Research projects

Poetry and Performance: Embodied Poetic Experience in Public Spaces

This scholarly and practiced-based project studies the audience’s experience of publically-performed poetry, in contrast to silent reading from the page. It addresses the role of sensorial experience and movement both in the making and sharing of contemporary poetry as ‘common’ experience, responsive to the specific (in this case Scottish) cultural context. It focuses on the live performance of print, sound and digital poetry and seeks to analyse the role of the body, of both performer and spectator in experiencing poetry. One of our key objectives is to explore creative approaches to collecting data on the way both poets/performers and audience engage with poetry events and on how they may perceive themselves as part of a cultural community. This project constitutes a key step in understanding the way performance as an embodied poetic experience contributes to (re)defining poetry’s social function.

This project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh through the Research Workshops in the Arts & Humanities scheme (2016/17).

It is supported by The French Institute of the United Kingdom.

It is a collaboration with StAnza 2017 and the Scottish Poetry Library.

P.I. Dr Elodie Laügt (University of St Andrews)
Co-Investigator: Prof. Andrew Roberts (University of Dundee)
Collaborators: Dr Jerome Fletcher (Falmouth University); Sabine Macher (poet, independent)

If you are interested in this project and would like to know more, please contact P.I. Elodie Laügt (


‘Le Moustachu avec les Lunettes 2’

Danced piece by the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance  

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

12-1pm, Byre Auditorium

On songs composed and sung by Jean Ferrat after poems by Louis Aragon, and musics by Engelbert Humperdinck and Vivaldi.

Choreography: Benoît Egloff

Dancers: Sophie Archer, Dylan Boswell, Emilie Christie, Stevie Craib, Sarah Greene, Will Hodson, Rob Jackson, Kaja Jurkowska, Sarah Lyall, Tori Partridge, Jess Scobie, Joy Smith, Jourdan Walker, Tom Wohlfahrt.

LMALL2 is re-visiting a choreographic research previously devised to post-graduates from across Europe in 2010. Rejecting the utilisation of speech, it explores narrative choreography integrating the use of a set, props, body language, musicality, costumes, dancers’ technical and creative skills, without being literal.

The performance will be followed by a discussion with the choreograph and the dancers.



WORKSHOP – 6th & 7th March 2017

University of St Andrews

Monday 6th March

10am-5pm, Gateway Boardroom

10-10.15          Welcome and Introduction

10.15-12.15     Spoken Performance

10-15-10.45   Colin Herd (University of Glasgow)

‘Talking Dances: The Poetry Performances of Chasen Gaver’

10.45-11.05     Tea/coffee

11.05-11.45     Katie Ailes (University of Strathclyde)

‘Live Embodiment & Authenticity in Contemporary Spoken Word.’

11.45-12.15     Discussion

12.15-12.30     Poppy Jarratt (University of Dundee)

‘The Mansio: A Contemporary Structure Housing New Writing Inspired by Hadrian’s Wall’

12.30-1.45pm Lunch

1.45-3.20         Listening as Performance

1.45-2.30        Kirsteen McCue (University of Glasgow).

‘”Melodic poetry”: the case of Robert Burns’s songs’

2.30-3.10        Dave Evans (University of St Andrews)

‘John Cage, “Where Are We Going? and What Are We Doing?” – An Experimental Reading for New Ways of Listening’

3.10-3.30         Tea/coffee

3.30-5.00        Translation as performance and performing in translation

3.20-4.10         Round-table with an opening by Nina Parish (University of Bath) on Writing the Real. A bilingual Anthology of Contemporary French Poetry London: Enitharmon Press, 2016)

4.10-5.00         Performance by Sabine Macher


Tuesday 7th March

10am-4pm, Gateway Boardroom

10.00-12.50     Digital Poetry

10-10.40          John Cayley (Brown University)

‘Performing with the poetics of aurature: situating and characterizing the embodied persons of a world with synthetic language’

10.40-11.00     Tea/Coffee

11.00-11.40     Scott Rettberg (University of Bergen)

‘Generative poetry and combinatory cinema’

11.40-12.20     Jerome Fletcher (Falmouth University)

‘Traces of the body in the performance of digital writing’.

12.20-12.50     Discussion

12.50-2.00      Lunch

2.00-3.20         Corporal and Textual bodies

2.00-2.45        Elodie Laügt (University of St Andrews)

‘Ex-criptions: the body-space and the note-book (Jean-Luc Nancy; Sabine Macher)’

2.45-3.35         Magali Nachtergael (Université Paris XIII)

‘Legitimisation of the Avant-Garde: does it make a Neo-Literature?’

3.35-4.00         Concluding remarks


6-8pm             Evening Performance – Buchanan Theatre (Union Street)

Scott Rettberg – ‘Three Rails Live’ and ‘Toxi*City’

‘The Listeners’ – John Cayley performs with the UK version of his ‘skill’ (or app) for the Amazon Echo and Alexa.