|Article 4 - for Poetry Review Vol. 86 No. 4 Winter 1996/97|
Regular readers will know that there's a plethora of Web sites hosting new poetry, electronic magazines, or archives of established poetry. What I haven't mentioned is the emergence of hypertext poetry, which the Web hasn't exactly invented, but has made much more widely available. Hypertext is the concept of clicking on highlighted words to bring up other, related text; hypertext poetry is where the text in question is a poem. One of the gurus of the form is Robert Kendall, whose own page at 1 contains a good introduction to the genre. More information can be found at or
Eastgate Systems, at http://www.eastgate.com/ is a commercial outfit producing software for generating hypertext. Their site always has examples, and you can subscribe to their (free) e-mail newsletter which has news of hypertext projects (and plugs for their software, of course).
So much for theory: what about the practice? One simple possibility is to provide pointers to background material, as is done with Carroll's Jabberwocky at. More innovative are efforts to make hypertext an intrinsic element of the poetry, such as the linked poems at and the epigrammatic verse at
Jim Rosenberg at http://www.well.com/user/jer/ uses a somewhat different technique he calls 'intergrams' which is probably pushing the current technology. I'm not sure if the meditative Chinese stuff at http://www.aloha.com/~craven/dovered.html really counts as hypertext poetry, but it's certainly different.
You can find more links to hypertext theory, and examples of it, in Tom Beard's Library,
Regular readers will also know that I don't think much of usenet newsgroups. That bit of copy (from Vol. 86 No. 2) found its way onto thegroup, but I didn't get flamed, worse luck. But Douglas Clark takes me to task for saying he's English, rather than British. Sorry, Douglas. Other complaints to ...
Copyright © Peter Howard 1996-2004