Sunday, March 25, 2007

Poetry of the Future?

Way back in the day, Walt Whitman wrote his polemic on what he feels poetry will be in the future. He wanted it out of the drawing room and into the wilderness. He wanted it to be of the people and for the people. He wanted it to represent life. That was good for the end of the nineteenth century. But what about the end of the twentieth century, beginning of the twenty first century?

One of my classmates from my online teaching literacy class sent us a link to a web journal based on teaching media literacy in the class room, called Kairos. Within an issue from 1999, they have a hypertext poetry project by Cheryl Ball. It is a series of poems linked through images. You click on the images in order to progress the poem. You can, if you choose, press them in any order and create new poems.

When I was in grad school, we had to read Marshall McLuhan and I was all about the changing of media to fit the message. But seeing this little early glimpse into a web poetry project, I wonder if there is a new genre out there that I have missed out on. Surely, we have enough technology to create truly web interactive poetry in a way that can be artistically interesting and unique.

So I did a little researching. Apparently, the term hypertext poetry is passe. It is E-Poetry now. Anyway, there is an E-Poetry Festival, this year in France. There is an E-Poetry Center out of SUNY Buffalo. I am going to continue to research, because for me, this helps me to see the possibilities in what I write.