Emmerson, Stephen: A Piece


A Piece
Published February 2019
480 pp
ISBN: 978-1-9999547-3-4

About the book
A Piece is a sequence of poems created using a dictionary and Robert Creeley’s famous poem, A Piece.

The poems were composed using a variation on the Oulipo’s method N+7. In N+7 the writer removes nouns from an existing piece of literature, finds those words in a dictionary, reads 7 nouns (or entries) down the dictionary’s column and uses that new word as a replacement in the original text.

Using The Collins Paperback English Dictionary, published 1990, I selected both instances of the words ‘one’ in Creeley’s poem and replaced them with the next entry in the dictionary; an N+1. I then found the entry for two’, and moved two words forward in the dictionary; an N+2. Finally, I chose the entry for ‘three’, and moved three words forward; an N+3. For each of the poems in my versions of A Piece I repeated the process of N+1, N+2, N+3, using the new set of words as the starting point. The sequence ends after all the entries for the letter O — all the N+1s — were used up.

About the author
Stephen Emmerson’s publications include: ‘A never ending poem… (Zimzalla), Telegraphic Transcriptions (Dept Press / Stranger Press), No Ideas but in Things (Dark Windows Press), Albion (Like This Press), The Last Ward (Very Small Kitchen), Pharmacopoetics,(Apple Pie Editions) Stephen Emmerson’s Poetry Wholes & Family Portraits (if p then q), All my Pornography (The Red Ceilings), and Comfortable Knives (KFS).

Astra Papachristodoulou in Ambit Magazine
Steve Spence in Litter Magazine

A Piece sampler

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