Next Generation: On the Verge of Electronic Poetry but not quite. The Case of Women Poets in Spain.

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In a world overloaded with information, a Google search with the Spanish words "mujer, poesía, tecnología” does not produce any result integrating the three of them. It would look as if the conjunction of those three terms remits to an empty signifier, an incongruous combination. However, for Spanish critics dedicated to exploring these crossroads, to study the ways in which we have used technology as a tool of poetic exploration, of inquiry about our new prosthetic identity, this scarcity only denotes a space out of field, existing but outside the focus of interest of a culture increasingly mercantilist and vacuous.

This contribution will trace the connections, interstices and points of friction among these three keywords: “woman”, “poetry” and “technology” in the Spanish poetry scene. It will pay homage to the most relevant voices of electronic poetry in Spanish from a feminist perspective that will explore the broken lines of a phantom genealogy of artists interested in the field of technological and poetical exploration. Encompassing both the works of pioneering artists and writers of electronic poetry, such as Tina Escaja, Belén Gache and María Mencía, as well as poems from performance circuits, spoken word and poetic recitals by authors who have made brief inroads into the terrain of electronic poetry, like Miriam Reyes or María Salgado, through code poets, such as Belén García Nieto, this essay wants to draw a scenario of the new paths opened by restless, daring, and curious women in the late nineties and first decades of the 21st century.

We will also address the difficulty found in perpetuating in the present generation of female poets a productive and sustained interest in the field of electronic poetry. Where the previous generation challenged the limits established by genres, disciplines, and codes to colonize a space in which technology was at the service of their own voice, many young poets today purposefully reject any trace of technological manipulation in their writing, as if the slightest contamination coming from the digital domain would tinge their poems with the unwanted mark of a quickly receding actuality. Through the use of interviews to prominent poets and the literary analysis of a selection of works, we will discuss the present situation faced today by female poets who want to gain a reputation in the literary field, and the role played by the division between the technophile clique and the neo-ruralist or neo-pastoralist advocates in Spanish contemporary poetry.

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Jorge Sáez Jimé...