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Webliography:   Stephanie Strickland

by Sara Herbert

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[Hypertexts & papers][Conferences][Poetry][Misc.]

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Hypertexts and papers:

The Hypertext Juke Box:  A Reader's Guide

     Strickland, Stephanie.   "Strickland Commentary."  in "The Hypertext Juke Box:  40 WebMen."  Riding the Meridian.  October 2000.  <califia.hispeed.com/Jumpin/strickland.htm>   (11 February 2002)

Strickland gives an online presentation of her reading/understanding of Web-specific work from the past five years.  Her commentary covers forty male authors (to see the list of authors and their work, click on the frames-version button labeled "Artists."  The Introduction by Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink helps explain the project and the guest commentators)    

At the beginning of her commentary, Strickland asks, "What kind of reading experience can you create from words, sounds, music, color, drawing, photographs, movies, animations, randomizers, text generators, and several different kinds of links?" The list of forty authors includes work that ranges from essentially text to a combination of visual and auditory stimuli--from pure hypertext to new media and everything that falls between those two extremes.   Strickland says the forty texts "begin to aggregate, to be transiently gathered, into seven sorts of work."  The seven "types" include The Journal or Journey, Hypertext Tales, Game Narratives, Visual Performances, Digital Embodiments of Critical Thought, Artifactual Worlds, and Rescaled or Refocused Perceptions. At the end of her commentary, she suggests that these forty texts help us "draw the connections and form the perceptions needed to flow, to participate in and comprehend an increasingly complex patterning that enfolds us—from nano-techniques to cosmic extent through genetic alteration and the new world (dis)orders."

 

Errand Upon Which We Came

     Strickland, Stephanie, M. D. Coverley, et al.  "Errand Upon Which We Came."  Fall 2000.  <califia.hispeed.com/Errand/>  (31 October 2000)

Strickland and Coverley use the resources of Flash to create this web-based hyperpoem (or is it hypermedia?)  There's a great deal of movement and shifting, both of the text and of the images as the poem pushes at your expectations for things to stay still on the page.  (forthcoming in Cauldron and Net, volume 2)

Just stay still a moment longer! I found myself saying when I first encountered the text.  By the time I finished reading through the text, it had faded away and made the link difficult to locate.  Or a frog had jumped across the screen, chasing the text (and the link) away from my trailing cursor.  But there is a silver butterfly on every page that will freeze the frame for those who don't want to deal with the challenges of a moving, shifting text.  Despite the initial frustrations, I found this to be a beautiful piece that pushed just so at my expectations of text, which (I imagine) is part of what the authors wanted.

 

Dragon Bytes

     Coverley, M. D.  "Romancing the StoneIs:  An Account of Dragon Bytes in the Deep."  in "Riding the Meridian -- Hypertext -- Means and Ends."  Riding the Meridian.  1999.  <www.etext.org/Poetry/Meridian/dragons.html>  (29 October 2000)

M. D. Coverly's account of the creation process surrounding "To Be Here as Stone Is."  She gives special attention to the programs they used as they prepared "To Be Here" for web production.  

This piece interested me because she reviews many of the benefits and pitfalls to using specific hypertext creation programs.  She also talks about the (arduous) process of converting a poem through its different possible forms. (SNH 10/29/00)

 

To Be Here as Stone is

     Strickland, Stephanie and M. D. Coverley.  "To Be Here as Stone Is."  Riding the Meridian.  1999.  <califia.hispeed.com/SI/stone1.htm>  (29 October 2000) 

In this hypertext, M. D. Coverley and Stephanie Strickland truly push at the use of repetition and image to create layers of meaning.  The text remains more or less the same throughout the poem, though it slowly evolves as readers work their way deeper, but the primary focus seems to be on how the image affects the reader's reception of text and also how image affects the text itself.

This is, in my estimation, a good example of hypermedia that emphasizes the text as much as the images themselves.  My understanding of the situation changed each time I encountered a new lexia with different links.  As I read, my awareness deepened.  The graphics and backgrounds are varied and intense, forcing the reader (in many ways) to engage them. 

 

Seven Reasons Why Sandsoot is the Way it is

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Seven Reasons Why Sandsoot is the Way it is."  in "Stephanie Strickland's paper."  Word Circuits. 1999. <www.wordcircuits.com/htww/strickland.htm>  (24 October 2000).

