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Poetry Guide: Digital Poetry

Digital poetry refers to a wide range of approaches to poetry that all have in common prominent and crucial use of computers. Digital poetry can be available on the World Wide Web or Internet (via email lists, for instance), CD ROM, as installations in art galleries, etc. A significant portion of current publications of poetry are available either only online or via some combination of online and offline publication. There are many types of 'digital poetry' such as hypertext, kinetic poetry, code poetry, and poetries that take advantage of the programmable nature of the computer to create works that are interactive, or are generative of text, or involve sound poetry, or take advantage of things like listservs, blogs, and other forms of network communication to create communities of collaborative writing and publication (as in poetical wikis).

Digital computers allow the creation of art that spans different media: text, images, sounds, and interactivity via programming. Contemporary poetries have, therefore, taken advantage of this toward the creation of works that synthesize both arts and media. Whether a work is poetry or visual art or music or programming is sometimes not clear, but we expect an intense engagement with language in poetical works.

Further reading