The creation of a taxonomy for organizing and classifying a diverse array of materials such those that constitute the digital archive of Portuguese Experimental Literature is a challenging task for the researchers. Our system for organizing a selected corpus combines several typologies of classification, organized in two main areas: Materialities and Transtextualities.


The medium of the items, i.e., their material nature.

Performative > Readings and other artistic practices which are performed live with the possibility of audience participation: Audio recordings, Photographs, Video recordings of live Performances, Readings and Plays, as well as their Preparatory texts.

Planographic > Bidimensional works presented on flat surfaces using various techniques of inscription: Calligraphies, Collages, Drawings, Paintings, Printing, Digital Printing, Electrographies, Engravings, Letraset, Letterpress, Serigraphies, Stencils, and Typescripts.

Digital > Works produced by computational processes (generative, permutational, intermedia, etc.), as well as their related documents: Codes, Emulations, Preparatory texts, Printed texts, Recreations, and Rereadings.

Three-dimensional > Permanent or ephemeral three-dimensional works presented or installed in art galleries, buildings, parks, and other private or public spaces: Artists’ Books, Assemblages, Installations (Photographs, Preparatory Texts), Object-poems, Sculptures.

Phonographic > Works that were originally conceived as sound recordings, as well as related documents: Typescripts, Phonograms, Scores, and Preparatory texts.

Videographic > Works that were originally conceived as videopoems or other kinds of videoworks, as well as related documents: Storyboards, Videograms (Preparatory texts, Photographs), Videograms.


System of “relations” which includes reflexive manifestations of the symbolic systems involved.

Autograph MetatextualitiesTexts about the works and artistic practices produced by the authors themselves: Afterwords, Articles in Magazines and Journals, Articles in Newspapers, Books and Monographs, Chapters in Books, Critical Essays, Documentaries, Interviews, Introductions, Manifestos, Prefaces, Reviews, Theses and Dissertations.

Alograph MetatextualitiesTexts about the works and artistic practices produced by agents other than the authors: Afterwords, Articles in Magazines and Journals, Articles in Newspapers, Books and Monographs, Chapters in Books, Critical Essays, Documentaries, Interviews, Introductions, Prefaces, Reviews, Theses and Dissertations.

ParatextualitiesTextual elements that help to frame works and artistic practices: Catalogues, Covers, and Posters.

HypertextualitiesTexts that are explicitly derived from other texts: Citations – textual fragments from different sources -, Parodies and pastiches, as well as all texts that rewrite or explicitly refer other texts.

Future developments

The projects that made possible the creation of the PO.EX Digital Archive ended in February 2012. And thus, funding from FCT and EU, which has allowed us to contract services, human resources (scholarships, consultants), and dissemination (missions) has ended as well. While new forms of funding does not arise, maintenance and ongoing management of this Archive is guaranteed by Rui Torres, with the unconditional support, friendship and patience of the authors represented here. (Thank you!) is a member of CELL-Consortium on Electronic Literature, of the ELO-Electronic Literature Organization. The Consortium on Electronic Literature is an initiative aimed at developing partnerships among organizations, universities, and publishers for the purpose of sharing research in the area of electronic literature. CELL stems from a desire to establish cooperative communication among databases devoted to electronic literature worldwide. In a word, the goal of CELL is interoperability.

Members of CELL :

Representants of in CELL:

This project also has the institutional support of the Gabinete de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento da Investigação of UFP.

And what now, José? > Now we are motivated to continue. So we are interested in finding new partnerships and fundings in order to ensure a sustainable development of this Digital Archive…

Interested in knowing more about this project? Read some of the recommendations, reviews and references we are receiving. Or build a list of all the articles available here with references to the PO.EX Archive.


This area of the Digital Archive of PO.EX aims to disseminate exhibitions, shows, cycles and other activities related to Portuguese Experimental Poetry.

Ana Hatherly: Anagram of Writing

The «Ana Hatherly: Anagram of Writing» cycle took place at Cais do Sodré, Lisbon, between 06-30-2016 and 06-07-2016, during the Festival Silêncio 2016, having as Commissioner Manuel Portela.


