Blog Post

Hello! (& Introductions)

Hello Everyone!

I'm a second year MFA student in poetry at Cornell. While preparing my applications for graduate school I caught the digital poetics bug. Researching the faculty at different schools, I became enthralled by the work of John Cayley. I say enthralled with both its old and new meanings: I was fascinated, captivated, but also felt a kind of danger of bewitchment. The work and surrounding theory (the inscription of complex surfaces in the Screen works of Brown University's "Cave," mobile text and issues of temporal legibility in works like Young-Haw Chang Heavy Industries' Dakota, and the challenges to standard reading technologies in John Cayley's The Reader's Project) looked like a very deep rabbit hole; one that threatened to undertake the relatively normative lyric poetry I had been focused on.

During my time at Cornell I can't say this anxiety has lessened. My efforts towards both lyric and digital poetics have remained on separate (if mutually influential) tracks. However, I have had the pleasure of working with professors who gave me the space to play and create experimental digital works: An dynamic anti-translation of Edouard Glissant's Black Salt that poses "translation" as a kind of critical evidence, and a poetic critique of Noah Eli Gordon's The Source in the form of an animated overlaying of his text with text from internet interviews and the html source code of those interviews.

These projects have lead me to push against the boundaries of critical and creative writing and delve into the possibilities of a screen (digital) based poetics. My current project is a both an argument for poetic transformation as a appropriately manifold mode of interpreting poetry, and also a exploration of digital interactivity, dynamic unity, and a permutational reader experience: In this piece the reader encounters what appears to be a solid text like a pdf document, but discovers that clicking on different points on the "page" cause the text to expand or contract.

My interest in digital poetics, however, does not stop with my own work. I'm proposing a freshman writing seminar on digital literature for the next academic year and hope to bring these new modes of writing, excitingly, to a young audience. I'm also working on the beginnings of organizing a digital poetics conference at Cornell.

I'd be happy to hear from any of you with similar (or, lets be honest, different) interests and wish you all the best with your own projects. Cheers!     


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