Review By: Mackenzie Gans
Girls Day Out is an Electronic Literature Collection poem by Kerry Lawrynovicz. It is a poem split up into three parts, with the main Poem, a collection of newspaper headlines in Shards and the self-explanatory Author’s Note. First I will explain the three sections then analyze them.
The first section, the Poem, is a body of text that talks about the two sisters riding their horses in a pasture, and how the horses reacted when they reached a certain section of the field. When you click on the body of text, the body of text fades out and several words which relate to the story are visible (But we will not reveal them, to not ruin the story for the reader). With Shards, it is a collection of information from various newspaper articles about the event, and when the reader clicks on the text, the words fly around and re-assemble themselves into a new batch of headlines and news tidbits. Finally there is the Authors Note. In this part, the author talks about her childhood experiences, and what led her to write the poem. This is a simply body of text, with no fancy re-assembling words. However it is very interesting, because it gives the reader a very personal window into the writers mind and her inspirations for writing what she did.
The poem section is easy for the reader to understand, until you click for the next page. The body of text disappears off the screen, slowly, and is replaced by several key words, then re-appears and this process is replicated a couple of times. The problem is the body of the poem goes on and off the screen too slowly, so you are left wondering what is coming next and distracted from the ominous keywords that appear. The same problem arises with the newspaper clippings in Shards. When you click on the text, the entire body of words is re-assembled into the next page, but this is done too slowly and simply becomes distracting to the reader. When yours truly watched/read this text, he was confused as to whether he should be focusing on the text that was moving around the screen, and if it had any message or the movement was just to tingle the visual senses. The final section, Authors Note, was a more traditional text. It was a simple body of static text and some childhood photos of the author. The text did not move, and that was fine because the Authors Note was a rather personal note and any text movement would’ve been too distracting.
In closing, Girls Day Out is an interesting and personal poem by Kerry Lawrynovicz, and the content is excellent. However, improvements could be made to the page transitions to make them more straightforward and relevant for the reader.