Literaturtidsskriftet Lasso Interview

Cover for Litteraturtidskriftet LASSO #2 - 2013 Digital
Cover for LASSO #2 – 2013 Digital

I was recently (March 25 – April 9, 2013) interviewed via e-mail by Pia Sophie Berg, a student at the University of Oslo and writer in the student-run literary journal Litteraturtidsskriftet LASSO. The interview (an abridged version of it) was published in the issue depicted above. I have scanned the published interview– abridged due to lack of space in the publication– and included the rest of the interview in this document, available online via Scribd.

This interview should be of interest to literature students curious (and perhaps anxious) about e-literature, regular readers of this blog, and anyone who teaches e-literature. In the interview I discuss the following topics:

  • I ♥ E-Poetry’s title, particularly the use of the “♥”.
  • Its goal of accelerating a literary and cultural shift towards the digital.
  • A definition of e-literature written for literature students.
  • Advice for current literature students on how to prepare for the (already ongoing) “digital turn.”
  • I ♥ E-Poetry role in meeting the need for content curation.
  • Answers to the FAQs:
    • “How do you choose what to publish?”
    • “Do you have to ‘like’ the piece to publish it on your blog?”

Share and Enjoy!

I ♥ E-Poetry’s Summer of Pedagogy

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Since completing the first phase of the I ♥ E-Poetry project, which consisted of a 500-day critical writing performance that resulted in a resource with over 500 works of e-literature, I have been busy migrating the blog from Tumblr to WordPress, inviting guest contributions through two CFP, developing new ways to access the content, and developing partnerships, visualizations, and resources to make the project a more valuable and user-friendly resource for the teaching of e-literature.

One of these resources will be a presentation for the E-Poetry 2013 Pedagogy Colloquium, titled “Teaching with I ♥ E-Poetry.” I have included a draft of the presentation slideshow, which will be a Pecha Kucha (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide). I will make an updated version available with voice recording after the presentation on June 17, 2013.

This presentation is a piece of a summer-long development in the project, during which I will write about:

  • Metadata: categories, publication venues, technologies, genres, and series
  • Pedagogy: assignments, resources, reading lists, new groupings of works
  • Scholarship: critical methods, scholarly resources
  • E-lit Courses: syllabi, writing assignments, student writings, assigned materials, topics

My goal is to develop I ♥ E-Poetry into a powerful teaching resource for those interested in teaching and learning about electronic literature and its poetics.

I invite feedback on this phase of the project, particularly in the form of suggestions for E-lit course websites, syllabi, resources, and even requests for entries on specific categories or aspects of the project. Please use the contact form to offer your input.

And in the Fall 2013, I’ll launch the next stage in the I ♥ E-Poetry project!

The I ♥ E-Poetry Writing Assignment

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If you teach electronic literature, consider having your students write an I ♥ E-Poetry entry.

Contact me if you’d like to propose a specific focus for your class to write about– an e-lit archive, current or past ‘zines, a writer or group of writers, genre, methodology, platform, etc. Perhaps we can put together a special “issue” of I ♥ E-Poetry on your topic.

I ♥ E-Poetry and ELMCIP Knowledge Base Partnership

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Image links to I ♥ E-Poetry @ ELMCIP KB.

I ♥ E-Poetry and the ELMCIP Knowledge Base are now synchronized.

The ELMCIP Knowledge Base (KB) is a database that connects writers, creative works, critical writing, publications, and events. It is developed by Scott Rettberg and the Electronic Literature Research Group at the University of Bergen, in Norway, and expanded by an international community of scholars.

The KB and I ♥  E-Poetry have long been attuned, cross referencing  and creating records for works reviewed in this project. Many descriptions, screenshots, and information in the KB are drawn from I ♥ E-Poetry and some of the data from the KB has informed the metadata in I ♥ E-Poetry. Early on, Scott Rettberg added the ability to link back to the I ♥ E-Poetry entry on a given work, reciprocated in all the blog entries with the following image:

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While Scott and I created the frameworks for integration, the most important contribution is actually entering the data, in both resources. Several members from the Electronic Literature Research Group have helped in this, among them Patricia Tomaszek, Eric Dean Rasmussen, Jill Walker Rettberg, Davin Heckman, and others, but none more than Hannelen Leirvag. Hannelen is a senior in the Digital Culture program at UiB and was my student in the Electronic Literature course in the Fall 2012 semester. Given administrator access to both resources, she put in long hours creating records, adding information to tags in both resources, linked KB records with I ♥ E-Poetry entries and viceversa, and helped debug both systems for optimal functionality. Her dedication and hard work have benefitted both projects immensely, for which I am extremely grateful.

