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This review is taken from PN Review 183, Volume 35 Number 1, September - October 2008.

POETRY 2.0 New Media Poetics, edited by Adalaide Morris and Thomas Swiss (The MIT Press)

Recent years have seen the growth of websites which emphasise the user's role rather than the web-designer's. Sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter provide a level of instant interactivity which has become known in the trade as Web 2.0. New Media Poetics attempts to chart the way in which the same level of interactivity has entered the world of new media poetry and tries to create a language of discourse for new media poetry as distinct from previous studies of literary hyper-text, computer games and the first wave of new media poetry. And to some extent this collection is successful in its attempt, although it is possible to see some of the chapters as doing more to promote the existence of the writer's website or their work than actually adding to the greater discussion. Still, it is an important collection emerging, as it does, from the developments of what has been touted as the 'second internet boom'.

The mid-to-late 1990s saw a huge growth in the use of computers, networking, and the birth and boom of the internet. This was mirrored in literature by the use of such technology to create new ways of presenting both stories and poems, which was in turn accompanied by the production of critical texts examining these new forms of literature. As a result it is impossible, even now, to talk about the subject of hyper-media without referring to Michael Joyce's afternoon, Janet Murray's ...


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