Hazel Smith

Working Note

I am primarily interested in linguistic and structural experimentation, and the extension of poetry into other genres and media. My verbal experiments have included rhythmic notation of texts, constructed languages, and crossover genres which combine poetry and prose. I have a strong commitment to performance work, including sonic writing (semiotic exchange between music, words and technology) and its gendered implications (sonic cross-dressing). Some of my performance texts have taken the form of "techno-dramas" which have fragmented narrative and dramatic elements, and also involve technological manipulation of the voice. However, at the moment, I am particularly excited about writing in hypermedia. I believe that the new media provide some of the most challenging possibilities for innovative writing because they allow labyrinthine linking of texts, animation of words, and the cross-over of the visual, sonic and verbal within the single domain of the computer. My writing is always multi-thematic and is increasingly triggered by theoretical and historical reading. Lately it has focused on the convergence of collective and individual memory, time-space compression, migration and the body. Important influences on my writing have been my cross-cultural background (a mixture of British and Australian with Jewish parentage) and my former career as a professional musician. Collaboration interests me a great deal because of the challenges it poses for subjectivity and autonomy, and because it constantly widens my horizons. I am currently involved in a number of multi-media collaborations, and also a ficto-critical one, with writer and critic Anne Brewster, which blends theory with many other genres of writing.


Hypertext poetry:

INTERTWINGLING  (experience with sound-- optimized for Netscape on a Mac -- sound may not work if viewed in another browser)

INTERTWINGLING  (experience without sound)


Bio: Hazel Smith works in the areas of poetry, experimental writing, performance, multi-media and hypertext. She is a member of the multi-media group austraLYSIS, and her web page can be found at www.australysis.com. She has published two volumes of poetry, Abstractly Represented: Poems and Performance Texts 1982-90, Butterfly Books 1991, and Keys Round Her Tongue: short prose, poetry and performance texts, Soma Publications 2000. Her two CDs of performance texts, Poet Without Language and Nuraghic Echoes (with musician Roger Dean), were released by Rufus Records in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Recently Hazel has been involved in the creation of a number of hypermedia works. In 1997 she collaborated with Roger Dean on a hypermedia piece, Walking The Faultlines, which is featured on Cyberquilt: A CD-Rom Anthology, International Computer Music Association, San Francisco 1999. In 1997 she was co-recipient, with Roger Dean and Greg White, of a grant from the Australian Film Commission to design a hypermedia work, “Wordstuffs: the city and the body”, for their StuffArt website. Hazel has also collaborated on several mixed-media installations and publications with artist Sieglinde Karl.

Hazel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of New South Wales. She is co-author with Roger Dean of Improvisation, Hypermedia and the Arts Since 1945, Harwood Academic 1997 and author of Hyperscapes in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara: difference, homosexuality, topography, Liverpool University Press 2000. She has also been an internationally active violinist and features as soloist on several commercial recordings.


Australian Writing Feature

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