Presentation and Remixing of the Digital Archive of Portuguese Experimental Literature. Five (5) sessions with debate and audiovisual remix by Retroescavadora – an artistic intervention collective. Guests: André Sier, Bruno Ministro. First Saturdays from January to May 2015, at 5:00 p.m., at Livraria Gato Vadio, Porto.

Collective Exhibits

Collective exhibits involving authors or works related to experimental poetry, in museums, galleries or other spaces.

Individual Exhibits

Individual exhibits of authors related to experimental poetry, in various museums, galleries and other spaces.

In the PO.EX Writings

The cycle “In the PO.EX Writings” took place in Casa da Escrita, in Coimbra, between 2012 and 2013, having as Commissioner Jorge Pais de Sousa.

Guided Tours to the Archive

The PO.EX Spaces section invites researchers, digital curators and other interested parties to use the works available in this Archive for the creation of virtual exhibitions.

Credits, Funding, Copyright

Principal Researcher  > Rui Torres

Researchers > Pedro Reis, Pedro Barbosa, Maria do Carmo Castelo Branco, Elisa Costa, Elsa Simões, José Manuel Torres, Nuno M. Ribeiro, Ana C. Moutinho, Eduardo Paz Barroso, Manuel Portela, Débora Silva, Fabiano Correa da Silva, João Donga and Maria do Céu Melro.

Consultants > E. M. de Melo e Castro, Sérgio Bairon, Fernando Aguiar, Jorge Luiz Antonio, Pedro Barbosa, Johanna Drucker and Christopher Funkhouser.

Research Fellows > Raquel Monteiro, Rodrigo Melo, Ciro Miranda, André Seixas, Andreia Alexandra Nogueira, Diogo Gomes, Helena Marinho, Alexandre Rocha and André Carvalho. team >

Authors [cf. full list with links] > Abílio-José Santos (1926-1992), Álvaro Neto/Liberto Cruz, Américo Rodrigues, Ana Hatherly, Antero de Alda, António Aragão (1921-2008), António Barros, António Dantas, António Nelos, Armando Macatrão, César Figueiredo, E. M. de Melo e Castro, Emerenciano, Fernando Aguiar, Gabriel Rui Silva, Jorge dos Reis, José-Alberto Marques, Manuel Portela, Pedro Barbosa, Salette Tavares (1922-1994) and Silvestre Pestana.

Friends of the project > In addition to the authors, researchers, consultants and scholarship holders of the projects, we would like to thank some people who have contributed positively to the development of Alckmar dos Santos, Alegna Cammarano, Alexandra Antunes, Anabela G. e Bruno C. (and family of Abílio-José Santos), Ana Santos (LabTV – UFP), aranhiças & elefantes, Audrei de Carvalho, Catarina Figueiredo Cardoso, Charles Baldwin, Cláudio Fajardo, Claus Cluver, Daniel Pires (Maus Hábitos), Eugenio Tisselli, Eunice Ribeiro, Friedrich W. Block, Gloria Bordons, Isabel Basto, João Fernandes, José Bacelar, Laura Borràs, Lis Costa, Luís Aly, Luís Carlos Petry, Mandrágora, Marcos Aragão Correia (son of António Aragão), Miguel Azguime, Nuno F. Ferreira, Nuno M Cardoso, Philippe Bootz, Salette Brandão (daughter of Salette Tavares, Scott Rettberg, Sónia Oliveira (Serralves Library) and University Fernando Pessoa.

Copyright > The documents available in the PO.EX Digital Archive [texts, images, sounds, videos, software] are digital representations of works with clearly identified authors. These authors, or their legal representatives, have authorized the reproduction/presentation of those documents here, but they are the only legal copyright holders of the works. The (re)use of works reproduced here thus implies an explicit authorization by the authors that you, dear reader, must get. While we can, in some cases, assist you and facilitate such contacts, we hold no liability for unauthorized publications.

Words and Painting Exchange Roles: Concretism, Experimentalism and Fine Arts in Portugal

Article by Eduardo Paz Barroso establishing correspondences between some Portuguese artists and the universe of visual poetry, thus discussing aspects of the Portuguese poetry of the 1960s. [Pdf]

In > Journal of Artists’ Books, Number 32, Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts, pp. 21-28. Fall 2012. ISSN 1085-1461.

