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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mobile Media Poetics


This paper explores literary uses of mobile media, with a particular emphasis on poetics. Its primary examples include SMS poetry contests sponsored by entities such as The Guardian, RMIT, and Onesixty and SMS-enabled public performances such as City Speak, TXTual Healing, and SimpleTEXT. The paper articulates some of the paradigmatic qualities of mobile media poetics, with a particular emphasis on liveness and ephemerality and commentary on mobility and location as signifying elements. It also suggests that some of the literary and socio-political potential of mobile media poetics can be seen in the shift from the single desktop to the mobile screens of large-scale public interaction. This investigation of mobile media poetics is situated as a partial redress to the seemingly ubiquitous worries over the decline of reading.

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