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Hashtag Poetry: The Hidden Poetry of Twitter, Cut-Up, Painted and Posted to Instagram

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In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter. Taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen he then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of coloured dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The resulting poem-fragments were originally pos In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter. Taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen he then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of coloured dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The resulting poem-fragments were originally posted to Instagram and are now collated here together with new work. Clive seeks to test the limitations of the process to create a body of micro-poems that have a distinctive visual feel; are enigmatic and entertaining, have a vein of black humour and feature the occasional zombie or cake eating killer goat.


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In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter. Taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen he then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of coloured dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The resulting poem-fragments were originally pos In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter. Taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen he then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of coloured dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The resulting poem-fragments were originally posted to Instagram and are now collated here together with new work. Clive seeks to test the limitations of the process to create a body of micro-poems that have a distinctive visual feel; are enigmatic and entertaining, have a vein of black humour and feature the occasional zombie or cake eating killer goat.

43 review for Hashtag Poetry: The Hidden Poetry of Twitter, Cut-Up, Painted and Posted to Instagram

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    EDIT: the publisher for this book is amazing. they even mailed me a copy of the book. The book is pretty and every page created with care. The poetry is awful. I think maybe if you are into Slam poetry it might actually appeal to you. I couldn't get into the book because there just is no flow to it. I thought it would be #edits not edited#s. if that makes sense an example without giving the book would be Intitial tweet: Today I ate a hot dog and I spilled mustard on my shirt. I found out from th EDIT: the publisher for this book is amazing. they even mailed me a copy of the book. The book is pretty and every page created with care. The poetry is awful. I think maybe if you are into Slam poetry it might actually appeal to you. I couldn't get into the book because there just is no flow to it. I thought it would be #edits not edited#s. if that makes sense an example without giving the book would be Intitial tweet: Today I ate a hot dog and I spilled mustard on my shirt. I found out from the laughter of a female passerby. I wish I could make someone smile the way she smiled at me without making an ass of myself. #poetry page: Today dog spilled laughter someone me myself SO to me.. this book still isn't for me.. but I would say give the author a chance it may just be a case of its me and not you im sure the netgalley copy and the real one will differ. I contacted the publisher because my copy did not load correctly I got a pretty cover. 6-10 black squares and then a afterword about the author with pretty pictures inside of black squares. I read one of the reviews to see if it was just me.. and maybe my reader did me a justice because the poetry snippet sounded terrible.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Whatthelog

