We had our poetry jam on Twitter last night, and this time we did a kind of “event” around Marcus Goodyear’s newly published collection, Barbies at Communion: and other poems. So, yes, it was a Barbie-themed party, and it was wild.
For the last three poetry jams, we’ve been featuring a new “tool” or Twitter application developed by Matt Priour. You can see it at the main TweetSpeak URL. You log in under your Twitter account, and then post in the designated box. Poetry jam prompts appear in the box above the tweeting box.
Electronically, what happens is this: you log in, you enter a tweet and hit the tweet button, and then the application sends the tweet to the Twitter data base (a kind of “registration process”) and then back out again to the posted tweets list. It can take up to 10 seconds to complete the process. While you’re waiting, other tweets are appearing, you respond with a new one – and, as you might imagine, the pace can get frantic and you can easily lose your way.
But you don’t have to use the tool (we call it TweetSpeak Party); you can use Twitter, HootSuite, TweetDeck or any other similar application, and your tweets are included as long as you include the #tsptry hashtag with your tweets.
I used TweetSpeak Party exclusively last night. And while the 10-second delay could be perplexing, with poetic contributions streaming in and from all directions, I found myself focusing on a few and then following and responding to those. A few participants had trouble with the tool, and then trying to keep track of everything with other applications like HootSuite or TweetDeck. I was also watching the tweets via TweetDeck, and found a few that weren’t showing up in the TweetSpeak Party posting box (although they all did show up in the data base Matt created to collect all of the tweets – 1, 080 tweets strong). And a few had some technical trouble with either TweetSpeak Party or their regular Twitter application.
Matt’s been working on a new application, one that can be independent of Twitter or other applications and happen within the framework of TweetSpeak Poetry itself. We’ll keep you up-to-date on progress.
Now the hard part starts – the editing of the tweets into poems. The process itself deserves its own blog post, but what essentially happens is this: I read through all of the tweets as a group several times. I then highlight what are obviously related tweets. Those are copied and pasted into a Word document, then worked over to fit them with each other in what can range from 15 to 35 poems. This usually happens over a period of about a week.
For the Barbie poems, I’ll have an introduction, which will include the usual pre-party online discussion and a couple of links provided by the poet/author himself to inspire the participants. Although I’m not sure how inspirational Barbie Enchiladas actually are.
Want to party with the poems all the time? Take a button, if you like…