Assessing I ♥ E-Poetry

Tomorrow, I will make my 100th posting in this blog after about three months of uninterrupted daily postings. That means that I have read and written about almost 100 works of e-poetry, a genre that I love (as you may have noticed). This occasion leads me reflect upon the goals for this project:

  • To establish a constraint that leads me to read and critically reflect upon a work of e-poetry every day. This way I discover new works and revisit known ones, broadening and deepening my knowledge of the field.
  • To develop an annotated bibliography of e-poetry, tagging it to identify authorship, authoring software or publication format, and textual behaviors (as developed in my dissertation).
  • To expose my readers to e-poetry, providing context (poetic, technological, theoretical), my informed opinion, and some strategies for approaching the work.

This last goal is an important part of my current work as an academic: to broaden the audience base for e-literature, both within and outside of academia. Electronic poetry is an important testing ground for language in digital environments—spaces in which we increasingly create, receive, and disseminate language. Electronic literature is a taste of things to come, as new generations are raised with networked and programmable media as the primary spaces (beyond their bodies) where they find and produce language. It is therefore my duty as an educator to expose my readers to this rich media-specific poetic tradition.

What has been covered thus far in this blog? I began with the Electronic Literature Collections, Vols. 1 & 2, two essential anthologies, carefully selected and curated by prominent scholars and leaders of the Electronic Literature Organization. I am now writing about writers whose work wasn’t included in the Collections: David Knoebel, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (currently reading), BP Nichol, Ana María Uribe, Komninos Zervos, and others. I welcome suggestions of writers and poems to read and write about.

At this stage, I solicit feedback from my readers, especially as letters in which you assess this blogging project and the work I’m doing with it. These letters can take the shape of e-mails sent directly to me (leonardo.flores@upr.edu) or as PDFs of letters addressed to “To whom it may concern.” I am currently gathering documentation for a personnel committee evaluation and wish to include such letters from my readers as a way to validate the project as a contribution to the field. I will be able to include any letter received by Sunday, March 25, 2012.

And thank you all for reading!

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