An Alternative (Non)Matrix

What would a matrix that doesn’t rely on the constrictions of genre that are used far too often to teach poetry (both how to read it and how to write ‘good’ poetry) look like? How can we open the space in which each work is met?

What if we stopped evaluating creative works based on how well they meet prescribed criteria and instead approached each work to understand how it functions within its own integrity? What if we didn’t ask “does this work?” or “is this good?” but rather “HOW does this work?” and “what is the work of this piece?”

This non-matrix is an ongoing attempt to reconsider how we approach creative work. Like any such tool, its value diminishes when treated as an absolute.

  • What is the context of this work?
    • Practice / process?
    • Series / book / body of work?
    • What theory/lineage is it working within or pushing against?
    • Etc.
  • What is the form of this work?
    • closed or open
    • prose
    • verse
    • image
    • multimedia / digital
    • Found/recycled/repurposed
    • Mashup
    • Blurred
    • Fragmented/collage/mosaic
    • Etc.
  • What is the texture of this work?
    • musical / rhythmic / sonic
    • visual
    • sensual
    • intellectual
    • emotional
    • experiential
    • multi-variant
    • Etc.
  • What techniques or aspects of Text does this work employs?
    • repetition
    • rhyme
    • metaphor
    • concision
    • expansion
    • elision
    • voice
    • tone
    • Etc.
  • What is the content of this work?
    • court proceedings
    • travel guides
    • myth
    • conceptual language
    • love story
    • trauma writing
    • witness
    • Etc. (forever)
  • How do all of these elements combine to function syngergistically in this work
  • How would other combinations of elements work?

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