tinywords got its start with a simple inspiration: Haiku are perfectly suited to the 160-character limit imposed by SMS text messaging.
Now, a similar notion has hit many people thanks to Twitter, which — because it is tied to SMS — is limited to very short text messages (140 characters in Twitter’s case). The result has been an efflorescence of very short poetry and flash fiction.
Some notable examples that I know of: Twitter-based literary journal Seven by Twenty, flash fiction author Arjun Basu, someone posting as micropoetry (with the encouragingly truthful tagline “more people write poetry than read it”).
Tom Watson has assembled some (mostly unintentional) “found” poetry on Twitter. While not Twitter-oriented, Four and Twenty is a journal of very short (<20 word) poems, delivered via PDF. And other literary journals, like the brand-new Scarab Magazine, which is delivered as an iPhone app, have embraced Twitter as a way of communicating with their readers and advertising new issues.
There’s a collaborative poem going on where each line is submitted by the public via Twitter: The Longest Poem in the World.
And, of course, tinywords has a Twitter account.
I’m interested in how such small numbers of words can be made to carry such large and varied poetic freight, and I’d like tinywords to highlight the best examples.