I ♥ E-Poetry
PI: Leonardo Flores, University of Puerto Rico
Collaborators: Hannelen Leirvag, Cynthia Román, Ian Rolón, Bárbara Bordalejo, Samira Nadkarni, and Luís Claudio Fajardo
Advisory Board: Kathi Inman Berens, Alan Bigelow, and Mark C. Marino
Funding: NEH Collaborative Research Grant (Under Review)
This scholarly blog was launched on December 19, 2011 as a constraint to read and critically reflect upon a work of e-poetry every day, leading me to revisit known works, discover new ones, and expand my knowledge of this emergent poetic genre. Its initial performance was a continuous run of 500 daily entries, completed on May 2, 2013. What started as a personal project rapidly developed an audience, led to publication opportunities, formed partnerships, received a DH Awards nomination resulting in 1st runner up honors, and attracted international attention. In order to best serve its growing audience, I created an Advisory Board and their ideas, guidance, perspective led to a reconceptualization of the project, opening it up to other genres of electronic literature, inviting collaboration and guest contributions through various CFP, and freeing me from daily writing to take on a more editorial role in its production.
I call this reconceptualization phase 2 of the project (officially launched in September 2013) which invites members from the community, including students, to submit entries to respond to several wide open calls for postings (CFPs). From a single-scholar artisanal production, it has grown into a team effort with the addition of three contributors. I also have interns– students who enroll every semester with me in a Digital Humanities Internship course and carry out many activities, such as tagging, reshaping interfaces, correcting link structures, and creating resources for the study of specific genres, publications, and exhibitions. Their activities are documented in the Flores y Compañía site: http://leonardoflores.net/lab.
All these activities happen with zero budget, or rather a minimal investment from my own finances as I pay for private Web hosting and a domain name. Last academic year, I benefitted from being a Fulbright Scholar at University of Bergen and having students volunteer to work on my project. This academic year, as I returned to my home institution, I have competed for and won research release time and seed money to purchase equipment and software to continue these activities. On December 27, 2013 I submitted an NEH Collaborative Research Grants proposal to bring together a team of 19 scholars to collaboratively write 530 I ♥ E-Poetry entries and a book manuscript in a 3-year period. The book would be tentatively titled “A World of E-Literature” and would feature e-lit from Africa, and e-lit produced in several languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Italian, French, and German. If awarded, the grant would provide travel funding and modest stipends for all participants, starting on January 2015.
All this work has been informed by several critical theories, drawn from literary criticism, new media theories, textual scholarship, and the digital humanities. The practice of close reading updated by N. Katherine Hayles’ notion of media-specific analysis is foundational to I ♥ E-Poetry’s methods, as are platform, software, and critical code studies. The e-lit works reviewed are tagged with a typology of textual behavior I created, informed by the work of textual scholars such as Jerome McGann, Peter Shillingsburg, Johanna Drucker, and John Bryant. I ♥ E-Poetry has recently joined the ELO’s Consortium of Electronic Literature (CELL), which seeks to bring together international databases with a global search engine, develop metadata standards, a common taxonomy to describe the works, and maximize interoperability between resources.
I ♥ E-Poetry is critical making: it’s activities have become a starting point for presentations, critical writing, and creative writing (such as my Taroko Gorge remix TransmoGrify).