/anode a/node an/ode: Poems and an Essay on Teaching Digital Creative Writing

Critical Writing
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2015
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Public Domain
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This dissertation is part critical essay and part poetry collection. The critical essay, “Flipping the Script: On the Pedagogical Relevance of Teaching Digital Creative Writing,” examines the benefits of digital creative writing, i.e. text-based, literary work that requires digital technology at every stage of existence, by organizing those benefits into five categories, or nodes: poiesis, literacy, identification, authority, and cognition. Then, it argues that digital creative writing, like print creative writing, reinforces and extends the goal of liberal education, i.e. to promote creative, critical, and conscientious citizens. As students read, or interact with, and construct their own digital literary objects, they simultaneously learn to read, interact with, and construct their various selves and knowledge. As for the poems in the collection, they act, in Pound’s words, as “radiant node[s] . . . from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing.” They enact a broad conception of the literary, one characterized by connectivity, interactivity, multimediality, non-linearity, performativity, and transformability, features that coincide with those of digital literary works. Diverse with regard to style, the poems narrate the mind and body at play amid the world’s charged states. The poems cohere around concepts and associations attendant to the anode, node, and ode. The “anode” poems explore relationships among larger cultural forces (e.g. poetry, art, identity, and politics). The “node” poems explore autobiography through the lens of experimental biopic. And the “ode” poems explore and destabilize the ode and its conventions. Ultimately, the work responds to its environment and strives to contain a world that resists being contained.

 

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Sebastian Solen...