Poetry Beyond Text: Image, Installation, Performance - ENGL7290

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


In his 1980 essay, 'The Mathematics of Rimbaud', the poet, performer, and painter Allen Fisher observed that – as a consequence of the innovations in artistic practice throughout the 20th century – the idea of "art as objects and poetry as poems" had gradually lost its credibility. In stating this, Fisher not only articulated a compelling summary of the ways in which the study and practice of poetry and art over the last fifty years have consistently challenged the idea that these works are somehow enclosed, autonomous, or didactic units of meaning. He also indicated that sometimes poetry goes beyond text. Whether we think of the developments in the fields of concrete and visual poetry; poetry's interaction with larger art installations; sound poetry; poetry in performance; or any combination of these different practices, contemporary poetry often invites us to think of 'poems’ as something more than just words printed on a page.

In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore and engage with a diverse range of poetry beyond text, both on a creative and critical level. The curriculum will cover topics and themes including performance poetry (as well as poetry and performance more broadly), verbal artefacts, and intersections between poetry and sonic, visual and digital arts. Through both theory and practice, including regular creative exercises, the module offers you the opportunity to engage with these interdisciplinary poetry practices from both creative and critical perspectives. The assessment methods will also allow you the opportunity to pursue independent research projects that can be either creative or critical, or a combination of the two. Throughout, our studies will help to further enhance your understanding of poetry as a kinetic and mutable form of art.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 32
Private Study Hours: 268
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Critical Commentary of 2,000 words (30%)
Independent Creative or Critical Research Project (50%):

• EITHER a critical essay (4,000 words);
• OR a portfolio of creative work (up to 15 poems, totalling no less than 140 lines);
• OR a combination of the two (subject to seminar leader approval).
• OR a portfolio of performance documentation, with an accompanying critical commentary (subject to seminar leader approval).

(As a formative, non-assessed assignment, students will be asked to submit proposals for their project in time for their seminars after Enhancement Week.)

Seminar and Workshop Participation. (20%)

Reassessment methods
100% coursework (4,500 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate wide-ranging and sophisticated knowledge of interdisciplinary poetry forms from the 20th and 21st centuries.
2 Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how the formal concerns of the primary reading relate to, or are informed by, broader artistic, cultural, historical, and philosophical debates and contexts.
3 Develop an enhanced ability to interact with, and respond critically and imaginatively to, a wide range of interdisciplinary and/or non-textual forms of poetry.
4 Conduct their own project research to support their studies, and develop an understanding of writing as a form of research itself.
5 Generate and develop original creative and/or critical work that challenges the notion of 'poetry' as 'poems'.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Utilize close analysis skills and apply them to a wide-range of interdisciplinary media in order to develop erudite and complex comparisons between them.
2 Display an advanced ability to devise and develop individual creative and/or critical projects, including the ability to analyse and deploy secondary texts (which may be theoretical) from appropriate scholarly resources.
3 Reflect upon their own scholarly or creative practices.
4 Demonstrate their editorial skills through effective and constructive engagement with others in order to improve their own and other's work.
5 Develop clear and precise skills in devising questions for group discussion, as well as an ability to participate actively and constructively in those discussions.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.