Robert Kendall has been writing electronic poetry since 1990. He is the author of the book-length hypertext poem A Life Set for Two (Eastgate Systems) and other electronic works published at BBC Online, Iowa Review Web, Cortland Review, Eastgate Hypertext Reading Room, ELO Electronic Literature Collection, Cauldron & Net, and other Web sites. His electronic poetry has been exhibited at many venues in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia, and he has given interactive readings of his work in many cities. His printed book of poetry, A Wandering City, was awarded the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, and he has received a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, a New Forms Regional Grant, and other awards. He has taught electronic poetry and fiction for the New School University’s online program since 1995.
“Faith” is a kinetic poem that reveals itself in five successive states. Each new state is overlaid onto the previous one, incorporating the old text into the new. Each new state absorbs the previous one while at the same time engaging in an argument with it. The gradual textual unfolding is choreographed to music. The structural constraints that enable this multilayer textual overlay constitute a born-digital formal alternative to such traditional structures as the sonnet or villanelle.