More about CERCOP

Aims of Center for Research in Contemporary Poetry

  • To map contemporary poetry between genres, art forms and media and to provide a coherent framework for understanding contemporary poetry.
  • To give the poetry research that has been stagnant for decades a breakthrough by using theory not previously used in poetry research, such as theory on genre, narrativity and intertextuality, performativity theory, interart theory, and media theory to link methods associated with the above-mentioned theory and develop new interdisciplinary methods in ways of reading contemporary poetry.
  • To produce a unified analytical methodology of contemporary poetry.
  • To focus on the literary-historical and art-historical, social and political implications of the expansion of poetry as a genre.

Scientific and Societal Perspectives

When poetry is perceived as a unified field, it also becomes possible to discuss poetry’s presence in and effect on contexts that are not normally associated with poetry. Poetry’s interaction with other genres, art forms and media has implications for its function as it appears as song lyrics, performance and electronic units of communicating texts. Poetry is also strongly represented on the Internet. It prevails in net forums where poetry is made public and commented on, and poetry has also found its place in social media such as Blogger, Twitter and Facebook. An overview of digital poetry on websites shows the breadth of poetry compared to other genres. In short you can say that in recent decades, we have witnessed an explosive development with regard to the production, distribution and reception of poetry. But it is paradoxical, that major research projects in this field on a global scale virtually are non-existing. The great relevance and the innovative nature of the project are obvious seen from a societal perspective. Poetry will be a very important part of the cultural expressions in the future, because poetry is integrated in all aspects of social life. An understanding of poetry's role in the future, which is the anticipated effect of the project, will undoubtedly have a major impact in relation to both academia and the public debate and the education system.

Theoretical and Methodological Framework

The different theoretical and methodological perspectives used in this project are divided between five main schools of thought, which supplement each other:

  1. Close reading inspired by formalism and new criticism, focusing on poetic style and rhetorical categories such as rhythm and figurative language.
  2. Classic and poststructuralist theory on and analysis of genre, narrativity and intertextuality, focusing on polyphony and poetic hybrid forms.
  3. Performativity theory and analysis, focusing on oral poetic forms.
  4. Interart theory and analysis, focusing on poetry’s interaction with visual art, music and other art forms.
  5. Media theory and analysis, focusing on poetry’s role on the Internet and in the new social media.

In terms of theory and methodology, Center for Research in Contemporary Poetry will work for a paradigm shift within poetry research. Traditionally, the poetry research has mainly: 1) Focused on the first-mentioned school; 2) Kept the five above-mentioned methodological positions separate. This project demands a radical innovation of the theory and methodology in relation to poetry. The four latter schools of analysis will be used in innovative ways, and new interdisciplinary methods will be developed, in which several different methods are combined.

The work of Center for Research in Contemporary Poetry deals with a selection of the most prominent poets from Europe, USA and the Third World experimenting in the field between genres, art forms and media. Important names are Christian Yde Frostholm, Mette Moestrup, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Morten Søndergaard, Jørgen Leth, Cia Rinne, Ottar Ormstad, Johannes Heldén, Peter Licht, Jason Nelson, Adam Green, Jim Rosenberg, Robert Kendall, John Cayley, Jhave Johnston, Serge Bouchardon, Eugenio Tisseli, Rui Torres, and Yong Hun Kim. 

Contact CERCOP


Research coordinator Peter Stein Larsen

Kroghstraede 3
9220 Aalborg East

Phone: +45 9940 9067
Email: pstein@cgs.aau.dk