What can we do with this integration? For starters, it allows me (and others) to extract data from the KB to create data visualizations, such as the ones below. Click on the images to visit the data visualizations.

awyviz
Author, Work, Year Visualization
I Love E-Poetry AWYT
Author, Work, Year, Tag Visualization

These published tools allow readers to see I ♥ E-Poetry through the ELMCIP KB’s eyes (so to speak), offering search tools, and a visual mapping that encourages exploration of different connections and affinities between authors, works, years, and tags (nodes). A little time spent searching, clicking through links, and mapping out the complex web of relations between nodes should lead to insight and discovery.

And this is only the beginning. I have received institutional support for the Fall 2013 semester in the shape of a research release time to continue developing I ♥ E-Poetry, and through an internship course, where I will have 2 students working with me to continue developing both resources. Their first mission, to update all the links to I ♥ E-Poetry entries in the ELMCIP Knowledge Base, changing them from leonardoflores.net addresses to ones in iloveepoetry.com.

In the meantime, enjoy the resources and visualizations, and stay posted for future developments and partnerships!

And my heartfelt thanks to the ELMCIP KB  team for their generous support!

Leonardo Flores Loves “A(l)one” by Annie Abrahams

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“A(l)one” by Annie Abrahams

Note: you’ll need to allow pop-up windows to read this poem.

This minimalist e-poem  influenced me greatly in my development into an e-lit scholar. When I first encountered this poem in 1999, I was impressed by its use of colorful pop up windows in different sizes and positions to illustrate how one can be alone, even when surrounded by others. The distinctive features of each window yield to a common look and feel as the all become the same in color and message, as seen below.

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The yellow words that take over all the windows is a background image– an animated GIF alternating the word/phrase “alone” and “all one.” This repetitive sequence resonates with E. E. Cumming’s spatial juxtaposition in “[l(a]” because both poems provide compelling images of loneliness. Whether you are a leaf falling from a tree, detached (in death) from the company of other leaves, or a window surrounded by 15 other windows for a little while only to be left alone, in the end you are bound to feel “one.”

Read moreLeonardo Flores Loves “A(l)one” by Annie Abrahams

CFP: The E-Lit I Love

This is an invitation for writers, students, and scholars of electronic literature.

I ♥ E-Poetry seeks entries about a work of e-lit that:

  • inspired you
  • influenced you
  • you love
  • you admire
  • you wish you had written
  • interests you above all others
  • you feel has been overlooked or underappreciated
  • all of the above
  • whatever other reason you have

The entries must be between 100-500 words and should include:

  • a link to the work or documentation
  • at least one screen-captured image, no larger than 300 pixels tall (you can e-mail it to me or let me get it, if you prefer).
  • some background & context on the work – not a ton of detail: just gesture towards key contexts and link to them.
  • your discussion of the work – try to get readers excited to read the work, or experience it through your eyes.

Here’s an example.

This is open to any work of e-literature, whether it’s been written about in I ♥ E-Poetry or not, in any genre, shape, or form. The only work you cannot write about is your own.

This CFP will remain open until further notice. Multiple contributions are encouraged.

To submit your entry, please use the form below or join I ♥ E-Poetry as a subscriber and use form below to contact me so you can become a contributor. You may also send me an e-mail.

New Tools for Exploring I ♥ E-Poetry

The transition from Tumblr to WordPress is a transformation from a performance writing blog to a knowledge base and electronic publication– something that will be discussed in the near future.

A key change makes a more systematic and useful implementation of the information established in its original tagging system by converting tags into categories and grouping them. The only information that remained as tags is the author’s names, since it would add over 300 subcategories rendering category pull-down menus useless. WordPress allows me to deploy the categories in two significant ways:

  • A pull-down menu on the sidebar, which lists all categories with nested subcategories and the number of works under each category. That is a useful bit of information to be had at a glance, leading to exploration of other similar works.
  • A menu in the header which presents the categories side-by-side, revealing a selection of subcategories under each with a mouse-over.

So come explore this knowledge base of over 500 entries as never before!