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If you’d asked me about ePoetry before last week, I would have said, “Yep, bet there’s something like that.”, and that would have been the extent of my knowledge.  That was before I heard Jason Lewis' interview on BBC Radio.   For this little blurb, I’d like to share with you a glimpse of a few of the directions that ePoetry is headed: interactive, apps and DIY for kids.  Gg

Touch screen interactive poetry:
"Poetry is an intimate medium but when it comes to digital poetry, the computer screen creates distance between writer and reader. Touch screens allow the audience to be drawn into a closer proximity to the computer screen than ever before," says Lewis.  Lewis is a combination of poet and techie.  He’s working on a project called P.o.E.M.M (Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media).

The interactive poems are designed to be read on touch devices, from large-scale exhibition surfaces to smartphones.  Examples of his work can be found here.  The video examples are abbreviated; if you’d like to see one in its entirety, right click the video, select “Copy video URL” and paste it in a new browser tab.   Lewis is working on other apps that will give users the opportunity to use Twitter feeds to generate original poems.   

Key board interactive poetry:
Jason Nelson has taken a different approach to interactive ePoetry.  He uses words, sounds, images, movement and video to create an experience.  One of his most popular ePoems, "Game Game", is part poem, part game and part "anti-design”.  It’s a 13-part interactive poem with quirky sound. (Your parkour skills, via the space bar, will come in handy!).  Nelson has a digital stable of interactive works at Heliozoa.com

Apps for traditional poetry and DIYers:
Whether you’re trying to remember the words to that special Rumi poem or wanting to create an ePoem from scratch, there’s an app for you.

For the iPad and iPhone  and for the Android.
DIY ePoetry for kids:
Scholastic serves as a great resource for identifying tools to turn a “poetry slam into a multimedia event”.

The delivery of poetry, both in terms of content and style, is in flux just like other forms of the written word.  Interative ePoetry and DIY multimedia add to both the definition and experience of what poetry can be.  What do you think about these new options? 


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