Tongue & Talk: The Dialect Poets – Radio 4

A great series about Dialect Poets. Here

Given dialect will always change and lives in fear of loss at all times, Dialect Poets seek to both rediscover dialect and by making and performing poetry, both preserve it and make it grow. I loved that this had an angle on place, performance, art, research.

The one I heard about Yorkshire had a poet with English, Indian and Pakistani roots whose dialect reflected all three cultures. Another poet played with her dialect where ‘out’ and ‘art’ sound the same; ‘aaht’. The last line of her poem about dialect as poetry went ‘When it’s aaht it’s aaht’. Which I took to mean once she spoke out her dialect as a performance it turned her words into art. Which is a wicked description of a performative utterance as identified by JL Austin. This is a basis of art theory and I loved it that a working class yorkshire woman expressed it simply and accurately, in five words, and in dialect.

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