Season 2 | Episode 10: "Versing"

This episode of Zeugma is dedicated to poetry. Axel Bohmann explores how technology has shaped and continues to shape the market for poetry but also its form, content, and methods of composition. He interviews poet and UT graduate student Jeff Boruszak about his experience at PennSound and his research on digital poetry. Axel also interviews Ryan Bender-Murphy, author of First Man on Mars and founder/director of Hardly Doughnuts. Finally, we experiment with poetry in the medium of digital sound by remediating two poems: "Bus Ride Somewhere" by Ryan Bender-Murphy and "It Has a Face" by Logan Fry.

You can stream the episode below; you can also download it via iTunes and LibSyn.

Image credit: "Photo365 #13 - Quit now, and cake will be served immediately" by GuySie, shared under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

What does poetry care about technology? Well, a great deal. First, poetry is a technology itself that questions, shapes, and is shaped by other technologies. It also relies on technology for production, preservation, access and dissemination. This episode of Zeugma discusses all these elements.

In an interview with Jeff Boruszak, we hear about the PennSound archive, a website dedicated to making poetry recordings accessible to a wide audience. Jeff also discusses the conceptualism and flarf schools of poetry, and of course Emoji Dick. Jeff is a graduate student at UT's English Department and works for PennSound and Jacket2.

But poets don't need to turn to algorithmic writing and chance-based composition to feel the importance of technology for their work. Ryan Bender-Murphy is a poet from Austin who has recently launched an online poetry journal, Hardly Doughnuts, that "seeks to publish challenging poetry that not only believes in the power of image and narrative, but also understands how to break these things in wonderfully strange ways." Ryan talks about the volume of poetry, the magic of glitches, and the place of the human in relation to technology and art. His work has appeared in Anti-, Front Porch, Phantom Limb, and Spork, among others. His chapbook of poems, First Man on Mars, was released by Phantom Limb Press in July, 2013.

Finally, to think this through with his own hands, Axel takes a shot at remediating two poems for this Zeugma episode. Ryan Bender-Murphy's "Bus Ride Somewhere" and Logan Fry's "It Has a Face." Logan lives in Austin, TX and edits Flag + Void with Matthew Moore. He is a reviewer for The Volta 365, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly; Columbia Poetry Review, Forklift, Ohio; The Cultural Society; and Best American Experimental Writing 2014.

This episode of Zeugma features the songs "Welcome to the Terror Dome (Instrumental)" by Public Enemy, "Hardcore Agressive Rap/HipHop/Metal/Underground/Freestyle/Battle Instrumental Beat" by RandomRapBeats, "Tale for Mind" by Coldnoise (license: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), and “Song for D. Boon” by Art of Flying (license: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).