From the Introduction > When considering the relations between Concretism, Experimentalism and fine arts in Portugal, we are referred to the universes of Cubist collage, to the mental associations of Surrealism, to Informalism and action painting. All these aesthetic trends provide the means and contexts for new forms of visual thinking that experimental poetry formulates, questioning and self-questioning in accordance with principles that expose the poetic creation simultaneously as creation and theoretical enunciation. Several points of contact and aesthetic affinities between this trend and some of the most significant moments of the Portuguese plastic production are perfectly identifiable. However, it is still insufficiently explored the critical analysis inherent to a pictorial corpus interrogated from the concerns and attitudes of experimental poetry and concrete poetry.

The place of poetry in modern and contemporary Portuguese literature marks a kind of originality without a name. More than a pure purpose of language and its subject, it is an accelerated experimentation. This is due both to the dizzying capacity of the “saying” as to the imagery of the word that breaks through as a “pluri-significant” event full of oniric possibilities. In this context, the term Literature has not so much its institutional and ideological meaning which refers to a “theory of literature”, but is rather an “archipelago of metaphors” (Lourenço, 1988:205), each metaphor with its own filament, its demarcation of episodes where language breaks all the grammars, according to criteria of solitary poetic authorship, which is always the condition of an “I” that resists the critique reunification with the “person” of the author.

External link >



Remote idealizations and achievements; pioneers; aesthetic and material antecedents of experimental poetry. Included in this category are the visual texts of the 17th and 18th centuries – Labyrinths, Acrostics, Anagrams; but also some texts of Futurism and Dadaism that tended towards visuality.

Electrography and Copy Art

Intersemiotic form based on the creative exploration of the photocopier, problematizing the processuality and performativity of the instruments, machine and materials thus promoting a synthesis between the literary and visual arts that extends to the field of technology in its reflection on medial inscription, appropriation and reproduction.

Experimental Fiction

Form of narrative, prose, or fictional structure based in a non-linear organization of the signifiers, promoting the fragmentation of traditional narrative diegesis, as well as the use of unexpected relationships between writing, sound, and image – as well as its relationship at the level of meaning.

Performance Poetry

Form of poetry based on multidisciplinary live action, thereby extending the poetic field to the expressiveness of the body and to the social and spatial context of the performed action. (Also known as: Perfopoetry; Poetry-performance; Performance; Poetic action).

Concrete Poetry

Form of poetry based on the spatial organization and constellation of signifiers, leading to the abandonment of lines and stanzas as major rhythmic-formal units which are replaced by homologies and iconic relations between writing, sound, image and meaning.

Digital Poetry

Form of poetry that uses the computer as a creative machine, thereby promoting a symbiosis between artist and machine based on the exploration of combinatorial, random, multimodal and interactive algorithms. (Also known as: Cybernetic poetry; Electronic poetry; Cyberliterature).

Spatial Poetry

Form of poetry based on intersemiotic processes in which various sign systems (visual, audible, verbal, kinetic, performative) and materialities (three dimensional, objectual, media) are invoked and used in an expressive way.

Sound Poetry

Form of poetry based on the expressiveness of the phonetic aspects of language, as well as the vocal processes involved in sound emission, thereby extending the concept of poem to that of musical composition, usually associated with performative manifestations and live actions, but also produced either by audio recordings or by the visual representation of the score. (Also known as: Phonetic poetry).

Visual Poetry

Form of poetry based on the dissolution of the boundaries between visual and literary genres, in which the poem becomes a hybrid and intermedia entity, thereby overcoming the exclusive use of verbal and typographic elements, which are placed in dynamic interaction with visual elements.


Form of poetry based on the grammatical and communicative possibilities of the language of video, where the sign is iconized in a spatio-temporal action, articulating expressive elements such as the autonomous movement of shapes and colors, the integration of sound, and the interrelation space/time.


EXperimental POetry – Term proposed by  E. M. de Melo e Castro to contextualize the activities of Portuguese authors connected to visual, sound and concrete poetry from the 1960s to the 1980s.