Introduction: Working Late

  • Jo Lindsay Walton
  • Ed Luker
Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)


This introductory chapter maps some major themes of the collection, tracing dialogues across chapters, and offering some basic context and definitions. After a few preliminaries, it explores Peter Middleton’s chapter, “Show Your Working,” and considers some different types of labour—or different overlapping ways of thinking about labour—such as reproductive labour, identity labour, affective labour, and aesthetic labour. These terms derive from feminist theorisation of work. The section after situates Lisa Jeschke’s chapter, “Bird-Song by Everyone, for Everyone!: Poetry, Work and Play in J. H. Prynne’s Prose” within the context of Marxist ideas about work and especially about alienation. The following sections then introduce the rest of the collection through thematic lenses including craftwork; publics and the work of activists and citizens; corporeality and transcorporeality; performativity and memory; and precarity, platformization, and postwork discourse.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Lindsay Walton
    • 1
  • Ed Luker
    • 2
  1. 1.Bath Spa UniversityBathUK
  2. 2.Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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