Thursday, August 28, 2008

Writers festival supports live poetry publishing via Twitter

As if to chastise me for my previous complaint about the Melbourne Writers Festival's use of archaic online tools to engage with its participants, I was reminded of a rather exciting multi-platform digital initiative the Festival is supporting: short poetry published via Twitter and so to your mobile phone.

RMIT creative writing students and staff are publishing very short poetry via Twitter – very short because Twitter only allows 140 characters (that's characters, not words) under its format. I think the shortness of Twitter updates is a great discipline and some of the poems so far have been quite fun. And very clever:
A guide dog soaked my leg in pee. His seeing eyes grinned up at me. The blind man laughed until he cried. I think they saw the funny side.
Andrew Masters
A number of the poets have gone with the haiku form, and I admire them for trying. I would love to learn to write in that form.
Heavy air rasps across a bruised sky, the spinifex shivers. A swarm of grass seeds dances with sandy red soil. Storm comes.
– by Raphaelle Race
If you're a Twitter user, you can subscribe to the poetry 'tweets' and elect to have them sent to your mobile phone via SMS – thus making it multi-platform. I'm loathe to get any Twitter updates via SMS to my mobile, so I'm preferring the slow method of checking my tweets via the web and various other clients.

Although the grunt and know-how is obviously coming from the RMIT students and staff, MWF should be congratulated for supporting such a novel medium. Would be nice if they gave it a bit more prominence on their website and program in future.

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At August 28, 2008 11:58 am, Blogger Kirsty said...

On your recommendation I've started following the RMIT poets. It's kind of nice to be able to absorb some of the MWF from afar.


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