University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“No poetry in money”: The dark economy of poetry and social media.

McGowan, Jack (2021) “No poetry in money”: The dark economy of poetry and social media. In: Dark Economies - Anxious Futures, Fearful Pasts, 21st-23rd July 2021, Falmouth University. (Unpublished)

[img] Other (“No poetry in money”: The dark economy of poetry and social media.)
view - Presentation
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (67kB) | Request a copy


This paper will explore the conflation of poetry (particularly spoken word) and advertising, which has been facilitated by contemporary multimodal social media platforms. It will examine the ways in which the cultural capital of poetry can be said to have been co-opted into advertising strategies to support the sale and distribution of products. A contrast will be drawn between the nascence of a contemporary ‘dark economy’ of poetry in advertising, to be distinguished from rhetorical and stylistic strategies that have been traditionally employed by advertising (such as the ‘jingle’). As such, this paper will focus on direct occasions where poetry and poetry performance has been employed, for example in the Nationwide / VCCP ‘Voices’ advertising campaign (2016-19), featuring poets such as Jo Bell and Hollie McNish.

This paper will also address the rising commodification of poetry by social media poets, content creators, and influencers. It will offer a balanced critique of the implications of adopting a rarefied or hierarchical view of poetry, and evaluate what anxieties are associated with the potentially deleterious effects of social media and consumerism on the ‘spirit’ of poetry. This paper thus seeks to assess and challenge fearful assumptions about the decline of poetry in the wake of contemporary modes of consumption. It will offer a space to conduct a wider conversation about the responsibility of the creative practitioner in choosing to showcase their work in support of a commercial advertising campaign, featuring interviews with relevant practitioners.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: poetry, advertising, social media
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Jack Mcgowan
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 10:49
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 10:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.