Digital Poetry and Critical Discourse: A Network of Self-References?


This article emerges from macroanalysis of several works of critical writing in the field of digital poetry, which have been documented in the ELMCIP Knowledge Base. The problems addressed in this context are the self-referentiality exhibited by authors who are both practitioners and theoreticians, and the need for a wider selection of digital poems in critical discourse. The dataset consists of monographs and Ph.D. dissertations on digital poetry (1995-2015), which have been exported into visualization software. Macro and network analyses enable new debate concerning the outlined problems and new findings. My findings suggest that criticism in this domain is chiefly endogenous and that a limited number of poems is being canonized. Therefore, a meta-discourse perspective can pave the way for an external view of the field, concerning its epistemology and evolution. The dataset is available online for download and can be tested and reconsidered by other researchers.


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Author Biography

Álvaro Seiça, University of Bergen
Álvaro Seiça is a writer, editor and researcher. He published four poetry books, the most recent being Ö (2014) and permafrost: 20+1 zeptopoemas sms (2012). He holds a MA in Contemporary American Literature, with the thesis “Transduction: Transfer Processes in Digital Literature and Art” (University of Évora, 2011), winner of the Moser Prize 2013. Seiça has published several poems and essays in different journals. In 2007, he co-founded Bypass, a nomadic editorial and curatorial project. He currently lives in Bergen, Norway, where he is a PhD fellow in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Humanities Faculty, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies. Seiça is a researcher on electronic literature and digital art at the Bergen Electronic Literature Research Group and editor of the ELMCIP KB ( His PhD project focus on digital poetry and how time and space shape digital kinetic poetics. @AlvaroSeica


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How to Cite
SEIÇA, Álvaro. Digital Poetry and Critical Discourse: A Network of Self-References?. MATLIT: Materialities of Literature, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 95-123, feb. 2016. ISSN 2182-8830. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 mar. 2018. doi:
Secção Temática | Thematic Section


electronic literature; digital poetry; network analysis; literature and technology