Yes, we all know that April is Miami Tech Month. But did you know that this month also marks the year O, Miami Poetry Festival?
On April 20 and 25, the worlds of poetry and technology will converge in a two-part online workshop, “Poetry on the Blockchain.” The first part will cover an introduction to Web3 and NFTs, while the second part will allow participants to create a portfolio and provide instructions on how to create and sell NFT poems.
You read that right: a group of enterprising poets experimented with showcasing and selling their work as non-fungible tokens. To be fungible or non-fungible is the question.
Ana Maria Caballero, an award-winning poet born in Miami and raised in Bogotá, is one of the two organizers of the workshop. She said Refresh Miami on the origins of NFT poetry – a field that she is innovative worldwide.
“I lived in Miami for many years and saw how Art Basel transformed the city. And I wondered why poetry wasn’t part of that conversation. So when I saw blockchain, I thought web3 was what poetry needed to manifest the value of a poem as a work of art.
Caballero then co-founded theVERSEverse, a gallery where poems are sold as works of art. Poets and artists collaborate to bring NFTs to market. Caballero describes this fusion of the written word and visual art as a dialogue, giving poetry “an equal place at the art market table thanks to the renewed interest in digital art thanks to blockchain. and NFTs”.
Often these NFT poems feature audio components and moving visuals. The idea, according to Caballero: “Let’s make the poems speak the language of digital audiences who crave poetry but may not read a two-dimensional black-and-white print all the time.”
“They want to see something different,” she added. This digital form certainly brings something new.
Joining Caballero in curating this course is Miami-based tech futurist, artist, and creative Breanna Faye. She is CTO of the Underline and founder of Metarkitex, a collective that creates generative virtual architecture for the Metaverse. His multimedia work has been shown around the world and sold as NFT as part of the Etherpoems collective.
Faye highlighted the collaborative potential of NFTs. “For example, you can have 3 artists collaborate on a single collection or piece – a musician, a visual artist, and a spoken word poet – and have when the piece is sold, each artist receives 1/3 of the sale price, plus 1/3 of the royalties in perpetuity whenever this piece is sold in the future.This is a huge win for the creators.
Caballero does not expect NFTs to replace the role of publishers. Rather, she sees digital assets as an opportunity for poets to amplify their work and connect with new digital native audiences, especially if poets publish NFTs with many editions and at low prices. She also noted that creating NFTs can be financially more beneficial for artists than books, which aren’t particularly profitable and require an “astronomical” amount of work.
Most of the workshop instructions will center on the Tezos blockchain, which has gained particular notoriety for being more environmentally friendly than its alternatives. Also on the webinar agenda will be an overview of how web3 communities work more broadly.
“The possibilities are endless,” Faye said. “And the best part is that we’re just getting started in terms of what is and will be possible.”
Are you interested in learning more about the poetic and literary implications of NFTs? To verify their next workshop, April 20 and 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (online). $15-50, pay what you can.