Upcoming Presentation: “the killing of speech”: The Sonic Politics of The Four Horsemen

I’ll be giving a paper at Avant-Canada as part of the bpNichol Symposium with Stephen Cain, Katherine McLeod, and Stephen Scobie. Conference runs from November 5-7 in St Catharines, Ontario. Full conference details and schedule online at avantcanada.cahttps://i0.wp.com/arcpost.ca/images/85.jpg

Abstract: In The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound Marjorie Perloff suggests that “however central the sound dimension is to any and all poetry, no other poetic feature is currently as neglected.” Perloff’s claim possesses a poignant resonance in a Canadian context when considering the criticism of paleotechnic sound poetry quartet The Four Horsemen. Steve McCaffery, Frank Davey, and Pauline Butling have published criticism of the group, but their necessary discussions of radical linguistic deconstruction, resistance to graphism, and connections to Toronto’s Therafields de-emphasize the sonorous elements of their works. In distinction, this paper locates its study along emergent philosophical vectors in sound and vibrational studies to consider the possibilities of vocal expression beyond logocentricism. This consideration will seek to develop a nuanced understanding of the sonic radical politics of The Four Horsemen as a response to conditions of late global capitalist modernity.

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