The Creative Side of Twitter

Since I have spent a while discussing the nasty side of Twitter and its submission to illiberal speech laws, I thought I would introduce a bit of balance by pasting a recent Storify I created for English PEN.

Twitter Poetry

Following several cases of people being prosecuted for poor taste jokes posted on social media, the DDP will launch a consultation on the use of social media. This is clearly a free expression issue, and English PEN will respond to the consultation.

Storified by English PEN · Thu, Oct 18 2012 07:33:12

Something we’ve been meaning to ask for a while: Are there good examples of Twitter PEOTRY out there? Where Twitter is the original format?English PEN
The reason we’re asking is we’re thinking about the DPP consultation on social media. We want to cite literary examples, not tasteless jokesEnglish PEN
@englishpen There’s a few examples of Twitter poetry on @internet_poetry – quite an international platformAlex MacDonald
Indeed it is.  The website is available by following this link.  An example from the stream is below.
image macro by dairytwirlinternetpoetry
@englishpen – @InuaEllams runs workshops on Twitter poetryNia Davies
@niapolly @englishpen this is true… The closest fitting I can think of is Haiku, but there are a few experiments / ways of using twitterInua Ellams
@niapolly @englishpen …language: hash tags etc to drive meaning and humour.Inua Ellams
@englishpen check out @7×20 ‘For your very very very short literature needs’James Schwartz
We have, here.  Two other suggestions.
@inuaellams @englishpen yes and @BillHerbert knows how to make good #hashtagbrowniesNia Davies
@englishpen did anyone suggest @mrskimyadawson ‘s haiku account? @kimyadawson575 #twitterpoetrykatbite
We also inadvertently discovered that spelling mistakes make you popular on twitter. Many people RT’d and favourited the following correction:
And by PEOTRY we of course mean POETRY. Apologise for teh spolling mistook.English PEN
Like ‘spolling mistook’ very much indeed. RT @englishpen: And by PEOTRY we of course mean POETRY. Apologise for teh spolling mistook.Fiona Thompson
@englishpen shame. thought it was an oblique reference to @reelmolesworththe rotter
@rotterdammerung @reelmolesworth Grr. We hate it when we let an apt literary reference slip past us…English PEN
@englishpen @raliel Ah I take it you do mean peotry – but what is peotry though? So that we can be helpful to you. #prose #ohdearJC
Wow. A lot of people have favourited our ‘spolling mistook’ tweet. The most popular of its ilk since our accidental ‘proze’ pun.English PEN

One Reply to “The Creative Side of Twitter”

  1. Robert,
    Although this is not to do with Twitter as a platform, Twitter poetry as a literary form does exist, and not necessarily in English.
    There is a radio programme called ‘Y Talwrn’, which runs on BBC Radio Cymru, and is a weekly poetry competition between two teams (you can read some background on it in an article I wrote for the Transdiffusion broadcasting history site a few years ago: ).
    Under a new Chairman-cum-adjudicator this year, one of the new rounds introduced has been the ‘Trydargerdd’ or ‘Twitterverse’, in which the competitors have to compose a poem on a stated topic using no more than 140 characters.
    The results have been a bit hit-and-miss (probably because it’s a new idea which the poets haven’t necessaryily quite got their heads around yet) but it shows that the idea of ‘compressed poetry’ can work.
    Nigel Stapley
    (a.k.a. ‘TheJudge’ on LibCon)

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