Habits of Encountering Singularity Through Performances of Poetry and Caring

  • Maurice HamingtonEmail author
  • Ce Rosenow


In this chapter, the implications of being open to meeting the unique strangeness of the other—confronting the singularity of the other—in poetry or in people are explored. Every poem is a singularity, a unique grouping of words framed by form and brought to life by a performance whether that be a public or private reading. Similarly, every encounter with a person is a singularity with a unique opportunity to transition our understanding from the unfamiliar (or less familiar) to the familiar, making rich care possible. There are three parts to the journey of this chapter. The first is an exploration of the notion of singularity as it applies to poetry as well as confronting the singular other who may need our care. The second part of the chapter engages the phenomenon of encountering singularity in terms of performance. The final part of the chapter suggests that if encountering singularity is central to enacting care then what poetry can facilitate is establishing an openness or hospitality toward the unfamiliar other. We introduce the idea of disponibilité or the openness and availability of someone emotionally, intellectually, materially, etc. as the performative disposition necessary for engaging singularity.


Singularity Performance Attention training Disponibilité Self authorship Normativity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Lane Community CollegeEugeneUSA

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