Strickland presents here seven aspects behind the creation of "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot."  She especially focuses on the many people who worked together to bring about the hyperpoem's creation, from the man who mentioned Sisyphus (a device that writes in sand with a computer-driven ball) to her co-creator, Janet Holmes.  The seven segments:  History, Images, Schemas, Readability, Playfulness and Seriousness, the Coda, and the Love Question.

Being able to read someone else's process of creation is always interesting and informative.  I'm constantly intrigued by the way Strickland unites art and science, incorporates seemingly disparate ideas into a whole.  Her writing conveys an infectious love for what she's doing, something I admire greatly.  It also makes me extremely sensitive to the many various elements that go into a hypertext's creation.

 

The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot

     Strickland, Stephanie and Janet Holmes. "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot." Word Circuits.  1999.  <www.wordcircuits.com/gallery/sandsoot> (24 October 2000).

Strickland and Janet Holmes collaborated to develop this hyperpoem about science, mythology/folklore, history, and love.  The characters take on interesting proportions--Sand becomes, for lack of a better word, the Internet; Harry Soot is a regular flesh-and-blood man.  They renegotiate each other's space and definitions, taking on parts of the other as their own self-awareness changes.  

This hyperpoem constantly surprises--and engages--its readers.  It contains a great variety of different-colored text that sometimes links thematic ideas.  Because the links aren't underlined and are never the same color from lexia to lexia, I found that I really had to work with the text to discover its secrets.  I thought her "menu" system was especially unique:  at the bottom of the lexia, there is a string of underlined 0's.  Every time you pass through a lexia, one of the 0's brightens.  As Strickland said in one of her essays, the more 0's that are "lit up," the more enlightened the reader has become about Sand and Soot.

 

To Be Both in Touch and in Control

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "To be Both in Touch and in Control."  thREADS:  a gathering of threads.  in "ebr9--<Strickland."  Electronic Book Review.  Spring 1999.  <http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr9/9strick.htm>  (24 October 2000).

Strickland examines the spaces, choices, and options available to hypermedia designers while talking about her hypertext, True North.  Throughout the essay, she maps how brain scientists, AI researchers, and multimedia designers find themselves occupying a common area as they all grapple with a single common question:  "...how and to what extent can a dynamical system be represented by a symbolic one?"

I think Strickland is looking at the essential problems that anyone dealing with the unknown or untried must face:  where does this new idea fit into the context of what has come before?  What options do we have available, what room can we carve out for our own that will work logically with what's already out there?  She wonders who her audience is, and just how they will react to this new space she creates with her work.

 

A Migration Between Media

     Tabbi, Joseph.  "A Migration Between Media."  thREADS:  a gathering of threads.  in "ebr9--<Tabbi."  Electronic Book Review.  Spring 1999.   <http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr9/9tabb.htm> (31 October 2000).

In this essay, Joseph Tabbi discusses the differences he encountered between reading True North as a hypertext and as a printed book.

This seems like a very interesting explication of a poem, the sort of academic explication normally associated with an in-depth study of "true" literature.  Through the explication, we see how Tabbi read True North-- what paths he followed and the results of that reading.  He also presents what other people have said about various ways to read the hypertext, which creates a critical context for the hyperpoem.

 

Seven League Boots

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Seven League Boots."  thREADS:  image + narrative, part 2.  in "ebr7>--contents."  Electronic Book Review.  Summer 1998. <http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr7/ebr7.htm>  (24 October 2000).

Strickland ties together her loose ends in an essay that, perhaps, explains more about why she's writing what she's writing.  She incorporates elements from True North:  Emily Dickinson, William Gibbs, William Blake, and pulls in other factors (such as Simone Weil) as if this is her own metatext.  Throughout the essay, she seeks to draw together the threads of her disparate images and ideas.

I found this essay useful because it did pull the loose threads together.  Here, Strickland sets out for us all of her main cards (not that they are her only cards, nor her best ones, but the cards that seem to have played a major role in her work so far) and lets us know just what she's doing with them.  I was also intrigued by her discussion about the reader and occupied space--a topic that she analyzes frequently.

 

Poetry in the Electronic Environment

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Poetry in the Electronic Environment."  thREADS:  (electro)poetics.  in "Stephanie Strickland."  Electronic Book Review.  Spring 1997.  <www.altx.com/ebr/ebr5/strick.htm>  (24 October 2000).

