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Speaking to YouContemporary Poetry and Public Address$
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Natalie Pollard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657001.001.0001

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Address and Lyric Commerce

Address and Lyric Commerce

(p.213) 11 Address and Lyric Commerce
Speaking to You

Don Paterson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how Don Paterson's addresses scrutinize poetry's structuring in the British poetry industry. Speaking to a range of money-minded historical and modern yous, Paterson tests out the relationships between art and commerce; literary invention, dissemination, and reception. This is work that returns to, circles round, and brings into contact the compromised politics of negotiating one's writerly status in public—in Ancient Greek and Roman court culture, in the violent addresses of the medieval Arabic patron system, and in the contemporary poetry industry. Poetry and money emerge as conversational partners. Writing addresses ‘to those undecided shades in Waterstones, / trapped between the promise and the cost’, Paterson asks gentle readers and still gentler purchasers to ‘shake yourself awake, and please stay patient’. Ensuring readers cannot forget their own hand in ascribing value to the poem, you are reminded how taste is negotiated with ‘live’ readerships, critics, publishers, prize-givers, and academics

Keywords:   Don Paterson, address, money, contemporary, poetry Industry, commerce

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