Sexting the billions: on post-internet sonnets

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Contemporary sonnets offer a mushrooming textual economy capable of metabolising our deep, mycelial experience of post-internet (il)legibility and exchange. What forms of identity, desire, attention, turn, and excess are found coiled in the sonnet? Taking in a selection of contemporary poets, this piece is not a comprehensive essaying towards something called ‘the post-internet sonnet’ but rather an experiment in post-internet ways of reading the ‘overdetermined’ form through its proliferating feeds, scrolls and voltaic refreshes. Taking its cue from Craig Dworkin’s Reading the Illegible (2003), the strategies of this essay follow a ‘Smithsonian criticism’, encompassing the internet’s noise economies of desire, attention and knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalCambridge Humanities Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 May 2023


  • post-internet
  • technology
  • sonnet
  • poetry
  • gender
  • desire
  • illegible
  • attention


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