Reading poetry and its paratexts model users’ rights: Mary Dalton’s Hooking, cento poetics, and copyright law
McCutcheon, Mark A.
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This draft paper focuses on Newfoundland poet Mary Dalton's 2013 book Hooking -- a collection of centos (poems composed only of lines from other poems) -- in order to propose a method for reading the exercise of users' rights in Canadian poetry by attending to poetry books' paratexts (front and end matter that acknowledges permissions or cites sources). This talk moves from an introductory discussion of users' rights enshrined in Canadian copyright law (e.g. fair dealing, the public domain) to a survey of poetry books, including Dalton's, and how their paratexts frame these books' transformative use of other works. The talk aims to promote a more widespread and robust exercise of users' rights in the service of cultural production and expressive freedom by showing the extent to which published authors, no less than users or readers, need fair dealing too. (Posted for open review, this is a preliminary draft of a talk to be given at a workshop on cento poetry, held at the University of Bochum, Germany, in November 2020.)
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