Jason Nelson is a digital and hypermedia poet and artist. His website, secrettechnology.com, won a Webby award in 2009 under the Weird category. Nelson has also won awards for his digital poetics—The Panliterary Award for This is How You Will Die, The Biennale Internationale des poetes en Val de Marne for Media Poetry (Countries of a Uncomfortable Ocean) and the 4th International Prize “Ciutat de Vinaros” on Digital Literature for his work The Bomar Gene.
Nelson describes “Poetry Cube” (otherwise titled “poem cube”) as “a gateway for print poets into the e-poetry world.” Created by Nelson and developed by Rory Hering, this work is formally experimental but retains some traditional poetic elements, such as the verse line unit and (at times) rhythmic regularity. According to Nelson “[t]he cube interface allows the reader to move the interface in 3-dimensional space, with the all elements placed on the cube transforming in proportion to the cube’s movement.”
The “Poetry Cube” enables those who interact with it to think of the poem in a multi-linear and multi-dimensional fashion. The reader can navigate around the cube and create her own poetic works by interacting with the cube. Pressing one of the four side arrows enables the reader to view the different colored layers of text, each of which have four lines. Clicking the “rotate upwards” and “rotate downwards” buttons shuffle the current lines within the four colored layers, making new lines appear in a random order. At the same time, the text within each of the four colored layers is altered, simultaneously creating and evading meaning.
Writers can also use Nelson’s “Poetry Cube” to create their own poems by clicking the “W R I T E NEW” button. The writer is then prompted to enter 16 lines, which they can save or preview in the same fashion as Nelson’s “Poetry Cube.” This allows writers to get involved in the practice of e-poetry and experiment with an emerging creative modality.
Olivia Giuricich was a student of Dr. Kiki Benzon for a course in Contemporary Fiction taught at the University of Lethbridge, Canada during the Winter term of 2011.