All posts by Kefah Ayesh

Blog #3

I absolutely loved the Black Out Poetry tool by Jazar Chand! As someone who has curated lesson plans surrounding Black Out Poetry, I found this tool to be a great asset to any English classroom. This is a great resource for teachers looking for ways to engage students in writing, especially poetry. Students often dread taking on the task of writing poetry. This tool allows students to explore poetry beyond strict rules of structure, complicated language and literary devices. The site was incredibly easy to navigate with a smooth interface that did not require any downloads or add-on extensions, making it ideal for students using school owned devices or devices in public places.

The site allows uses to navigate the writing through “modes of interaction”: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis, Symbiosis and Visual. At each stage of interaction the user has the ability to choose the level of computer/bot contribution, “Thesis” being the only mode in which the user selected text on his/her own and the mode I found most appealing. While the other modes of interaction were interesting many of the poems composed with high level bot contribution weren’t very cohesive.

Regardless of my own personal preferences, each mode created a sense of inquiry between me and the actual text and functions surrounding it. I wanted to know how each mode worked and why each mode was given its specific name. I believe at heart that is what electronic literature is all about, increasing user to text and engagement and above all create a spirit of query that flourishes.

Blog #2

The concept of digital literature possessing its own set of interpretation methods based on reader / text interaction is quite intriguing. The concept of a language within a standard language was a bit difficult to conceptualize at first, but as Jessica Pressmen explains in Navigating Electronic Literature it becomes apparent that we are active participants in this method of interpretation without realizing it. The writer illuminates how the interactions between the reader and the text through actions such as navigating and clicking hypertexts has influence over how the reader interprets and digests the information. As Pressmen states, “navigating a hypertext not only promotes questions about the role of the reader and the reading practice but also about the structure and signification of literature itself”, implying that the traditional role of reader and writer need to be revaluated in digital texts. Through varied examples Pressmen allows us to understand elements of a digital text such as hypertext or interactive reader input has the ability to transform derived meaning. The reader is directly involved with how the text is transmitted to them; as pressmen states, “Reading electronic literature is not only about accessing or receiving texts but also about producing and performing them.” This non-traditional literary concept of reader and text interactions promotes questions about “the role of the reader and the reading practice but also about the structure and signification of literature itself.” Which is necessary in order for any field to stay current and follow the evolving literary abilities and conventions of society.

The Major contrast between reading Navigating Electronic Literature by Jessica Pressman and engaging with an actual example such as Twelve Blue by Michael Joyce is the mental shift and being cognizant of the actions I am taking as I am reading. Although navigating through a digital text and clicking hypertexts are not new to me the way in which each action led to a different text felt incoherent and choppy. The mental shift needed to analyze how each text was related, or if it was related at all was agitating. I was also frustrated with the amount of time it took to go back to a text I found interesting, but this also meant I needed to be more intentional with my interactions with the text.

All in all, I believe that digital literacy requires a unique interpretation of reader/ text interaction. It expands on the notion of intentional interpretation and interaction with a text; in a sense building a stronger between the reader, the actual text and the original producer of the text.

Work Cited

Jessica Pressmen. “Navigating Electronic Literature”, newhorizons.eliterature, Accessed 13 Sept.2022

Michael Joyce. Twelve Blue, collection.eliterature, Accessed 13 Sept.2022

Who Am I vs What is My ‘Why”?

Its funny how often I assign my own students assignment asking them to introduce themselves, and yet here I am dreading it. I guess talking about yourself never gets easier, but I believe talking about my “why” comes to me more natural. “My why” is associated with a larger life purpose rather than who I am in the present moment, which speaks to a larger issue is struggle with; acknowledging a sense of accomplishment.

I’ll start with the basics. I am a mother of four, who has had a non- linear path to education, taking extensive break before completing my undergraduate in English and a minor in sociology. I am hoping to complete my MA thesis in the spring with a focus on the colonized mind and its effect on establishing identity and the consequences thereof.

At heart, I am someone who care deeply about justice and humanity. I believe the basic fundamentals of humanity have been lost and replaced with insatiable greed and consumerism and an obsession with self rather than community. I love writing because it has been proven to be a very therapeutic outlet that has helped me navigate thought some of the most difficult times in my life.

I believe in supporting people and meeting them where they are at. I believe everyone deserves the right to live in a dignified manner. I believe at our core, we are all human and as a collective we need to enforce the true meaning of authentic community.