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On the Matter of the Concept: Neoconcretism’s Relational Poetics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-128
Number of pages21
JournalLuso-Brazilian Review
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2017
DateSubmitted - 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Aug 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2017


This article explores how neoconcrete poetry is created in language’s relational capacities. Though neoconcretism’s relational practices have primarily been thought of as the domain the visual arts, my project uncovers a relational poetics in which language is plastic and made to matter. Looking at examples including poet Ferreira Gullar’s “Buried Poem”—an underground poem-room which the “reader” enters—this essay shows that the poem plays an important role in the history of what Lygia Clark has called the “relational object.” By considering Gullar’s reading of Merleau-Ponty alongside his neoconcrete poetry, this article demonstrates not only that the relational poetic object can be “transparent to phenomenological understanding” (as Gullar puts it) but that language partakes of this process from its most intimate insides. Not just a conceptual score which would guide, from the outside, the co-creation of a relational object, language, in a relational poetics, is part of what makes the object matter.

    Structured keywords

  • Centre for Material Texts
  • Bristol Poetry Institute

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  • Full-text PDF (submitted manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the submitted manuscript manuscript (pre-print). The final published version (version of record) is available online via University of Wisconsin Press at DOI: 10.3368/lbr.54.2.108. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Submitted manuscript, 290 KB, PDF document


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