Digital Poetics 1

The Self Does Not Exist

When I look for a place to start our discussion, I am reminded of a website from a few years ago. With the ominous address “thispersondoenotexist.com,” the site presents a single face filling the screen, with another face replacing it every time the user presses “ENTER.” No commentary or introductory text is offered, but a quick search returns cautionary news articles written when the site launched in 2019. The site is the work of a former NVIDIA engineer who created a custom A.I. that generates faces in real time from images scraped from social media platforms.

At the opening

The mouth opens. It burps and yowls, gasps and laughs, mumbles and yawns. The mouth sings —loudly or quietly and can do it with a shimmer. The mouth whispers. The mouth SCREAMS. The mouth speaks, stutters, and stops. 

The transatlantic axis of 'Alembic'

An interview with editors Ken Edwards and Robert Hampson

Above: the covers of 'Alembic' numbers 1 through 8.

Note: Alembic was an internationally minded little magazine, edited by Peter Barry, Ken Edwards, and Robert Hampson out of London between 1973 and 1979. Emerging from, and explicitly engaging with, a tradition of modernist, late-modernist, Dadaist, and Surrealist poetries, Alembic published contemporary British poets alongside North American and Australian poets, as well as prose, interviews, and visual material.

Coolitude poetics interview with Elizabeth Jaikaran

Elizabeth Jaikaran

Elizabeth Jaikaran was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and currently resides on Long Island with her husband. She graduated from the CUNY City College of New York in 2012 and from New York University School of Law in 2016. She has written for numerous platforms, most prevalently for Brown Girl magazine, and has published along a spectrum of genres, from legal analysis to comedy. As an author and a lawyer, Jaikaran hopes to be a voice for communities residing in underrepresented margins. She is the proud child of Guyanese immigrants.

Queer Coolitude hauntings in motion

Shivanee Ramlochan speaks of ghosts

'Everyone Knows I am a Haunting,' Peepal Tree Press 2017

Shivanee Ramlochan, author of Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (Peepal Tree Press, 2017) writes a Coolitude poetics and achieves a dazzling sense of historical hauntings in her debut collection of poetry. The ghosts leap. Her collection quite literally includes duennes and jumbies as a way to write about the missing, the dispossession, and the longing for a wholeness that haunts her speakers.

From vocabularies of indenture to living grammars: A writing prompt

With these poets drawing from the pool of their collective unconscious, the haunting memory of a traumatic past from “passage to plantation,” something new emerges. It is the Coolitude of endurance, the transformation of a vocabulary into a grammar that depends upon inclusion in various national spaces. As seen in Torabully’s poetry, the history and weight words occupy when given different parts of speech, to the continuing negotiating of kalapani, and the power to topple patriarchal atavism with queer interventions — poets Coolie language.

David Dabydeen on Coolitude

A Coolitude interview

David Dabydeen from Peepal Tree.

Critic, writer, and novelist David Dabydeen was born in 1955 in Berbice, Guyana, moving to England with his parents in 1969. He read English at Cambridge University, gained a doctorate at University College London in 1982, and was awarded a research fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford. David Dabydeen is Director of the Centre for Caribbean Studies and Professor at the Centre for British Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick. He is also Guyana’s Ambassador-at-Large and a member of UNESCO’s Executive Board.

Caribbean vocabularies of Coolitude: Surinam and Trinidad


Articulating the Caribbean as one geopolitical place has been a problematic that Silvio Torres-Saillant has delineated in his book Caribbean Poetics: Toward and Aesthetics of West Indian Literature. Torres-Saillant posits that in order to understand the literature being produced in the Caribbean the reader must first understand that ideas of literature, literary theory, and language are not necessarily universal. What he means is that the Caribbean must be understood in terms of its own history before any claims can be made about the literary merit of its writings.

Coolitude poetics interview with Sudesh Mishra

Sudesh Mishra

Sudesh Mishra is the author of five books of poetry, including Tandava (Meanjin Press), Diaspora and the Difficult Art of Dying (Otago University Press), and The Lives of Coat Hangers (Otago University Press); two critical monographs, Preparing Faces: Modernism and Indian Poetry in English (Flinders University) and Diaspora Criticism (Edinburgh University Press); two plays, Ferringhi and The International Dateline (Institute of Pacific Studies, Suva); and several short stories.

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