This is just a simple post asking a simple question (and some related ones): Where is electronic poetry / digital poetry / e-poetry / generative poetry / computational poetry being published online? Are there any journals or blogs specializing in it or making space for it? Or is it all scattered here and there and difficult to find?

And, just to be clear, the poetry I’m concerned with here is that which is composed in concert with generative or algorithmic processes, remixes existing or online text (scraped via APIs, for example) to some degree, is interactive, or is visually designed/implemented with coding or software that animates or automates some part of the work. It could also be some kind of sound poetry that uses filters or automation in some artistic way. (Yikes, is that actually clear? I hope so.) Basically, not just regularly (human-only) written poetry put in a JPEG or posted in any of the usual ways to the internet.

I pose this question as a long-time participant in this creative “genre,” if it can be called that (perhaps “endeavor” or “approach” would be better), who was heavily involved for many years with one of the few engaged group blogs that I know of that centered around computational poetry, Gnoetry Daily, and has published three chapbooks of digital/computational poetry.

I ask as an avid reader of new books and works of digital/computational poetry, as well as other areas of digital art like generative art, which I am also become more and more engaged in. There are frequently a couple of new books of poetry written by or in collaboration with computer processes published every year or so. (I plan to review a couple of recent books from Anteism Books, for example, in the next few months.)

I mean, of all people, shouldn’t I be capable of answering this question? I have Google, right? And many keywords and combinations. But they tend to just find electronic poetry centers/repositories, electronic/digital journals of non-computational poetry, or “digital poetry activities” for students. And some cool scholarly articles on “computational creativity” sometimes. That’s all great stuff, but not what I want: to be inspired, to see that there is a community of writers working in this vein, perhaps to find collaborators.

But I am isolated in my apartment, and just crawling and scratching my way out of several years of life shit / depression / writer’s block / dark night of the soul. And I can be such a stubborn loner. I can’t do everything alone, right?

So, hey, if any of you other electronic poetry enthusiasts out there stumble upon this, please, Please, PLEASE, drop of comment or link or something. I’d love to make a list.

And shameless promotion is highly encouraged 🙂

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I first became aware of Scantily Clad Press in March when Chad directed me to Stan Apps’ chapbook Grover Fuel. I didn’t take much notice of the press, as the chapbook was up on Issuu and I wasn’t too curious at the time to look any further.

The chapbooks in their catalog, though, testify to a fairly radical/edgy editorial aesthetic, far more interesting than most of the poetry you can get in journals these days. If you’re looking for poets-with-names (in post-avant/flarf/whatever circles at least), you can read some new work by Nada Gordon or, if you haven’t yet, Stan Apps. But there’s plenty of work from poets you haven’t heard of for you to discover, too.

I’m sending them a manuscript today, so maybe there’ll be another unheard-of there to read soon.

Cross yer fingers.

A print anthology of web literature: makes me wonder how threatened print culture really is by the growing online publishing movement (it still is).  It looks like a good way to survey some new online journals and see some great work (I hope – it’s still in the mail).  It’s hard to find a lot of journals, especially as the go up and shut down so frequently.

I’d be happy to see a web version of this kind of thing online for free.  Maybe I’ll do something like that myself over the next year.  Labor of love.

[Update 2009: The book was a major disappointment to me. It would have you believe the same kind of writing you find in the Best American Poetry and Best American Fiction is the best of what you’ll get online. Terribly out of step with innovative writing on the internet, but this may mostly reflect a problem with online journals more than the editors of this book.]

I’ve been doing some research lately to find journals that seem receptive to the kind of writing I’m doing now. I’ve never published before; I’ve never even submitted. I just sent out 5 subscriptions this week to some journals to see what their content is typically like. A few them I have little hope of getting published in, but I want them all the same for the pleasure of reading new poetry that’s actually interesting and exciting, something that is difficult to find in the Midwest (and often anywhere else).

So, my list of print journal hopefuls:

  • Phoebe
  • No: A Journal of the Arts
  • Combo Magazine
  • Fence
  • New American Writing

And print journals I’m subscribed to that either don’t except open submissions or seem a bit out of my league, but I subscribe to for pleasure:

  • Chicago Review
  • SHINY
  • Abraham Lincoln

And while I’m in the listing mode, here are online journal hopefuls, though I need to do more research on the submission policies of these journals, and find more of them:

  • NOÖ Journal
  • ecopoetics
  • Exquisite Corpse
  • MiPoesias / Ocho

I’m not bothering to put links here in this post. All of these journals and others are located in the left sidebar under either Lit Journals or Literature.

A friend of mine in fiction has asked me about online fiction journals, but I honestly have not looked into them much. If any readers can comment any good journals of this kind, I’d be very grateful. I’ll put them up here with the others.

It’s Shampoo: a poetry magazine. I was looking for a listing of K. Silem Mohammad’s books, and I found two poems of his from Shampoo 14, October 2002. Honestly, I came to blog right after I found the mag, so don’t blame me if you don’t like it. I haven’t formed an opinion yet. It’s been going for a good while now, web-wise.

abrahamlincoln1.jpgOn a related note, I’ve made it most of the way through the delightful and often bawdy content of Abraham Lincoln #1, edited by K. Silem Mohammad and Anne Boyer. It describes itself as “42 JUICY PAGES of poetry printed on the cheapest paper available and clumsily stapled for your reading pleasure,” an assessment I fully agree with. The first issue appears to be sold out now, but I highly recommend getting future issues. A subscription’s cheap, and it’s a great read, if you like that kind of thing (and I do).

So I’ve found another great online journal. NOÖ Journal, around since 2005, describes itself as a free literary and political print/online journal distributed all over, based out of California and Massachusetts,” whose “mission is to encourage mainstream readers to reconnect with literature and diverse critical thinking.”

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Aside from the unusual (these days) mixture of political prose and literary works, what most caught my attention was their Bad Poetry fundraiser that’s running right now. For only a $2 donation, you can have either K. Silem Mohammad, Bryan Coffelt, or Tao Lin write a bad poem on a subject of your choosing and email it to you as a pdf. How cool is that?

I guess it’s a good day for web finds.

I just found this online poetry journal, Jacket, that promises to be, at the least, a very interesting read. All the previous “issues” are linked at the top of the page, archived for your liberal perusal.

The feature in the newest issue, Jacket 33, is a collective book review of Brenda Hillman’s Pieces of Air in the Epic, out last month in paperback. Twent-Four authors give a short review that focuses on one of the poems in the book. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

I don’t have too much time tonight to look at it more closely. I’ll work up a more experienced impression later.