KPCC aired a program on their “Cyberfrequencies” segment today about the relationship between poetry and new media — particularly, Twitter. Having read a previous post on this site about the inherent disconnect I sense between the always-on babble-stream of new media, and the deliberate relationship to language I crave in poetry, producer Jackson Musker asked me to weigh in. You can listen to an audio archive of the show on the KPCC website (6 minutes, 48 seconds.) You can also listen to audio of Tao Lin, Katie Peterson, and me reading poems on the Cyberfrequencies website.
In the radio show, I essentially came out as a naysayer about the idea that technology presents a golden age of opportunity for poetry itself. That is, while I have found tremendous value in being able to connect with fellow poets and poetry aficionados through the web, I see poetry itself as an antidote, in so many ways, to what this technology does to our attention span, our relationship to language, and our understanding of ourselves. Still, my views on technology and poetry, having spent most of my adult life immersed in both, are far more subtle than can be expressed in a few short audio clips.
It is a topic, in fact, that I would love to see given the treatment of, say, the half-hour BBC 4 radio program “The Atheist and The Bishop.” Fortunately, however, this brief segment does bring up some interesting points on all sides — and, thanks to new media, this dialog can now continue — in blog posts, comments, and tweets. So, what did you think of the show?