SURF

Alex Taitague

The Poetics of Punk

The language of gutter punks and academic poets have something in common: their expressive natures are socially conscious, politically aware, and always new or challenging. My research outlines how exactly both punk music and and poetry use their material to enact change in both the social and political spheres. Punk has remained one of the largest cultural phenomenon of the last 50 years; its effects are still visible today: in the non-conformist attitude, the Do-It-Yourself ethic, the raw emotional and exclamatory lyrics (and you know…mohawks, tattoos, raggedy patches, etc). Poetry, too, has had lasting effects on their environments; it has continually participated in and written about the world in attempts to portray and change it. Punk and poetry share common ends, and it is my intention to read one as I would the other, to determine exactly how these goals are achieved.

Message to Sponsor

The SURF grant means a lot to me. Not only am I getting a head start on my senior honors thesis work, I am getting a chance to dedicate myself to what brought me to UC Berkeley in the first place: self-education. The grant will allow me to focus an entire summer to learnin a meaningful and productive waymore about two of the things I love most: music and poetry. As a poet myself, and sometimes-musician, learning about this topic will inform my own artistic practices and let me develop a more aware poetic praxis.
  • Major: English
  • Sponsor: Anselm Fund
  • Mentor: Lyn Hejinian, English