Learning to Drive Digital Poetry

It is a Tuesday afternoon in October and two dozen English 214 students at Capilano University have been driving Megan Sapnar Ankerson and Ingrid Ankerson’s poem  “Cruising” since Sunday night.  “Cruising” was first published on the new media poetry site Poems That Go.  It was later selected to appear in the Electronic Literature Organization’s Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1.  This is where the English 214 students first encountered the poem.

Cruising

Today’s we began by trading interpretations and readings of “Cruising.”  The class then tackled Megan’s “On Cruising” from Sunday, October 18th which offered us a behind the scenes look at the poem’s compositional history + the background story on Poems That Go.  It was from these discussions that the six questions below emerged:

1. How would you classify “Cruising” ? As a whole what categories do you feel exist in E-Poetry at present?

2. Why did you decide to change your style from having less reader interaction to full user interaction? Did you find it to be more visually appealing? What was the motivation behind it?

3. Back in 2000 open-source programs were not as capable as they are now.  Do you see yourself using an open-source option in the future rather than Flash?

4. Why did you decide to change the piece from a love poem to a poem about adolescence?

5. How does the theme of struggle relate to your poem?

6. Are you worried about losing the poem/words/text within the other multimedia elements that are central to “Cruising”?

These are but six of the many questions that were contenders for this forum.  And we apologize for not narrowing the list down further.  And so – Megan – pick the three or so that you are MOST interested in answering!

The Students of English 214

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