A festival that combines electronic technology with poetry is coming to the West Virginia University campus. The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and Center for Literary Computing will play host to an international digital poetry festival titled”E-Poetry 2003”on April 23-26.


“E-Poetry 2003,”which has drawn participants from countries such as Brazil, England, Germany, Russia and the United States, is the second event in the international E-Poetry series. Directed by Loss Pequeño Glazier of the University of Buffalo and Sandy Baldwin, WVU assistant professor of English, the festival will provide an artistic and scholarly series of events in the spirit of some of the early poetry festivals.


Baldwin, director of the WVUCenter for Literary Computing, a research arm of the Department of English, explains that electronic poetry uses digital technology as a way of facilitating and enhancing poetry and its meaning.


Electronic poetry is a diverse field that features scholars and artists that work in networked and programmable media, kinetic/visual works, hypertext and multiple practices in digital media. Some artists of electronic poetry use animation to give their poetry a desired meaning, while others use complex algorithms and computer programming.


For example, one of Glaziers electronic poems combines a variety of phrases from different languages into a single poem using Java. The programming refreshes the poem at a predetermined interval and rearranges the words and phrases, changing the meaning of the poem.


The international event will display nearly 40 experts in the field of electronic poetry. Artists like Glazier will discuss practical issues in the field and display their diverse works.


“The series allows artists the opportunity to engage the state of their art and to advance its possibilities through dialogue, performance and peer interaction,”Baldwin said.”Were aiming for more of a festival atmosphere than that of a conference because it emphasizes the great works that are out there, not just a focus on theoretical works.”


The festival will begin in the evening of April 23 with an opening reception and poetry readings in the Mountainlairs Rhododendron Room. The next three days will be filled with papers and roundtable discussions in the Mountainlairs Mountaineer Room, followed by evening readings and performances at a variety of destinations such as 123 Pleasant Street and the Monongalia Arts Center.


The festival, made possible through support from the West Virginia Humanities Council and Eberly College, is free and open to the public. Additional information may be found at the festivals two Web sites atwww.clc.wvu.edu/epoetryandwww.epc.buffalo.edu/e-poetry.