    Published by Burning Eye Books, Hashtag Poetry# is a collection of dissected tweets arranged into poems by Clive Birnie. The poems go through a variety of structural and aesthetic shifts, which I found very interesting. There is a short explanation of Birnie’s methods and reasons for these changes at the end of the book, which I absolutely adored. I would have loved to have even more of Birnie’s thoughts, but I imagine that many of these are, appropriately, voiced on his twitter page, which I wi Published by Burning Eye Books, Hashtag Poetry# is a collection of dissected tweets arranged into poems by Clive Birnie. The poems go through a variety of structural and aesthetic shifts, which I found very interesting. There is a short explanation of Birnie’s methods and reasons for these changes at the end of the book, which I absolutely adored. I would have loved to have even more of Birnie’s thoughts, but I imagine that many of these are, appropriately, voiced on his twitter page, which I will definitely check out. The poems often made succinct, pointed observations of society and politics. Given their brevity, I was (on the whole) very impressed by this – I cannot imagine how many twitter posts he must have trawled through in order to find the perfect phrases and words. Also, many of them were very funny. I don’t often find poetry amusing, because I am way too focused on understanding the minutiae of structure and word-choice, but I did actually laugh out loud at a couple of these. They were just so…Internet! I’m very interested in the way that Internet vernacular works, and I think this particular form of writing was used to great effect in the poems. Some of the later poems also used various icons from twitter and instagram, such as the re-tweet button and the like button. I absolutely loved these – in some poems they felt like little rests or beats, which created a wonderful new rhythm. More experimentation with these icons would have been fascinating – however, perhaps that’s a subject for a later collection of poetry. (I certainly hope so!) I did have a couple of reservations, however. Some of the poems felt a bit too slapdash, if that makes sense. I know that they very literally were thrown together, but some of them felt a bit too random for my liking. A couple of these would have been fine, because it could have made an interesting point about the verbosity and inevitable incomprehension of the Internet. However, there were a few too many of these for my taste. This is also a purely aesthetic reflection, but I also hated the dots. They distracted me and made my eyes go a bit funny. Again, though, that is a completely personal problem. On the whole, I greatly enjoyed this collection of twitter poetry. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the beginning of a whole new form of poetry, in which technology takes centre stage, and allows for complete innovation. I will certainly be looking out for more literature like this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter by taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen. He then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of colored dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. So there were 3 reasons why I wanted to read this book: the first being the fun cover, the second was the overall idea which I thought to be very interesting and the third In the Hashtag Poetry Project Clive Birnie explores the hidden poetry of Twitter by taking screen grabs of random collations of three or four tweets on an iPhone screen. He then redacts and erases them using photo editing apps before applying his distinctive patterns of colored dots inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. So there were 3 reasons why I wanted to read this book: the first being the fun cover, the second was the overall idea which I thought to be very interesting and the third reason was the promise of “a vein of black humor and the occasional zombie or cake eating killer goat”. Let me start with the looks of the book. At first it all seems very fun, positive and happy. However, when the actual hashtag poetry starts, it just looks like a big mess. I didn’t know when I started reading that the author used 3 different methods of creating the hashtag poetry, so I was kind of annoyed that there didn’t seem to be a sort of unity in the design. I still think that it would be more pleasing if there was... There are some pages that are just hard to read because of the designs used and it bugged me quite a bit. The first method also left me a bit confused some times as how to read the actual poems. Was it per tweet or per page? (I later figured out that it was 1 poem per page). The “poems” themselves were okay. I didn’t expect to like every single one (because honestly, that wouldn’t be realistic). I especially liked the killer goat “In other news, goats. That kill While eating Cake.” The idea is still wonderful. And all in all I found this book to be a quick, fun read. I was just very bothered by the design. I received a copy for free from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caryssa

