection of poems from my first collection, Soil (Penned in the Margins, 2013), as well as a more recent selection from second collection, erratic. The prose section of the thesis submission (37,000 words) consists of a set of essays on the theme of poetry and place – a project I have called Topo-poetics. This includes an outline of the idea of topo-poetics drawing on the work of Aristotle, Heidegger and more recent philosophies of place, dwelling and poetics. The point is not to cover the familiar ground of ‘sense-of-place’ in poetry but rather to explore how the poem is a kind of place and the way in which poems create space and place through their very presence on the page. The argument is only tangentially about ‘places’ and is more about the idea of place itself. The introduction is followed by four short essays on collections by key poets of place including Elizabeth Bishop, John Burnside, Don McKay and Jorie Graham. A conclusion links the prose section to the poems that follow.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Shapcott, Joanne, Supervisor
  • Motion, Andrew, Advisor
Award date1 Sept 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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