Thursday, May 1, 2014

Final Portfolios: English 207 - Creative Writing in Digital Spaces

from MSS: Modern Manuscript Studies

The final portfolio assignment must be submitted electronically using a webpage link.  The final portfolio will be comprised of creative work and a 300 word academic reflection (essay) about one aspect of creative writing in digital spaces. In the final paragraph of the academic reflection will offer opinions about whether creative writing in digital spaces will flourish or perish within a few years.

I have really enjoyed learning with you this semester. Please make sure your portfolio and all associated creative work is open to the public and can be accessed by viewers.  Post your links in the comments box below. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Please join us for the 20th Annual Black Women's Conference honoring bell hooks

Finding Our Place: A Conference in Honor of the Work and Writings
of bell hooks

20th Annual Black Women’s Conference: April 18-19, 2014
This year is the 20th convening of the Annual Black Women’s Conference.  In its history, there are few subjects of interest and important to the lives of Black women the conference has not explored.  As we celebrate this important year of the conference, we turn our attention to the work of a native daughter of Kentucky and preeminent feminist and intellectual, bell hooks.  Over the course of her career, hooks has been a leading thinker on the complexity of the positions of black women in American society and politics.  hooks continues to challenge  us with her current work to be both creative and thoughtful about understanding and making our place. Join us in celebrating the work of this important scholar and two decades of gathering black women in community. - more info:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comments on Comics and Notes from Scott McCloud

"And what better way to reinvent the form than to toss virtually 99% of everything that's been done with it and start with a brand-new canvas, reinvent it from the ground up? Digital comics gave me the opportunity to do that, and producing things digitally gave me the opportunity to do that." - Scott McCloud


In the TED video above Scott McCloud, the author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art and many other works, gives a lecture about how our minds process visual information and this type of interpretation impacts comics and graphic stories. In Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, McCloud establishes the five arenas of clarity for comic composition. I think these five arenas can easily be applied to our theories about digital storybooks/telling.
Below his theories regarding the five arenas of clarity a comic that describes the five arenas of comic composition.
Consider which frame is more appealing to you and why, how do images contribute to meaning in physical (print) and digital mediums.


More info:
Visual Rhetoric/Visual Literacy Writing About Comics and Graphic Novels - Duke University

4 Comic Book Fan Theories Way Cooler Than the Comic Book

10 Digital Comics You Should Read Right Now

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Digital Storybook Assignment: Workshops 4/14 - 4/23

Digital Storybook Assignment

photo credit:
Most of us were introduced to literature through children’s books, storybooks.  Whether the stories were narratives of fairytales, histories, or heroic epics, they helped to shape our love for narratives and very possibly creative writing.

Storybooks play a significant role in how we understand and share stories with one another in our collective society. This assignment is designed to have you create a digital storybook. Please reread and introduce yourself to traditional storybooks.  Use them as a source of literary inspiration for this digital storybook assignment. 

photo credit:

Here are a few examples of digital storybook/telling software. You may find them helpful. Be sure to do some additional research.  If you find software or an application that you think others would like, please post the link in the comments portion. 

PubbSoft -
Animoto -
Comic Life (not free) -
Storybird -
Digital Vaults using The National Archives -
UTellStory -
The Art of Storytelling by the Delaware Art Museum -

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Genre Play - 3/26 Discussion Thread

Greetings, Class Community. 

Please list what genre (narrative style) you are most interested in writing in. Feel free to make a distinction between physical writing and digital writing - if there is one. 
Please include a sentence or two explaining why you prefer that genre style.

Then if you agree or disagree with another classmate's post, you may reply directly to the post with your comments.
Dr. Hill 

Poetic Forms from

Play in forms!!!