    I wanted to read this book because the cover is quite catchy, all those dots with the Twitter logo in the center. Also, I've been interested in blackout poetry lately and I wanted to see how this works out with tweets. Browsing through the first few pages, my eyes were begging me to stop. There's just too much colors, it's hard to decide where to look at. It seems the author cannot make up his mind whether to isolate the words using ink blackouts or XXXXXs or randomly-scattered dots, so why not I wanted to read this book because the cover is quite catchy, all those dots with the Twitter logo in the center. Also, I've been interested in blackout poetry lately and I wanted to see how this works out with tweets. Browsing through the first few pages, my eyes were begging me to stop. There's just too much colors, it's hard to decide where to look at. It seems the author cannot make up his mind whether to isolate the words using ink blackouts or XXXXXs or randomly-scattered dots, so why not use all? I was relieved that as I read more, less colors were being used and the dots were placed in some kind of definite patterns. It made sense when the author explained his methods at the end of the book but I think he should've warned us before and put the explanation at the start. The poetry is okay, with the occasional "Oh, that's nice!" and some "Wait, what?" But the idea is cute, to take screenshots of Twitter feeds, edit out some parts and end up with a line or two of poetry from the remaining words. Here are some that I liked: To all the trolls around the internet, Stop the caffeine and if you can't be kind, log off the world hangs by a narrow thread today This same realization I had a few months ago: In other news, just not sure I can afford life in 2016 And this: Excellent heartening poetry thank you thank you! not really Overall, if you want a quick read and something entertaining you may want to try this book. You can also check out some of Clive Birnie's work on his Instagram page. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    *disclaimer; free copy reviewed* disclaimer 2: I work looking at how digital technology impacts upon children's writing. I loved this book. I thought it was so creative. The poems are created with snippits from tweets. The poems at the start look like actual tweets with words scribbled over (to leave only the ones wanted), and at the end, only the word that are wanted are visible; everything else is covered by dots that have been digitally added. I loved the effect, it was like a transition in hi *disclaimer; free copy reviewed* disclaimer 2: I work looking at how digital technology impacts upon children's writing. I loved this book. I thought it was so creative. The poems are created with snippits from tweets. The poems at the start look like actual tweets with words scribbled over (to leave only the ones wanted), and at the end, only the word that are wanted are visible; everything else is covered by dots that have been digitally added. I loved the effect, it was like a transition in his art style through the book. The poems themselves vary in content. Some of them are very funny, and others are more 'traditional' so I think there is something for everyone in this book. I kept thinking while reading this, this would be fun to do in a literacy class at school, I'm really sad that this isn't something I could use myself with children. There is a little guide at the end, on how he created the poems and the different methods he used; so it would be really easy to copy what he has done. It is so so so hard to find poetry that is relevant to young people, and I think this could be an excellent way to get them involved with literacy. My only complaint is, some of the poems were hard to read, as it wasn't obvious which direction the text was meant to flow in... however, I think that kind of added to it's charm. I like art that is messy, it lets the reader create their own interpretation of the content. I just wish the book was longer!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    A very interesting concept. I won the book in a Goodreads Giveaway. The cover of the book attracted my eye and I was intrigued to find out what words that had been 'grabbed' from twitter would look like as a poem on a page surrounded by dots. Well, I think it looked odd. At first. It kind of grew on me but I couldn't look at the pages for many seconds for fear of developing a migraine. The concept is very interesting and in some instances it works. For the most part though, for me, I don't think A very interesting concept. I won the book in a Goodreads Giveaway. The cover of the book attracted my eye and I was intrigued to find out what words that had been 'grabbed' from twitter would look like as a poem on a page surrounded by dots. Well, I think it looked odd. At first. It kind of grew on me but I couldn't look at the pages for many seconds for fear of developing a migraine. The concept is very interesting and in some instances it works. For the most part though, for me, I don't think I 'got' it. Maybe I'm too old and like my poems in lines and not covered in dots (confetti?). I'm pleased that I had the opportunity to peruse the pages but I think it is more modern art than poetry.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Akkisuitok

