‘Slow Motion Cucumber Decay in Fridge’: Ecology, Materiality and Recycling in  Peter Manson’s Adjunct: An Undigest


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This article examine links and affordances between new materialist theory in ecocritism and formal and linguistic experimentation in Peter Manson’s Adjunct: An Undigest. As Robert Sheppard suggests, linguistically innovative poets often foreground ‘the artificiality of the forms and discourses they employ’, making familiar things seem strange and suspending ‘the inevitable process of naturalization’; that is, emphasising the artificiality of dominant cultural and social discourse. When viewed through ecocritical lenses, Manson’s Adjunct provides opportunities to reconsider a range of seemingly stable binaries and the discourses that underpin them: including nature/culture, human/non-human, organic/inorganic, and inside/outside. Ecocritical thinking has long been concerned with denaturalising cultural constructions of nature and destablising binaries by emphasising, for example, the vibrancy of seemingly inert materials like metal, and the ways in which material flows between bodies disrupt fantasies of discrete personhood and divisions between inside and out. In place of hierarchical binaries, various ecological approaches foreground the interconnected, transcorporeal and transformative nature of the material world and human-environment continuities. In regards to poetry, the question becomes not how do poems describe how ecology works, but how can experimental poetries stimulate or realise ecological thought? Whether or not the text treats of ‘nature’ or the more-than-human world, Manson’s Adjunct brings together seemingly disparate elements in ways that foreground form, materiality, and the unexpected interrelatedness of the ‘assemblage’.


experimental poetry, ecocriticism, new materialism, transcorporeality


Samantha Walton (Bath Spa University Bath)



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