A J Moore recently completed an MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield for which she received the Angela Carter Prize, and is excited to be returning to UoS in September 2021 to begin a PhD under the supervision of Agnes Lehoczky and Adam Piette. She creates hybrid texts which fuse poetry and memoir, collaging found language, autobiographical experience and references from popular culture. Her work can be seen in the forthcoming editions of Route 57 and Blackbox Manifold.
Inspired by ‘official’ family documents and by Jacques Derrida’s essay ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression’, M(P)atriarchive draws on archival materials relating to my grandmother, great aunt, great grandmother and great great grandmother. It aims to highlight how – far from documenting their existence – the women are in reality ‘undocumented’ by male-dominated bureaucratic language and archival convention. Using prose blocks, formal language and incorporating ‘found’ materials, it seeks to subvert these processes to ‘rewrite’ the archive of their lives.
Preview of m(p)atriarchive
ARKHE palimpsest of iron gall and nicotine reclaimed rice-paper legacy bonded with incrementally brittle tape amnesty of shredding discloses dad’s side only ada’s salvaged ID card uneasy among pallid fragments of olive, ivy, olive and annie logged in gauche sepia origination devolution conclusion plots secured in perpetuity [£7. 10s] birthday telegrams [partially redacted] it’s not personal your lot have already been consigned to landfill but the past was taking up so much room and you could really use the space artifact/ego hoard/dump emotionality/practicality hybrid/compromise [scan digitise catalogue souls] boxed released to flat-pack sanctuary analogue stasis-solace third drawer down UNTITLED 1872 - 1912 unpaid piecework packaged in inherited sheets [scarlet forensics laundered to bleached terracotta] no. 364 olive, girl schedule 1 certified copy birth of child named in the subjoined rank or profession of father spring maker required to be ascertained or proved for any purpose connected with the employment in labour [capitalism’s progeniture rubber stamps transient identity] no. 34 ivy, girl schedule certified copy entry of birth rank or profession of father engine fitters [sic] labourer caught again at 40 hypertrophic scars re-torn [praying for menostasis] no. 307 [?] olive, girl certificate of birth pursuant to the births and deaths registration acts 1836 to 1874 rank or profession of father leather belting repairer any person shall on presenting written requisition and on payment of a fee of sixpence be entitled untitled to obtain a certified expurgated copy
Words of Praise for m(p)atriarchive
“Poems in ‘m(p)atriarchive’ form an ambitious and rather bold prose poem sequence, employing the rich linguistic devices of polyphony, palimpsest and the use of found text as a hybrid, as collage while offering, writing, re-writing, documenting and re-documenting a personal archive, bizarrely, ironically, from the most impersonal. This archive is a reconstruction of the contours, life, bio, profile of a loved one through the reading, assemblage and gathering of legal documents, bureaucratic data, as well as fragments of personal recollections and the anecdotal in order to serve justice to lives lived, or written only in the margins, a reconstruction which is also a political gesture in here perhaps written ‘on behalf of’ many others, as collective. There is so much going on here, and this rich experimentation performed with such measure and formal discipline I am totally taken aback, a formal and emotional discipline which yet creates the more spine-chilling emotionality through form and language deployed in here through the layering and strata of this storage, this collage. Brilliant work.”
- Ágnes Lehóczky