New Directions in Digital Poetry

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
Journal volume and issue: 
Volume 1
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Abstract (in English): 

As poets continue to use digital media technology, functionalities of computing extend aesthetic possibilities in documents focusing attention on crafting verbal content. Utility of these machines and tools enables multiple types of compounded articulation (combinations of verbal, visual, animated, and interactive elements). Building larger public awareness of the mechanics of digital poetry, New Directions in Digital Poetry aspires to influence the formation of writing with media in literary society of the future, specifically as a record of a particular technological era.

Emerging from these studies is that digital poetry as a WWW-based, networked form happens 'in stages', 'on stages'. Few works require singular responses from viewers — both composition of works and viewing them are processes involving multiple steps and visual scenarios. For anyone interested in the interplay of poetry and technology, this book provides an informed look at digital poetry in its contemporary state. In the process of performing “close readings,” Funkhouser makes suggestions and provides methods for viewing works, for audiences perhaps unfamiliar with mechanical and semiotic conventions being used.

Pull Quotes: 

This book records a specific moment in the genre's continuum, when it has arrived on a global, multimedia computer network for the first time.

Resistance the investigating more fully digital poetry's ramifications and merits perhaps results from the fact that digital poems intensely challenge the comfort and confidence of a readership used to the page where a poetic document sits still and can be fully absorbed. With electronic works, however, such luxuries rarely exist.

[I]n this new poetic paradigm, words do not surrender their power but instead share it with that of other expressive elements, and reading now happens on multiple registers.

Evidence provided in the case studies suggests digital poetry usually requires 'deep attention' in addition to 'hyper attention'.

New Directions in Digital Poetry cover
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Scott Rettberg