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Alternative title: Making It New: Finding Contemporary Meanings for Creativity
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... no. 40 2017 of TEXT Special Issue Website Series est. 2000 TEXT Special Issue Website Series
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Creativity is one of the important catchwords of the early 21st century. It is invoked by government, industry, and the academy, positioned as the motive force for economic and technological innovation, and widely claimed in the literature of business and organisational management as an explicatory concept and a key ingredient for success. It can be surprising to artists in all the many forms and modes of practice that a word we had long seen as ‘ours’ has so thoroughly and promiscuously slipped from our grasp. However, there is knowledge in all those other disciplines and domains that is potentially of value to creative writers, performing artists and plastic artists, as well as all our cousins in allied art forms.' (Monica Carroll and Jen Webb Introduction)


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction : Making It New: Finding Contemporary Meanings for Creativity, Monica Carroll , Jen Webb , single work criticism

'Creativity is one of the important catchwords of the early 21st century. It is invoked by government, industry, and the academy, positioned as the motive force for economic and technological innovation, and widely claimed in the literature of business and organisational management as an explicatory concept and a key ingredient for success. It can be surprising to artists in all the many forms and modes of practice that a word we had long seen as ‘ours’ has so thoroughly and promiscuously slipped from our grasp. However, there is knowledge in all those other disciplines and domains that is potentially of value to creative writers, performing artists and plastic artists, as well as all our cousins in allied art forms.

'Of course the obverse is also true: the long history of creative practice and exploration that is found in the art world has the capacity to inform and energise creative thought and discourse in those areas of human engagement that lie outside the domain of art and artistic practice. We—the editors of this Special Issue of TEXT—made an argument along these lines to the Australian Research Council (ARC), who responded by awarding us a Discovery Project grant to test our ideas through extensive fieldwork in the international Anglophone community of poets. Three of the papers included here (Biggs; Brophy; Webb and Carroll) elucidate aspects of the findings of that project: ‘Understanding creative excellence: A case study in poetry’ (DP130100402).' (Introduction)

