Flarf was first applied in reference to poems and other creative texts produced by the Flarflist Collective, a group of writers including Maria Damon, Jordan Davis, Katie Degentesh, Drew Gardner, Nada Gordon, Rodney Koeneke, Michael Magee, Sharon Mesmer, K. Silem Mohammad, and Gary Sullivan. The term was coined by Sullivan in late 2000, when he submitted deliberately bad poems to Poetry.com’s poetry “contest” (actually a marketing scheme) as a way of testing Poetry.com’s supposed standards for excellence. (It should be noted that the practice of Poetry.com-baiting predates flarf itself; many other individuals, including North Carolina poet Patrick Herron and syndicated humorist Dave Barry, have engaged in similar pranks.)”

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