Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are E-Readers and Poetry Incompatible?

That's the question posed, recently, by the Washington Post.

From the story...

Form is essential to the art, Miller says. Line breaks, stanza breaks and pacing — that’s the poetry; otherwise it’s just words. And form, he says, is precisely what gets lost when poems get converted to e-readers, which is why Miller doesn’t publish on e-readers. He says they don’t honor his work.
That’s a widespread feeling among his fellow poets and a debate that can pit poetry purists against futurists. “The technology has to get it right,” says Miller. Or poets won’t use it. 

“Right now, we’re talking about conversion of print files to digital files and the greatest issue is in the poetry community,” says Ira Silverberg, director of literature for the National Endowment for the Arts. “If you’re working on a Kindle or Nook or Kobo device, and you shoot up a page, you lose the line breaks depending on how you’ve formatted your preferences.”

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