Code Poetry (Masterclass)

Code Poetry (Masterclass)

Delve into dots, dashes, bots, and glitch

It’s been thirty years since Tim Berners-Lee wrote the document that laid the groundwork for the World Wide Web. In this Masterclass we will explore new forms of digital writing native to this now ubiquitous platform. We’ll situate code poetry in a broader physical, elemental, and historical context, reaching before and beyond the computer. We’ll take an iterative, process-oriented approach to experimenting with different forms of networked and encoded writing. We’ll look at semaphore and other code languages used by the ships that laid the fibre optic cables which form the backbone of the internet. We’ll delve into the dots, dashes, shorthand, and static of the telegraphic network. The earliest literary experiments with mainframe computers in the 1950s will prompt us to play with permutation and generative writing. The additive, annotational, and tangential properties of HyperText Markup Language will lead us into gardens of forking paths to arrive at our contemporary literary landscape of encoded subtexts, error logs, bots, and glitch.

Masterclasses are an expanded version of our Interactive and International courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. These 12 week courses (maximum 10 places) are for advanced students only, and fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no regular live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image credit: MoreInterpretations

About JR Carpenter View Profile

JR Carpenter is an artist, writer, performer, practice-led researcher, and lecturer. She makes maps, zines, and books; and writes poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and digital narratives. Her recent web-based work The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016, and her debut poetry collection An Ocean of Static was Highly Commended for the Forward Prize 2018. She is an artist-in-residence at the Archives Nationale in Paris, in association with the University of Paris 8, and writer-in-residence at Greenway, in association with Literature Works and the National Trust. Recent poems have appeared in Oxford Poetry, 3:am magazine, Arc Poetry, The Goose, The Clearing, The Junket, and PRISM International. Her digital writing has been presented in museums, galleries, journals, and festivals around the world, and can be found on

‘I have engaged with poets I would never have come across on my own. It has engaged me with a deeper appreciation for the work of others and my own work. The work of the poetry school has given me a lot more confidence as a writer.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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