Creativity’s Essential Others. Notes Towards a Poetics of Re-creation., Rob Pope , single work criticism
'Through verbal experiment as well as critical and historical exposition, this shows how much more there is to notions of creation than creativity as currently understood. It also highlights the crucial contribution of alternative terms such as imagination, inspiration and emergence. Building on the recognition that the ‘create’ terms span discourses ranging from the divine to the human and the artistic to the commercial, there is concerted modeling of a wide variety of contemporary possibilities such as ‘hyper-creation’, ‘de-’ and ‘re-creat-ing’ and ‘post-creatives’. These cue fresh encounters with classic, especially biblical ‘creation’ texts and develop into an expansive program of seriously playful poetics, including ‘diagrammatics’, ‘dialogics’ and a generically hybrid form of ‘con-verse-ation’. The reader is invited to participate as re-writer throughout, so the process is radically recreational and the project openly ongoing.' (Introduction)
The Stranger I Become (For Jen Webb), Katherine Coles , single work essay
'I am known to walk a lot by modern standards, on most days for seven or more miles. Fitness isn’t the point, at least not all of it. Walking spins ideas free; its rhythm puts me in touch with myself, and the distance I travel reminds me I am always loose on the planet. Setting a pace, sallying forth, reminds me, mind comprising as it does every part of the body, not least the heart, which tells me I am frightened or in love before I know to ask. The sensory organs—skin, eyes, ears—fire information constantly. Synthesised and brought to language in the brain, that information creates an ongoing sense of change that we call ‘mind’, which feels apart from the body but is of the body. Without the body, the brain is a dull grey blob, inert. Like it or lump it.' (Publication abstract)
Creativity and the Lyric Address, Astrid Lorange , single work criticism
'This paper sets out to understand ‘creativity’ as a term with a now-ubiquitous role in describing contradictory dimensions of affective life in neoliberal capitalism. It argues that creativity can be read contra its current meaning (that is, as the capacity for flexibility, agility and selforganisation), achieving both a critique of ‘creative thinking’ and a reorientation of creative practice. In order to trial alternative ways of reading creativity, I look to the lyric poetry of Claudia Rankine. I propose, following others before me, that creativity as a key concept for neoliberalism informs ideas about creative practices such as poetry; this in turn informs publishing, reading and teaching practices. The lyric poem, in its twentieth-century sense (as more or less synonymous with poetry itself), is an exemplary textual form for neoliberal creativity, and yet the lyric as a form betrays a far more complex set of relationships around author, text and reader than is often assumed.' (Publication abstract)
Practising Poetry : Thinking Form, Emulation and Formal Invention, Antonia Pont , single work criticism
'This paper argues that poetry—as an example of a contemporary art practice—involves inventiveness at several registers deserving of articulation. Whereas established forms of practice stipulate in advance, to a certain degree, the form of the behaviour to be repeated as practice (the kata of martial arts, the words and rhythms of prayer, the technical gestures of archery), post-Enlightenment artistic practices can differ from and extend this aspect of practice, in one important respect. If practice generally is that peculiar constellation of ‘doing’ that invites the radically new and courts innovation, then in the case of art the practice is doubly engaged with invention, since—after an apprenticeship—it welcomes innovation at the level of its own form. This paper will unpack this claim, with the aim of clarifying for practitioners of any art form, but especially poetry, the two registers at which they can note the appearance and role of newness and the difficulties faced in practising. It then takes up the example of emulation, casting anew its place in an emerging poetic or artistic practice. Emulation can be understood simply as a way practitioners lean on the behavioural forms and examples set by their predecessors or peers, in moments when they are strengthening practising itself. A practice, then, is likely to involve both of these modes: practising within existing, fertile behavioural forms (such as emulation), and phases of more farreaching invention of the forms of that artistic practice itself. These indeed are entangled, however, a precision regarding practice’s mechanisms, as well as an acknowledgement of emulation’s contribution, it will be argued, can assist makers, but particularly poets, to identity at what register their making might be hindered. Is it that they actually lack a basic set of behaviours via which to pursue their work, or are they facing the inherent difficulty of art, which welcomes the invention of new forms? By acknowledging that art is doubly difficult as practice, due to its involving both a mustering of the stamina to practice and also invention at the level of form, the poet-artist can work with both greater deftness and patience.' (Publication abstract)
‘No Nails New under the Sun’ : Creativity, Climate Change, and the Challenge to Literary Narrative in Thea Astley’s Drylands, Emily Potter , single work criticism
'Thea Astley’s millennial novel Drylands, a self-declared ‘book for the world’s last reader’ (1999, title page), offers an opportunity to reappraise literary narrative and creative experimentation in a time of climate change. This essay takes this up by reading Astley’s text as a paradoxical account of literature’s failings to either nourish or repair a drought-ridden, economically, environmentally and empathically beleaguered town in regional Australia. Astley’s vision is ostensibly declentionist, wherein the only hope for the future seems to lie in the inevitable ruins of the present. Within these ruins lies the fate of particular, historical creative forms, most notably the literary novel, which, as an expression of Western epistemology, is now evacuated of meaning. On the one hand, Astley seems to offer no reversed fortune for her characters or the textual practice that ironically brings them to life; however, the essay offers a further, dissonant reading of the text through a perspective of distributed agency which, as climate change unfolds, is where possibilities for literary work may lie.' (Publication abstract)
The Underappreciated Role of Creativity in Journalism, Matthew Ricketson , single work criticism
