Cherishing Chaucer, Choosing Chuck D: Patience Agbabi and Cultural Traditions
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The object of the paper is to present the works of Patience Agbabi, a Nigerian-Welsh performance poet. With a view to highlighting cultural traditions inherent in her poems, I shall focus on analysing diverse aesthetic/artistic influences manifest in her works. These, among others, include Chaucer and 1980s African-American rap lyrics. The second part of my presentation shall tackle the notion of printed performance i.e. Agbabi's scribal/typographical endeavours to stage orature, to put the oral/theatrical in writing. My paper endeavours to chart Agbabi's artistic stepping beyond the thematic barricade of committed verses of protest – characteristic of the dub poetry style and symptomatic of her debut volume – and enumerate the post-dub features of her poetry, which are present in both her volumes, namely R.A.W. (1995) and Transformatrix (2000).
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