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How do artworks 'speak', and how do we 'listen' and respond? These questions underlie the investigation here of Roni Horn's Pair Object III: For Two Rooms, Emily Dickinson's later manuscripts, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Passages Paysages, Fiona Templeton's Cells of Release and Jenny Holzer's Lustmord. The tenets of critical performance, art-writing and site-writing inform the critical method used in Poetics and Place. Each chapter is dedicated to one of these five artworks, and is arranged in order to fulfill three main objectives: to understand how the artworks generate meaning through a material poetics in relation to place; to develop a critical methodology for engaging with them; and to investigate their ethical potential and political imperative. All of this, ultimately, facilitates the development of a triadic relation between theoretical concepts of sign, subjects and site at the crossover between poetry, art and spatial practices. This extends each artwork beyond the dyad of a critical encounter in order to offer - and allow others to grasp - an appreciation of how the artwork figures meaningfully, as well as configures meaning, in the wider world of objects and things. The book concludes with a discussion of the ethics of reading from the second person, opening up a debate concerning the role of empathy within contemporary, politically-engaged practices in art and poetry.