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. This has not influenced my review. I was curious about the idea behind this book, and the poetry really is quite good. As always with collections there are some I couldn't get into, but I found quite a few I really liked. The only major problem I have is with the design. I had imagined cute little dots, but what I got instead often looks more like someone vomited confetti over the pages. It can be hugely distracting fro Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. This has not influenced my review. I was curious about the idea behind this book, and the poetry really is quite good. As always with collections there are some I couldn't get into, but I found quite a few I really liked. The only major problem I have is with the design. I had imagined cute little dots, but what I got instead often looks more like someone vomited confetti over the pages. It can be hugely distracting from the actual poem, and frankly hurt my eyes. It doesn't help that the print quality of the book is very low so that often the dots as well as the text look slightly pixelated and blurry. A few of the poems/pages have less dots on them, and on those I could appreciate the idea (there's a lovely double spread page with sepia, muted colours which I liked). But especially the first few poems where the author also uses black crosses to strike out text are horrible, and made me want to put the book away. In conclusion: Nice poetry, bad design. Would still recommend it for anyone interested in the idea, but maybe try to get a pdf or look into the author's page without investing in a paper copy whose quality is really not worth it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Hashtag Poetry by Clive Birnie is a digital take on the art of blackout poetry where new meaning is found in taking away certain elements from a text. For this book, Birnie uses screenshots from his Twitter feed to create new thoughts and ideas from the original content. I've enjoyed this type of poetry from a variety of authors on Instagram and other places online. Birnie fits in with the style, though the colored dots/confetti spread across each work sometimes detracts from the poem itself. Th Hashtag Poetry by Clive Birnie is a digital take on the art of blackout poetry where new meaning is found in taking away certain elements from a text. For this book, Birnie uses screenshots from his Twitter feed to create new thoughts and ideas from the original content. I've enjoyed this type of poetry from a variety of authors on Instagram and other places online. Birnie fits in with the style, though the colored dots/confetti spread across each work sometimes detracts from the poem itself. The poem featured with single color designs or designs that were less busy were easier read. As with any compilation of work, there were some hits and some misses, but overall the content was enjoyable to read. *Received a copy of this book through NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I wanted to read Hashtag Poetry: The Hidden Poetry of Twitter, Cut-up, Painted and Posted to Instagram because I was intrigued by the concept. Poetry presented in a clever new way. And it is presented in a new way, but the overall result falls far short of what I'd hoped for. The cut/paste, hashtag blackouts, excessive color, hard to find and read words, are distracting and the poetry is poor as well. Here's an example of how to take an original concept and turn it into an overall messed up mis I wanted to read Hashtag Poetry: The Hidden Poetry of Twitter, Cut-up, Painted and Posted to Instagram because I was intrigued by the concept. Poetry presented in a clever new way. And it is presented in a new way, but the overall result falls far short of what I'd hoped for. The cut/paste, hashtag blackouts, excessive color, hard to find and read words, are distracting and the poetry is poor as well. Here's an example of how to take an original concept and turn it into an overall messed up mish-mash. Very disappointing. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    Wish Tristan Tzara was my contemporary. He would have find infinite inspiration in our funny over technical world. Trying to compensate this absence, Clive Birnie created with the help of apps and random colourful dots by Yayoi Kusama works of poetry that combines the brievity of the Haiku with the logical absurdity of dadaism. Twitter and Instagram are the huge screens and the inspiration for this sample of literay game. Disclaimer: I was offered the book via NetGalley.com, but the opinions are Wish Tristan Tzara was my contemporary. He would have find infinite inspiration in our funny over technical world. Trying to compensate this absence, Clive Birnie created with the help of apps and random colourful dots by Yayoi Kusama works of poetry that combines the brievity of the Haiku with the logical absurdity of dadaism. Twitter and Instagram are the huge screens and the inspiration for this sample of literay game. Disclaimer: I was offered the book via NetGalley.com, but the opinions are, as usual, my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krista (MoonDustBookLust)

    This one little star is for concept. I came into this book excited and curious because I find the idea fascinating. The finished product is disastrous, however. I am so disappointed. The poetry is terrible. It lacks the intelligence and beauty I excepted to find. The design is loud and ridiculous. Under any other circumstance I would love polka dots but here they are a mistake. I do not recommend this book. It was a waste of my time. I received my copy of Hashtag Poetry through NetGalley in exchan This one little star is for concept. I came into this book excited and curious because I find the idea fascinating. The finished product is disastrous, however. I am so disappointed. The poetry is terrible. It lacks the intelligence and beauty I excepted to find. The design is loud and ridiculous. Under any other circumstance I would love polka dots but here they are a mistake. I do not recommend this book. It was a waste of my time. I received my copy of Hashtag Poetry through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Art

    This idea had a lot of potential, and it did occasionally reach it. Overall, however, I found it to be a little disappointing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a creative idea and I like the polka dot layout. I received an ARC from NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dona

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

  16. 5 out of 5

    TΞΞL❍CK Mith!lesh

  17. 5 out of 5

    C

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  20. 5 out of 5

    PunkRockLibrarian

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tania

  22. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  23. 4 out of 5

    Julia Conway

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  27. 4 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bacsa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  31. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  32. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

  33. 4 out of 5

    Emma McDougall

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rl

  35. 4 out of 5

    Vidette

  36. 5 out of 5

    Janaid

  37. 4 out of 5

    Hali Kinson

  38. 5 out of 5

    V

  39. 5 out of 5

    Daren Peary

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  41. 5 out of 5

    Pat Mcgahon

  42. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  43. 4 out of 5

    Michael Clyma

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