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Digital Poetry Acquisition from theVERSEverse

Apr 12, 2024

Digital Poetry Acquisition from theVERSEverse | Mad Arts Blog

Mad Arts is proud to announce the acquisition of a significant portfolio of digital poems curated by theVERSEverse. These 22 digital poems represent one of the largest digital poetry acquisitions by a museum to date. They also reflect the ambitious program that Mad Arts has undertaken to become an innovating fixture of South Florida’s flourishing art and technology ecosystem. Marc Aptakin, founder and CEO of Mad Arts, says “theVERSEverse is reimagining how poems are both made and delivered, and we are honored to work with them to find new and innovative ways to bring these amazing works to life.” 

theVERSEverse – a women-led collective of poets, artists, and creative technologists – commissions, curates, and sells digital poems, emphasizing craft and creating lasting value that can support artists financially. In this literary gallery, poem = work of art. Founded in November 2021 by Ana María Caballero, Kalen Iwamoto, and Sasha Stiles — with Elisabeth Sweet joining thereafter to support communications and community outreach — theVERSEverse is a collective of poets, writers, artists, editors, curators, and creative technologists working to unlock the literary potential of the blockchain. 

Leveraging web3 tools to unlock creativity, theVERSEverse strives to empower writers artistically, technologically, and financially. Co-founder Ana María Caballero says, “I believe blockchain provenance will prove revolutionary for poets, transforming the way we transact our poems and bring them into the world, connecting new audiences with their sorcery.” Of the artists in Mad’s acquisition, Caballero adds: “From photography to generative AI, algorithmic coding to performance, the visual language of the works complements the written words in truly evocative forms.”

The collection includes “Medusa,” a piece by artist Anne Spalter — whose work is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou — in collaboration with poet Nathaniel Stern. It also includes “I Saw You,” a poem by Nicole Tallman, poetry ambassador for Miami-Dade County, with enigmatic visuals by May Naibo, a Kenyan photographer and creative technologist. 

“Confessional” is by Guggenheim and NEA fellow Denise Duhamel and Cuban artist Marlon Portales, and “Consejo a la hija que nunca tendré, Para Rafaela” was penned by Caridad Moro-Gronlier, the newly appointed poet laureate of Miami-Dade County, with hallucinatory visuals by Los Angeles-based new media artist Ellie Pritts. 

Complete list of works acquired by Mad Arts:

Single works 

“Century Sickness” by David Hernandez and Kim Siew

“Grammar” by Julie Marie Wade and Rose Jackson

“Confessional” by Denise Duhamel and Marlon Portales

“Leitmotif, Nihilist, Epitome” by Ronnie Angel Pope and Connie Bakshi

“I Saw You” by Nicole Tallman and May Naibo

“Medusa” by Anne Spalter and Nathaniel Stern

“VICE II” by Pierre Gervois

“The Hundred Heads” by Ana María Caballero

“Paperwork” by Ana María Caballero

Editioned works

“Consejo a la hija que nunca tendré, Para Rafaela” by Caridad Moro-Gronlier and Ellie Pritts

“Subversión” by Mia Leonin and Tuna Bora

“El mal concreto” by Amalia Moreno and Genki Nishida

“¿Cómo hacer una revolución sin un carro?” by Martica Minipunto and Iván Casís

“Hija, una herencia” by Alexandra Lytton Regalado and Gab Floramica

“Clemencia” by Martica Minipunto and dancevatar

“TREGUA/TRUCE” by Fermina Ponce and Anya Asano

“Domingo 13” by Ana María Caballero and Roberto Salazar

“El Crucigrama” by Legna Rodríguez and Tabitha Swanson

“Canción del optimista” by Amalia Moreno and Noortje Stortelder

“Fácil” by Legna Rodríguez and Veštica

“Mermelada agridulce” by Patricia Echeverria Liras and Marianna Jaszczuk


Some of the above works are currently on view as part of the “poem = work of art” exhibition curated by theVERSEverse. The gallery displays 9 “POESÍA DE PROTESTA” artworks curated by Gladys Garrote and 6 poets of theVERSEverse reading their works from the holobox screens.

A complete collection of acquired digital poetry works will be exhibited at Mad Arts in Fall 2024. The works will be part of an educational initiative that will explore how cutting-edge technologies of web3 and blockchain intersect with one of the world’s oldest art forms.

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