The Oxford English Dictionary definition of “manifesto” is as follows:

manifesto, n.

1. a. A public declaration or proclamation, written or spoken; esp. a printed declaration, explanation, or justification of policy issued by a head of state, government, or political party or candidate, or any other individual or body of individuals of public relevance, as a school or movement in the Arts.

b. In extended use: a book or other work wholesale mlb jerseys by a private individual supporting a cause, propounding a theory or argument, or promoting a certain lifestyle.

2. A proof, a piece of evidence. Obs.

manifesto, v.


intr. To issue a manifesto cheap jerseys or manifestos.

I have been thinking wholesale NBA jerseys a lot lately about the manifesto, particularly that I don’t see many. Last year, the Poetry Foundation featured a series of poetic manifestos, and really, one of the only ones I found interesting was Thomas Sayer Ellis’s “The New Perform-A-Form: A Page Vs. Stage Alliance.” I have previously written in response to Ellis’s manifesto:

I commend him for really expanding and exploring that space between page and stage and speaking to the the perception that performance is lowly and undisciplined. This in-between space I here. believe most of us really do inhabit; for me it is something more like a spectrum between page and stage. Within this spectrum, we don’t occupy a fixed point.

I read his manifesto and thought about all of the times an emerging artist of color has said to me that poetry and spoken word are not the same thing. It’d been infuriating me because it was so divisive; poetry belonged to the “academy,” and spoken word to the “masses.” The line drawn between the two seemed non-negotiable; I resented having to choose one over the other. Around the same time that I read this manifesto, I was in the process of writing my own essay, “Some Thoughts on Sme?taj Teaching Poetry to Spoken Word Artists,” which is included in the anthology, Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (University of Iowa Press, 2010) to discuss why erasing that line is so important to me. I mrazíme have made a note to myself to include Ellis’s manifesto as one of my syllabus items when teaching poetry and even Filipino American literature.

I bring this up because I am interested in how so many of us seem to share these similar or related ideas and beliefs about poetry; it’s helpful to find others who are doing the kind of work cheap MLB jerseys that not only affirms our own, but enables us to continue growing our bodies of work, refining our beliefs and practices and our articulation of our beliefs and practices. This is the the growing of community, which begins with committing the words to the page, and sending them into the world.

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7 Thoughts on “Manifesto

  1. Pingback: Doveglion: Manifesto : Barbara Jane Reyes

  2. Hey Barbara, I haven’t attended nearly enough spoken word performances, but I have come across this discussion, and people who believe spoken word and poetry are two different animals– spoken word being beneath poetry.

    Recently I bought a copy of Willie Perdomo’s “Where a Nickel Costs a Dime” and was blown away by the beauty of his reading on the disk that was included. It made me think of the Kerouak recordings– some of my favorite.

    I don’t see why the two should be viewed as separate.

  3. I agree with your position that there should not be a dividing line between written and spoken poetry. Poetry (lyrical, narrative, elegiac, etc.) has always been recited and performed. It is absolutely unnecessary nor helpful to shear these of its oral traditions. When was the last time our Poet Laureates were called upon to recite their poems to the throngs and throngs of massmen who could be inspired to reach heights of thoughts and emotions akin to those felt in the agoras, the ampitheatres, the temples of the ancient forums where poetry was even considered cathartic?

    When was the last time we had a Yevtushenko galvanizing the surging feelings of audiences? What’s wrong with replicating the lyrics and music of the Beatles as performed poetry. Let’s get Dylan Thomases reciting in street corners or T. S. Eliots busking in the subways.

    Poetry, among the literary arts, had its furthest reach when first composed by poets in Ancient Greece or China. The “academy” has contributed to its stagnation as a “perfomed” art. Poetry barely lives through plays like those of Shakespeare. Should it find its ultimate demise in lazy prose ramblings disguised as poems because they have truncated lines that find no use for music, rhythm, and charged language?

    Let me find time to write a contribution to firm out a Poetry Manifesto which is much needed at this point when charlatans think a pile of words (sans evocative images frquently) or a succession of rhyming or alliterative sounds make for poetic “rap”.

    An Ars Poetica must, indeed, be posted on every door of every closet poet who need not be afraid that he his writing for an absent audience or an indifferent barbarian throng.

    Doveglion is a significant addition to online blogging when Printed poetry has practically died in academic literary journals. Some of the online poetry blogs have resorted to charging fees for considering poems during their reading periods. (Ah, the almighty dollar!)

    (En passant, “Have come. Am here.”, Garcia Villa’s ontological “rap” need not remain as a cathartic poetic orgasm. It is an ars poetica.


  4. Pingback: Intuitive Intertextuality » Blog Archive » Dovelgion - The online poetics journal of Oscar Bermeo

  5. Hey folks, thanks for your comments.

    Yes, to disconnect “spoken word” and poetry is to be ahistorical. I tend to wonder if “spoken word artists” consciously take on this label to separate themselves from these long poetic traditions (of various cultures, not only English and USA-American poetry), because in that separation, there’s more perceived freedom to write without others’ expectations to bog down the artist.

    From my own experience, I’ve just always been surprised how many emerging writers of color just can’t bring themselves to call themselves “poets,” when they are indeed composing and performing verse. Or when I tell them that poetry and spoken word are the same thing, they respond as if I’ve spoken a different language to them. I just don’t know where this came from, and no one can tell me.

    Another thing I’m told is that “literary = academic = white,” which is problematic and inaccurate.

    Finally, Albert, on “have come, am here” as ars poetica! Yes!

  6. thanks for feeding “this in-between space,” barbara!

  7. Pingback: 52 52 Condensed Pages of a Collaged Manifesto | Doveglion Press « Sunslick Starfish

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