7 junio, 2024

Virtual poetry: what it is, characteristics, types, elements, authors

What is virtual poetry or cyberpoetry?

The virtual poetry or cyberpoetry is a new form of artistic expression arising from the union of this ancient literary genre with the new possibilities offered by digital technology.

In 1868 the Count de Lautréamont (1846-1870), in his book The songs of Maldoror, defined beauty as “the fortuitous meeting, on a dissection table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella”. A little more than a century later, beauty can be found in the not so fortuitous meeting of the poetic word with the keyboard or the mouse of a computer.

Cyberpoetry uses digital technological resources, equipment and social networks, and tries to explore and take advantage of the new possibilities around hypertext, the infinite links and associations and the handling of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images.

The use of these resources, which break the barrier between the poet and the reader, and which sometimes renounces or takes the use of verbal language to the background, has called into question the poetic nature of this artistic form, which some consider more close to the world of plastic arts.

Characteristics of virtual poetry or cyberpoetry

It is the product of the interaction of digital technology and poetic creation.

The creator uses the resources of the digital age to create a poetic space. This involves computers, software, applications, etc.

Its background is the poetic avant-garde of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cyberpoetry does not emerge as an absolute novelty, but is linked to a poetic tradition that goes back to French poets such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Guillaume Apollinaire, and artistic movements such as Dadaism, Surrealism and Concrete Poetry, among others.

Establishes a new relationship between creators and receivers

Cyberpoetry makes it possible to intervene and modify creations: exchange verses, vary links or alter images.

Poetic creation is continuous and collective

The poetic experience, thanks to the connectivity of networks and aspects such as simultaneity, has fostered activities that involve creators from different countries building a work that can be modified over time.

Adaptation to programs and applications

The poetic genre has managed to adapt to different formats of digital networks, such as «e-poems», using emails, or digital poetry on networks such as Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp.

Requires access to technology

For its creation or enjoyment it is necessary to have equipment such as computers, tablets or smartphones.

It is related to plastic arts, theater and graphic design.

Due to its interactive nature and its work beyond the content of a text, also worrying about form and space, cyberpoetry can be related to and even confused with contemporary currents of plastic arts and theatrical forms such as performance.

Types of cyberpoetry

The variety of forms, formats and styles that cyberpoetry can adopt makes it difficult to classify. We list here some types mentioned in publications such as the collaborative digital encyclopedia Wikipedia.

hypertext poetry

It is that poetry that uses different links (words that refer to other pages and texts, existing on the network).

poetry in tweets

The poetic genre is perfectly adapted to the brevity and limits of networks such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram or Instagram.

Visual poetry

He uses images and plays with shapes, moving away from the prominence of words, and sometimes he is closer to the world of design than to poetry.

animated poetry

Also called poetry in motion. They are poetic texts that are transformed, both in the visual image and in the content.


It involves the use of more complex equipment to recreate three-dimensional spaces or the use of holograms.

self generated poems

They are poems generated through programs and applications on computers and other electronic equipment. Through these programs, words and verses are combined to make poems.

virtual poetry

They are texts and images through which you can navigate, using programs that allow you to access virtual reality spaces.

ascii poetry

He uses for his creations signs and symbols of the ASCII code (the American Standard Code for the Interchange of Information, for its acronym in English).

Elements of virtual poetry

electronic equipment

To do cyberpoetry it is essential to have access to equipment such as computers, tablets, smartphones and other accessories. Initially it seemed like an art for minorities, but today, with the global expansion of social media and its access through multiple teams, it has become easily accessible to everyone.

Programs and applications

The degree of training and technological knowledge of a cyberpoet varies according to the type of cyberpoetry he wants to practice. Writing short poems on Twitter, or using ASCII code, is not the same as establishing interfaces or creating holograms.

networks and spaces

Cyberpoetry is present in different social networks, in blogs and web pages dedicated to new artistic forms. It is also possible to find it in physical spaces, in digital or virtual art exhibitions, all over the world.

Authors and works

Belén Gache (Argentina, 1960)

This Argentine-Spanish poet was a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires, and currently lives and works in Madrid, Spain. She is the author of wordstoys (1996-2006), electronic and audiovisual poetry.

Eugenio Tiselli (Mexico)

This Mexican artist is a computer systems engineer from the Technological Institute of Higher Studies of Monterrey. Of his electronic work we highlight MIDIPoet (1999), a combination of two programs, Composer and Interpreter, which allow manipulating texts and images to create digital poetry.

Eduardo Navas (El Salvador)

Artist, teacher, writer and historian, the Salvadoran poet Eduardo Navas is the founder and editor of Net Art Review. Of his digital work we can mention his project Selected Poems in D3 Force Layout (2015).

Mirtha Dermisache (Argentina, 1940-2012)

With a digital work that moves between literature and the plastic arts, this Argentine artist impressed intellectuals such as Roland Barthes with her works, called “graphisms”.

Helen Thorington (United States, 1928)

Composer, writer, producer and radio director, this American poet has experimented with cyberpoetry, with projects like I will lonely (1998).

Jim Andrews (Canada)

This Canadian visual poet, essayist and programmer has been on the web since 1996 with his page vispo.com (Vispo is the result of the union of the words Visual and Poet). On the net you can find his visual poems in collaboration with the poet Bill Bisset.


Cardet, JA (2007). Poetic resources on the net: Internet as a tool for reading and poetic creation. Taken from lasombradelmembrillo.com.
Heick, T. (2012). Digital Poetry. New forms for ancient art. Taken from edutopia.org.
Velasco, H. (2019). From Apollinaire to the cyberpoets. Taken from eluniversal.com.mx.
Cyberpoetry (2021). Taken from es.wikipedia.org.
Electronic Literature (2021). Taken from sociedadlunar.org.

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