ETHNOPOETICS.ORG : a collaboration to extend the valuing and study of global poetries

What is "Ethnopoetics"?

Ethnopoetics names an informal movement in poetry and scholarship dating to the late 1960s but has come more broadly to designate writing that reflects a heightened awareness of the artfulness of oral and traditional poetries and the ways in which diverse verbal arts illuminate world cultures; this writing can also reflect innovative theorizing and representational practices, including transcription/translation. Coined by Jerome Rothenberg, ethnopoetics involves collaborations among poets, storytellers, singers, anthropologists, translators, linguists, and literary scholars.

Ethnopoetics Overview | Ethnopoetics Today


Alcheringa/Ethnopoetics was published in 13 issues between 1970 and 1980. It remains the most ambitious and influential publication of world poetries in translation, emphasizing global continuities and the rich connections and differences among traditional, experimental, oral and print poetry.

Currently Annotated Issues

Alcheringa/Ethnopoetics emphasized doing justice to oral performance through transcription and visual design, presenting a productive challenge to this day. A digital reissue was made available via Jacket2 and Pennsound; audio MP3s of original 45rpm records have also been republished via Pennsound; Dropbox

This wiki aims to provide informative context and updated links to ongoing scholarship; contents of the first two issues have been largely annotated; browse the index of wiki entries below, or see the full contents only of Alcheringa

Currently, the first two issues have been well-annotated by students and interns. Further issues will be linked here as completed.

Vol. 1, No. 1, 1970
External PDF

Vol. 1, No. 2, 1971
External PDF

Exploring the Wiki


In addition to exploring the reference entries above, you may explore the full text contents of Alcheringa issues. Below is a visualization and access to text-analysis widgets produced with Voyant Tools. These visualizations give windows upon the full text of Alcheringa. Readers may discover new or surprising patterns and then choose to reimmerse themselves in the poems, songs, and stories of each issue. For further exploration, see Further Voyant Tool Views in this wiki or open the Voyant Workspace in a separate window with corpus of all digitized issues of Alcheringa/Ethnpoetics via this link. For more information on the Voyant visualizations, consult the Voyant overview or read this essay in MLA Commons on data visualization in literary study.



This site uses content tags for cross-referencing.

As reference entries are created for poems, stories and others texts from the issues of Alcheringa, content editors have manually tagged them to help you navigate among the entries and discover new connections among the materials.



2021/05/24 21:02 · admin


Indices, keywords, and metadata search of the wiki content. These tools help you explore the new content of the wiki (but are not direct indices of Alcheringa)

Tag Cloud is presently disabled; Tag Search is functional.

Exhibit: Exemplary Transcriptions

Ethnopoetic transcription aims to design the textual presentation of an oral performance, using visual elements to mark dimensions significant to speakers and hearers. Ideally, it might provide a score for re-performance. At a minimum, it should make concrete aspects of the audio-text perceived as significant by the transcriber. This was a hallmark of Alcheringa issues, which were limited in their ability to provide audio recordings. Even with the availability of audio analysis software and the ease of transmitting digitized audio, transcription retains value for transcribers, scholars, and readers.

List of: Exemplary Transcriptions


This site was created to share informative, scholarly materials related to Ethnopoetics. The source archive is hosted by Pennsound; excerpted materials included in this project are used with the permission and acknowledgment of Pennsound and Jacket2. Original materials are produced and offered under fair-use, with Creative Commons access rights wherever possible. Novice contributors are encouraged to visit the Formatting Syntax page and then experiment with page and link creation in the playground. If you are a participating contributor and cannot log in, please email for assistance.


This project was initiated at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as a project of the graduate English course in comparative literature: Orality, Ethnopoetics, and Digital Humanities ENGL 766/866 in Summer of 2021. Students in ENGL 757-857 - Digital Composition, Literature, and Pedagogy contributed in the Fall of 2021. We hope to be able to work with a broader range of contributors in the future. Please contact the site editor ( if interested.

Credits: Ethnopoetics Wiki Contributors. Current contributors, please visit the workflow area.


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