The Nexus of Poetry and Twitter in 140 characters or less




I write poetry because I must. 

Poems become my journal, diary, letters and feathers in the wind.

To me, poetry represents word sculpture  molded, carved and shaped as finely as possible.

The social media phenomenon Twitter pushes this erudite envelope by promulgating life’s vacuity, vulgarness and, occasionally,  valor in 140 characters or less (spaces included).

On Twitter,  one edits life into sparse electrons. To save space, words turn into abbreviation, misspelling, emotionless emoticons, and off-site links, all for the sake of impersonal technology and cyberspace chintziness.  

{Although I do wonder what the Algonquin wag Dorothy Parker would have regarded Twitter if it existed in her time. Her bon mots definitely anticipated such a medium}: 

"Ducking for apples -- change one letter and 
it's the story of my life." 
Dorothy Parker (68 characters)

With Poetweetry, I hope to find the nexus of poetry and Twitter in 140 characters or less™. Can I really sculpt, rather slash and burn, creativity to fit the Internet binary boundaries? Can poetry remain an art form in 140 words or less? 

Please join me with my daring experiment.




All poems published in this Poetweetry blog first appeared on the @poetweetry Twitter feed.

On Twitter, each post or “Tweet” must be written in 140 characters or less (space, punctuation and links included).

In order to write authentic verse with such strict constraints, the poet (me) often resorts to abbreviations, combination of words, symbols, emoticons, and other space saving ploys. Such unorthodoxy fits the Tweet form, but vandalizes respected poetics (although The Beats may applaud). 

When I republish the @poetweetry Tweet poems to this Poetweetry blog, I strive to retain all the original Tweet composition, although I remove “backslash” line breaks [\] from Twitter and add conventional poetry spacing.

I also include the date and time of the Twitter post and any dedications or comments that may add insight. Of course, on this blog, category and tags help clarify the poem’s intent as well.

Please note, every  @poetweetry poem requires two separate tweets: (1) a “tease” with the title which takes up too much room if included in the poem tweet followed by (2) the actual Poetweetry poem. When posted on the blog, they appear as one.

I rarely attach images or artwork to the @poetweetry poem feed, but do include them on the Poetweetry blog.




Audrey Schwartz Rivers

My poetry won numerous awards including the prestigious Rice University Writers Conference Poetry Award in 1996, selected by poet Brenda Hillman.

Audrey S. Rivers (aka Poetweetry)

I’m grateful to the inspiration, workshops, libations and brunch with kind mentors including Gerald Stern, Brenda Hillman, Charles Wright, Lorenzo Thomas and August Wilson.

My nonfiction writings appeared in the national publications including the New York Times, Seventeen, Arabian Horse Times, Chronicle of the Dog, Change, and Picture as well as reprinted in several books. I also wrote and produced programs that aired on PBS stations.

I plan to publish my Poetweetry series in both hard copy and e-pub formats in the near future.

I live (for now) in Houston, Texas with my husband, two dogs and an “American Idol” wannabe parrot, who channels James Brown.