"Mindfulness of the Drift": Nomadic Formations in Peter Reading's Evagatory

Abaci O. T.

CONCENTRIC-LITERARY AND CULTURAL STUDIES, vol.45, no.1, pp.93-124, 2019 (AHCI) identifier identifier


The formal qualities and innovative aspects of Peter Reading's poetry have been largely ignored or evaluated from a limited perspective due to the pessimistic subject matter, the gloomy images of "Junk Britain" and the deteriorating earth. This paper attempts to revitalize his legacy within the late twentieth century by bridging a dialogue between his work and Pierre Joris's vision of nomad poetics. Joris's engagement with nomadicity in A Nomad Poetics might provide a certain critical consciousness in associating Peter Reading's trope of evagation in Evagatory with the state of linguistic homelessness, the wandering of a mind through numerous textual, cultural, spatial borders, and lastly the poem as an unfinalized construct. This paper suggests that nomadic trajectory in Evagatory is foregrounded by constantly shifting registers, crossing of poetic boundaries and transcorporeal relations. Then, it aims to analyze the non-discursive visual patterns and collage practices in Evagatory to explore the text's 'rhizomatic' relations. The trope of evagation in Reading's mid-career work foregrounds how Reading actually works at the edge of the margins of literary traditions, of linguistic comprehensibility, of the visual and the verbal, and the poetic and unpoetic materials.