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Help me find the Internet Poets
March 2, 2009 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the Internet Poets!

So I can think of lots of examples of prose literature making use of internet culture and structure - ARGs, fake blogs, novels like Geoff Ryan's 731, etc.

But I can't think of anyone doing a similar kind of thing with poetry. Surely there are lots of fun things a poet can do - such as including random links/gif/videos in a poem to deepen its meaning.

So is there anyone out there doing this?
posted by low_horrible_immoral to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
I did something like this back in college. I had certain words take you to a site. The fun part was I could reference some pretty obscure imagery, and for those not in the know, it would be possible to hit the link and figure out what I was talking about.

The problem with doing this, is that you produce a pretty crappy poem, and the links outdate.

I have quite a few poetry site bookmarked and I can't think of anyone doing anything along what you are describing. Some flash movies is about the best I can think of.

Language is a Virus
Poetry Podcasting
posted by cjorgensen at 9:03 AM on March 2, 2009


Flarf makes extensive use of the internet, though I'm not sure that's exactly what you're talking about--they tend to use it more as a generative technique rather than incorporating links etc.

You might also try some searches for "digital poetics," which is the term that this kind of thing seems to fall under. You might also look around UbuWeb (under "Papers" I see at least one essay by Bruce Andrews on electronic poetics, and there may also be some poems that would fall under this category, as well).
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:08 AM on March 2, 2009


Twitter Poetry.
posted by gudrun at 9:08 AM on March 2, 2009


Clive Thompson discussed a couple of internet poets on his blog and championed interactive poetry as an idea whose time has come. (I have my doubts. Sound, specifically the sound of the reader's own voice, is the true medium of poetry, and devices which come between the word and the sound can ultimately only distract from the project of the poem.

Think of a musical score embroidered with "random links/gif/videos." Could those devices be insightful, interesting, artful in themselves? Certainly. Could the creation of such devices be called music? I'm not inclined to think so.)
posted by Iridic at 10:03 AM on March 2, 2009


I've done some poetry with html/javascript hijinks (hiding/revealing bits of text upon mouseover of other text, or even just simple text color = background color so text is hidden until reader selects it), but all of it weak sauce "proof of concept" type stuff. The thing is it's hard to do it well.
posted by juv3nal at 10:04 AM on March 2, 2009


Let me qualify: poetry too is hard to do well, but gimmickry on top of poetry is even harder.
posted by juv3nal at 10:07 AM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and Eastgate Systems has some stuff that is not internet so much as it's interactive/hypertext and it does seem prohibitively priced without some kind of demo, but it exists.
posted by juv3nal at 10:11 AM on March 2, 2009




Ah yes, Born Magazine has some stuff too come to think of it.
posted by juv3nal at 10:21 AM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, thanks everyone! A whole new side to the interwebs has opened up for me. I'm so glad there's stuff like this going on, I couldn't believe that all the creative bods out there weren't making the most of new technology. (Shame in a way though, I wanted to be something of a pioneer.) Some of those blogs look really interesting as well.

oulipian - I am usually not a bad google-fuer but this time searching 'internet poet' was clearly the wrong way to go!

Iridic - Sound, specifically the sound of the reader's own voice, is the true medium of poetry, and devices which come between the word and the sound can ultimately only distract from the project of the poem.

Think of a musical score embroidered with "random links/gif/videos." Could those devices be insightful, interesting, artful in themselves? Certainly. Could the creation of such devices be called music? I'm not inclined to think so.)


Ah, well, there we disagree. I love a well-shaped poem. :-) And an ugly musical score is a blot upon nature. But I would agree that a poem of links in a geocities sense would have to work hard to be properly meaningful and would be in danger of letting signification drain away through the gaps, as it were.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 1:02 PM on March 2, 2009


Search poems.
posted by hot soup girl at 1:31 PM on March 2, 2009


FYI: avast throws a warning for something on hot soup girl's "Search" link.
posted by juv3nal at 1:51 PM on March 2, 2009


This is a very active genre right now; there are a lot of practitioners in the academy. The Electronic Literature Organization is your friend; here is their first "published" collection. You can also check out the Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Hyperrhiz, and the New River Journal. Seconding Eastgate systems too.
posted by media_itoku at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2009


You might also be interested in the Apostrophe Engine. The was a FPP about it.
posted by sleevener at 6:10 PM on March 3, 2009


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