"Abecedarian poems are now most commonly used as mnemonic devices and word games for children, such as those written by Dr. Seuss and Edward Gorey."
"As one of the world’s oldest poetic techniques, anaphora is used in much of the world’s religious and devotional poetry, including numerous Biblical Psalms."
"Their subject matter dealt with religious themes, love, tragedy, domestic crimes, and sometimes even political propaganda."
"One of the principal forms of music and poetry in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France."
Blues Poem
"A blues poem typically takes on themes such as struggle, despair, and sex."
The Bop
"Not unlike the Shakespearean sonnet in trajectory, the Bop is a form of poetic argument consisting of three stanzas."
"From the Latin word for 'patchwork,' the cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets.
Chance Operations
"A chance operation can be almost anything from throwing darts and rolling dice, to the ancient Chinese divination method, I-Ching, and even sophisticated computer programs."
"Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry."
Dramatic Monologue
"The poet speaks through an assumed voice—a character, a fictional identity, or a persona."
"Modern ekphrastic poems have generally shrugged off antiquity's obsession with elaborate description, and instead have tried to interpret, inhabit, confront, and speak to their subjects."
"The traditional elegy mirrors three stages of loss. First, there is a lament, then praise for the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace."
"Elements that typically distinguish epics include superhuman deeds, fabulous adventures, highly stylized language, and a blending of lyrical and dramatic traditions."
"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."
"Epistolary poems—from the Latin 'epistula' for 'letter'—are, quite literally, poems that read as letters."
Found Poem
"The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems."
"Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians."
"A journey composed of a prose poem and ending with a meaningful murmur of sorts: a haiku."
"Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression."
"A popular form in children’s verse, the limerick is often comical, nonsensical, and sometimes even lewd."
"Originally accompanied by music and dance, and later reserved by the Romantic poets to convey their strongest sentiments."
"Although poetry and mathematics often seem to be incompatible areas of study, OULIPO seeks to connect them."
"The pantoum originated in Malaysia in the fifteenth-century as a short folk poem, typically made up of two rhyming couplets that were recited or sung."
Prose Poem
"Just as black humor straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy, so the prose poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry, both heels resting precariously on banana peels."
"The pastoral tradition refers to a lineage of creative works that idealize rural life and landscapes."
"Renga began over seven hundred years ago in Japan to encourage the collaborative composition of poems."
"The rondeau began as a lyric form in thirteenth-century France, popular among medieval court poets and musicians."
"The sapphic dates back to ancient Greece and is named for the poet Sappho, who left behind many poem fragments written in an unmistakable meter."
"The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the Provencal troubadour of the twelfth century."
"From the Italian sonetto, which means 'a little sound or song,' the sonnet is a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries."
"One of the oldest Japanese forms, tanka originated in the seventh century, and quickly became the preferred verse form in the Japanese Imperial Court."
Terza Rima
"Invented by the Italian poet Dante Alighiere in the late thirteenth century to structure his three-part epic poem, The Divine Comedy."
"The earliest triolets were devotionals written by Patrick Carey, a seventeenth-century Benedictine monk."
"Strange as it may seem for a poem with such a rigid rhyme scheme, the villanelle did not start off as a fixed form."

Intersections in Creative Writing, Music, and History

Greetings, Class Community.

I wanted to take a moment to share an interview between poets and professors, Randall Horton and Tyehimba Jess.  Horton and Jess discuss persona poems,  language, titling complete works, McKoy (The Two-Headed Nightingale)  Sisters, freak show, and researching as a writer.

Arts@UNH Interview with Tyehimba Jess
Randall Horton is an associate professor of English at the University of New Haven in Connecticut and the author of The Definition of Place (2006) and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street (2009). He is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea González Poetry Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship. Randall is a fellow of Cave Canem and a member of the Affrilachian Poets, two organizations that support African American poetry; and a member of the Symphony: The House That Etheridge Built, a reading collective named for the poet Etheridge Knight. An excerpt from Horton’s memoir, Roxbury, is newly released as a chapbook.

Tyehimba Jess bridges slam and academic poetry. His first collection, leadbelly (2005), an exploration of the blues musician Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s life, was chosen for the National Poetry Series  and was voted one of the top three poetry books of the year by Black Issues Book Review. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that “the collection’s strength lies in its contradictory forms; from biography to lyric to hard-driving prose poem, boast to song, all are soaked in the rhythm and dialect of Southern blues and the demands of honoring one’s talent.”

TedxNashvlle - Tyehimba Jess - Syncopated Sonnets