To start us off, I submit, for the perusal and ‘what even /is/ this, Brian’ of the class, On Lionel Kearns. Lionel Kearns was a computer poet back in the early days (using the 60’s-style bpNichols definition and genre of “computer poetry”) who also used traditional forms and is a very cool guy.
He was the one who wrote this little supplmenetal essay when we worked through Computer Poems: http://www.vispo.com/bp/lionel.htm
More on Lionel before you dig into On Lionel Kearns: http://library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/kearns/index.htm
Now to the piece itself, a 2004 piece of relatively old-school computer poetry (using much more impactful and high-speed techniques than the old-timers) that uses Lionel’s correspondence and poetry and puts it back into cyberspace to re-contextualize it and return it to its own kind, so to speak. It needs Flash and Quicktime, so make sure those are working or else this will end up being doofy and nonfunctional.
My submissions are two very bizarre ones, and kind of on the edge of what’s relevant to the class.
The first is a man who writes poems (mostly prose poems) about videogames, videogame design, and videogame experiences. Trust me, the contents of these poems are bizarre and obscure even to those of us who game, so please don’t hate me for linking something “about videogames”… I have a good reason for bringing it up. This is something where you could read one or two of the poems to get an idea of what he’s doing.
The second is equally bizarre and obscure. It’s an article, technically, published on a games-journalism website. But it’s an article about interactive fiction, and so it is, itself, a piece of interactive fiction. Fair warning, it’s likely profane and crass at various points throughout, so explore at your own caution… again, I have a reason for bringing it up.
The reason I bring up both of these is not just to cement your perception of me as pretentious and unusual but also to ask: what’s going on with criticism and metatexts? The prose essay has long been the standard form for critique of just about everything created on this earth. What other options are there and what do they provide? Specifically, as this is an e-lit course, these two examples are digitally enabled. The first depends on digital distribution (blogs), which we haven’t really talked much about, but which is essential to finding an audience for this kind of niche work. The second requires digital mechanics to function as intended. Are there valuable affordances to these kinds of experiments? Are they just passing oddities?
Something I feel like English majors will all enjoy or have thought about at some point: Spine Sonnets by Jody Zellan