Results

What are the general results?

Two poems I adapted. Two new poems I created. Two I did not have adequate time to complete.

Responses to research questions:

What common elements tie together digital poems into one genre?

Through this project I discovered firsthand how characteristics of a variety of digital poems overlap.

All the poems share a use of imagery beyond the scope of what's described in the text. Within the original text of "Marriage Feint," I do not describe much of the narrative in detail. But in the digital poem "Marriage Feint," I give additional images that provide more context for the poem's narrative, including rain and alcohol bottles.

I also used similar techniques and software programs for all the poems that led to different effects. A poem is a collection of elements that build on one another. How those elements are positioned to interact make for a different poem and experience. For both "Through the Lens" and "Branding," I used the image trace option in Adobe Illustrator. The traced images still resemble photos in "Through the Lens" as the black-and-white backgrounds. Meanwhile, in "Branding," the traced images appear more abstract as the options for the mind category.


What characteristics of digital poems help group them into different categories?

I intended to feature a category of digital poetry through each of my poems. I accomplished that as can be noted on each of the poem's description pages (e.g., "My Daughter's a Child:" Interactive).

Yet I noticed more and more over the course of this project how the poems I was creating could easily fall into more than one category. "My Daughter's a Child" is interactive, but it is also visual and kinetic with images and text readers can move across the screen.


How does the experience of engaging a digital poem differ from reading a printed poem?

A digital poem demands more of the reader. There is a participation requirement for my interactive poems, "My Daugther's a Child" and "Branding." But there's also a demand on the readers of "Marriage Feint" and "Through the Lens" to take in the extra layers of the poem in the form of visuals and audio.


How does the process for creating a digital poem differ when the author adapts a print poem for the digital medium vs. when the author writes a poem specifically for the digital medium?

When I adapted my print poems for the digital:

  • I made the visuals fit the text.
  • I struggled to consider visuals outside the images already described in the text of the poem.

When I wrote and designed the new digital poems:

  • I fit the text and visuals together.
  • I sometimes designed the visuals before adding the text or vice versa.

Overall, it was constraining on my design to start with a print poem. I felt I had to stay true to the imagery and narrative of the original poem. Whereas, when I designed the two new poems, I was not as attached to text and was more willing to adjust it to work with the visuals.


How does experience in creating digital poetry alter the writing process for print poetry?

More research is needed to answer this question. I have not written enough new poetry during the course of this project to report on this. But there's a likelihood that I will at least think of how to create the visual complements of the imagery in my future poems.

Abstract

More than plain text on a screen, digital poetry is a performance and an engagement with a reader/user through text, images, videos, audio, animation, and/or game-like structures. As our technology has advanced, so has this genre evolved, now including a spectrum of sub-genres like multimedia and interactive poetry.

To explore the capabilities and value of digital poetry, I created six digital poems that capture part of the spectrum. Two I adapted from poems I’ve written previously. Two I wrote and designed for the screen simultaneously. Then I reflected on the process for both, considering how the experience might have any ramifications on my traditional writing process and more ways to integrate an art form like poetry with other disciplines.

Contact the Author

klortza@gmail.com

lortzka@bgsu.edu