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What happens to poetry when it goes online?. Marcelo Moreschi. What happens with poetry when it goes online?. how the Internet changes the circulation and availability of poetic texts how new poetic practices incorporate and explore the new media environment. Circulation/availability.

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what happens with poetry when it goes online
What happens with poetry when it goes online?
  • how the Internet changes the circulation and availability of poetic texts
  • how new poetic practices incorporate and explore the new media environment
circulation availability
  • Is the internet poetry friendly?
  • www.poetry.com
avant garde poetry archives
Avant-garde poetry archives
  • Ubu Web (http://www.ubu.com/)
  • Electronic Poetry Center (http://epc.buffalo.edu/) (more than 10 million users annually from 90 countries)
  • http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/
  • http://www.futurism.org.uk/
online poetry journals
Online poetry journals
  • www.jacketmagazine.com (500,000 visits since 1997)
  • www.epoetry.org
  • www.octopusmagazine.com
  • Ron Silliman’s blog (http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/) (more than 615,000 visitors. Never had a book that sold more than 4,000 copies)
circulation availability1
  • New instances of publishing, publicizing, discussion and canonization
  • It is a new literary system or a new subsystem within the system?


“I buy more books than I did before, in good part because the distribution system for printed poetry is so abysmal. But that really doesn’t matter when every small press can sell direct, or at least can get their work into the online catalogue of Small Press Distribution” (http://www.spdbooks.org/)

Charles Bernstein, in the early beginning of the Web:

“I don’t believe that technology creates improvement, but rather that we need to use the new technologies in order to preserve the limited cultural spaces we have created through alternative, nonprofit literary press and magazines. This is particularly important for poetry on the net because the formats and institutions we are now establishing can provide models and precedents fro small-scale, poetry intensive activities”

new media poetry
New media poetry

“If you look at experimental poetry of the 20th century, works by Futurists, Dada poets, Apollinaire, Schwitters, Concrete Poets, Sound Poets, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, Burroughs, Howe, Antin, Cage, you see a consistent attention to the relation of technology to art. But more so, you see a will to bend the instruments of technology to engage and recontextualize the possibilities for art in a new age. At this crucial time, the form of practice of e-poetry that interests me has this focus and is invigorated by a mission to interrogate the possibilities for the new media innovation”

Loss Pequeño Glazier

  • Incorporation of media and reading/writing technologies into poetry making, in order to rethink technology, poetry and their relation
  • Electing precursors, proposing genealogies
strategies and resources explored
Strategies and resources explored


“Letters Demand Things”, Micheal Medsen

“Clues”, Robert Kendall

“Click Poetry”, David Knoebel

“I am simply saying”, Deena Larsen

Mez, Mary-Anne Breeze

“Cog”, Loss Pequeño Glazier

“The Dreamlife of letter”, “Kluge”, Brian Kim Stefans:

Google does poetry

“Get a Google Poem”, Leevi Lehto,

“1:1 (2)”, Lisa Jevbratt

“Ambient Fish”, Caroline Bergvall

  • Hypertext
  • Interactivity
  • Game-like action
  • Various multimedia elements
  • Aleatory creations
  • Computer generated texts
  • Exploration of aspects of networked environment
  • (Rickey and Beaulieu:)
  • e-distribution
  • e-publishing
  • e-translation
  • e-poetry
  • Other terms:
  • new media poetry/new media poetics
  • digital poetry
  • cybertext
  • ergodic poetry: requires a "non-trivial effort" to traverse the text. This effort must be extranoematic, that is, it must consist of more than simply reading by moving one's eyes along lines of text, turning pages and mentally interpreting what one reads. The term was coined by Espen Aarseth in his book Cybertext--Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, and is derived from the Greek words ergon, meaning "work" and hodos, meaning "path". (Ubuweb listserv)
critical issues
Critical issues
  • Subjectivity/authorship, specially in computer/algorithm generated texts
  • code and poetry
  • “Uniqueness” of display
  • describing/searching aesthetic experiences in specific situation of data transmission/retrieving (“transcendental data” hypothesis, sublime. Liu)
  • Author/reader relationship
  • reading experience
  • what is new in new media poetry
  • electronic poetry or electronic poetry (role of language in more conceptual works.)
  • “poetics of click and drag” (Perloff)
“Chopsticks can either be a simple eating utensil or a deadly weapon, depending on who uses them”
  • Bill Viola (apud Perloff)