Lauren Terry is a poet and AHRC / Midlands3Cities doctoral researcher at Nottingham Trent University. Lauren’s critical-creative thesis explores the synaptic connections between (neuro)psychoanalysis, modernist poetic language, and material objects in the work of Amy Lowell, Lola Ridge, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Lauren’s poems have appeared in various anthologies and online poetry journals, including Molly Bloom, Litter, and The Interpreter’s House. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Museum of Lost and Broken Things (2020), is published with Leafe Press.

The Text is a Plastic Thing

This critical-creative manifesto outlines and ostends the parameters of the plastic literary text in light of the contemporary neuro turn. It argues that literary composition is, and has always been, plastic — the brain’s synaptic firings and neuronal pathways distinguishable in poetic and prosaic technique, represented in the whiteness of the page via experimental methods such as fragmentation, repetition, and spatial notation. This manifesto asserts that it is plastic form that affords the literary text the critical potential to articulate the material world in all its pluralities — synthesising, modulating, repairing, and executing the connections between people, language, and things.

Keywords: neuroscience; plasticity; manifesto