[-empyre-] March:: the future of digital poetry

Jason Nelson heliopod at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 2 16:33:46 EST 2009

Welcome to March…the topic we'll be exploring is “the future
of digital poetry”.
“the future of” is simultaneously a darkly ominous, vaguely
sci-fi and curiously exciting  phrase.
Certainly in these fast changing times with fancy new tech toys, failing
economies, the downfall of print, and an earthquake of possible outcomes
arriving monthly, future speculation is a daily hobby.
With that in mind, can we apply this “future telling” to a
literature/art/theory field/genre that seems as turbulent and ever altering as
the world around us.  Digital Poetry has
risen and fallen rather dramatically in popularity in the past decade (or
more). Even definitions of the genre, once seen as cannon, now appear so dated
and simplistic as to exclude most proclaimed E-Poetry creations. So where does
the future of E-Poetry live?  Adapting
new technologies? Returning to older, simpler forms? Moving away from the
academic arena so many E-Poets call home? Reducing the “text” and emphasizing
the poetics of form and image and interaction?  Where is the field growing and where has it (or will it) fall?
Our discussion will begin with the worrying story of Laura
Borras, the organizer and host for E-Poetry 2009, a winner of numerous grants
for digital literature work, and founder of a major E-Lit international prize.
Despite having tenure, being liked as a teacher and an incredible CV, she was
fired last week, without notice or appeal.  This is a case of both the state of E-Poetry, but the terrifying tale of
what academia might be headed for.
cheers, Jason Nelson


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