'The role of creativity in journalism is relatively understudied, though that is changing, with a growing literature about what is variously termed literary journalism, creative nonfiction, longform journalism and literary nonfiction. Creativity can and should be unshackled from highminded, even mystical conceptions of it from the Romantic period. By doing this, and by examining a range of journalistic practices, in the conception, researching and writing of journalism, this article argues for a broader understanding of the important role that creativity plays in the craft of journalism.' (Publication abstract)
On Cultivating an Attitude of Precision with Language: An Uncommon Prescription for Conditioning Creative Excellence in Scientific Discovery and Education, David Waters , single work criticism
'Investing years of intensive training, scientists ready themselves to make sense of the world. But are they prepared to make sense of a world of words? The aim of this paper is to explore the pivotal role that cultivating an attitude of precision with language could play in conditioning creative excellence in scientific discovery and education. First, the unexpected linkage between the processes of language precision and successful failure is explored. Next, an attempt is made to situate language precision within the creative process. Then, another potential dividend from developing exactitude with language is explored—the power of neologism. Finally, an attempt is made to construct a useful synthesis—one favoring a new educational prescription in which creative excellence in the sciences is informed and catalyzed by the humanities.' (Publication abstract)
Creative In-formation—a Per-formance or Possibly a List Poem—does It Matter? Back to the Drawing Board …, Sarah Rice , single work criticism
'This article performs the creative act of giving form to writing—whether that of an academic paper, poem or artwork. It is a demonstration of the ‘turn of the line’, watching itself turning from post-structuralist foundation through photographic essay to poetic performance. The ‘paper’ (existing only electronically) aims to capture the strange gathering of matter that constitutes the giving of form. By employing a philosophico-poetic approach, and drawing on ideas taken from philosophy, the history of art, and poetry (such as negative space, materiality, and material poetics), this article aims to capture creativity in the act.' (Publication abstract)
‘We’re All Going to Die’ : Perceptions and Experiences of Time among Creative Practitioners, Kevin Brophy , single work criticism
'This paper surveys briefly a range of modern ideas on the creative process and some possible approaches to understanding time, from scientific to philosophical, experiential and managerial. This paper argues that the relationship between time and productivity remains obscure, that the creative person’s commitment to an excessive and unpredictable use of time challenges administrations to adjust their expectations and revalue the use of work time, and finally that newly conceived levels of trust need to be foregrounded between an organisation and its most creative employees.' (Publication abstract)
A Seethe of Poets : Creativity and Community, Jen Webb , Monica Carroll , single work criticism
'This article explores the social and cultural status of contemporary poetry, with reference to the enduring myth of the lone genius. Drawing on a corpus of research interviews with poets and on creativity literature, we analyse the validity of isolated poetic genius, comparing the narratives of the solitary life with the material evidence of lives spent in connection with others. Indications in previous studies of creativity suggest the importance of community and networks in building creative thought and capacity, and we examine transcripts from our interviews with 76 contemporary poets to compare their experience with that of other communities. Our findings indicate the importance of social and community networks among poets of high repute.' (Publication abstract)
Creative Exchanges : Play as the Infancy of Imagination, Dominique Hecq , Christine Hill , single work criticism
'This paper extends the concept of collaboration to that of exchange in order to redefine human creativity as an active, continuous process. By focusing on the notion of exchange as interaction, namely, a process of ‘giving’ and’ receiving’ (Abramovic 2015: 13) it brings us back to the fraught concept of subjectivity; it then seeks to identify some of the key conditions that enhance creativity by interrogating the difference between ‘play’ and ‘game’ (Pope 2005: 119–22). The paper draws on close readings of texts and calls upon evidence provided by case studies based on interviews with artists and scientists.' (Publication abstract)
Playful Seriousness and Serious Play: Poetry as Creative Practice in the International Prose Poetry Project, Cathy Hope , Paul Hetherington , Bethaney Turner , single work criticism
'The International Poetry Studies Institute’s (IPSI) prose poetry project was started almost accidentally in late 2014. Since then it has become a site of highly productive creative play. At the time of writing, the prose poetry project consists of 21 members who have collectively written more than 1,500 prose poems. We will argue that it is an exemplary site for creative practice because it enables its members to generate new prose poetry enjoyably while asking very little of them except the production and sharing of their creative work. By identifying key elements of play that help stimulate creative practice in the prose poetry project—including the elements of sanctuary and ambiguity, and the interactions among these—we aim to demonstrate the significance of play for producing creative encounters with the world.' (Publication abstract)
What Counts as New?, Michael Biggs , single work criticism
'The paper uses the form of an interview with editorial comments to take a multivocal approach to discussing creativity in research. This allows interrogation, statement and intertextuality to occupy the same dialogic space. Aspects of creativity in research are compared to traditional notions of creativity in studio art and more contemporary claims of creativity in business and innovation. Two visualisations of the relationship between creativity and comprehension are proposed, leading to a claim for a ‘scale of creativity’. Finally, studio art is proposed as a reverse function of academic art owing to being a solution in search of a question.' (Publication abstract)
On Reading That James Tate Has Diedi"It could have been one of your sly poems", Kevin Brophy , single work poetry
My Father’s Birthdayi"Yesterday, turning 97, he said on the phone", Kevin Brophy , single work poetry
A Marriagei"The stone is gone, unseated by the grit and muck of horses", Sandra Burr , single work poetry
Collecting Hay on Anzac Dayi"A huddle of plastic chairs leans higgledy piggledy between council chambers", Sandra Burr , single work poetry
Mares in Springi"Overnight the apple tree blooms fists of white and flossy pink", Sandra Burr , single work poetry
Note: With title: Spring
Report on the Markings of a Body, Monica Carroll , single work prose

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Last amended 12 May 2017 12:19:24