Talk given at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, April 10, 1997.  Here, Strickland gives an overview of hypertext and talks about some of the problems inherent with converting a print text into a hypermedia form--a question she faced while turning her book of poems, True North, into a hypertext.  She dips back into the mythical history of (re)creating the first Aeolian harp from a turtle shell and stretches forward into a land of electrons and the virtual computer screen, all in an attempt to discover and explain her orientation so that others who follow may have a path to follow. 

This talk/essay interests me greatly because I can see the poet/creator's mind at work.  She talks through the ways she made her own choices, explaining them carefully because, in many ways, it's like learning a new language that nobody else speaks.  She's constantly renegotiating the space her hypertext occupies and her own right to work in that space.  As she says, "the electronic environment undercut[s] our old ideas about space and time, ins some respects collapsing time and space, or allowing them to stand in for each other."  These early texts have the difficult job of renegotiating what space and what time they can occupy.

 

True North

     Strickland, Stephanie.  True North.  Eastgate Systems Inc.  1997. <www.eastgate.com/catalog/TrueNorth.html> (24 October 2000).

True North is Strickland's first book-length hypertext.  It was originally created in print form, but its content seemed particularly conducive to the form of a hyperpoem, as Strickland explains in "Poetry in the Electronic Environment."   The poem sequence deals with the connections and inner workings of history, folklore, geography, science, poetry, and mothers.  You can order the hypertext True North from Eastgate.

I haven't read True North myself, but from reading reviews and from reading about Strickland's process, it sounds like the quintessential hyperpoem: one that both creates something artistic and beautiful and also pushes at the boundaries that have previously held poetry, art, and time in the forms that we know.

 

 

List of conferences where Strickland presented:

ISAMA 2000

     ---.  "Enumeration, Constraint, and Other Mathematical/ Literary Delights."  ISAMA 2000:  The Second Annual Conference of the International Society of the Arts, Mathematics, and Literature, Albany, June 24-28, 2000.  in "ISAMA 2000: Program."  ISAMA.  <math.albany.edu/isama/2000/prog.html> (24 October 2000).

The International Society of The Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture promotes an interdisciplinary study that finds ways to connect many various (and seemingly disparate) disciplines together.  By bringing various specialists together, the conference works the arts, mathematics, and architecture together in interesting and provocative ways. 

 

AWP 2000

     ---, Robert Kendall, and Jeff Parker, panelists.  Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference:  "Differing Digital Strategies for Electronic Literature," Kansas City,  March 29-April 1, 2000.  in "The 2000 AWP.Y2KC Annual Conference.Associated Writing Programs.  27 March 2000.  <awpwriter.org/schedule.htm>  (24 October 2000).  

(Note:  link dead as of 1/26/02  AWP says it sells copies of the Pedagogy papers from the 2000 and 2001 conferences at their <storefront>, but I was hard pressed to find an actual listing for the 2000 papers)-snh

The three panelists, all hypermedia creators, discuss how their different methods of thinking and working influenced the development of their work.

 

New Jersey Institute of Technology

     ---.  "True North:  Poetry, Science, and Hypertext."  Cyber/ Space/ Image/ Text at New Jersey Institute of Technology,  Feb. 23, 2000.  in "Arts Wire Current -- February 8, 2000."  Arts Wire: Online Communications for the Arts.  8 February 2000.  <www.artswire.org/current/2000/cur020800.html>  (24 October 2000).

In this conference, Strickland examines the issues of space, image, and text as they relate to True North.

(note:  this may once have linked directly to the article.  I can't remember.  It now goes to a list where the conference is listed but contains no links directly to the article itself.  If you're interested in knowing the proceedings, try contacting either Arts Wire or the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  1/26/02 -snh)

 

The Denver Hypertext Colloquium

     ---.  "Seven Reasons Why Sandsoot is the way it is."  The Denver Hypertext Colloquium, May 28-June 2, 1999.  in "Making Hypertext useable--CyberMountain Colloquium."  Word Circuits.  27 May 1999.  <www.wordcircuits.com/htww/cyber.htm> (24 October 2000).

An abstract of the conference explains:  "A synergistic combination of people interested in creating hypertext systems and content, to obtain mutual feedback for all participants' ongoing work, and define significant issues for the next generations of hypertexts and the systems used to create them. Each participant will help collect findings and shape the final report, which will of course be in the form of a hypertext."

The result of Strickland's participation was her seven-part essay about "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot."  

 

Technology Platforms...

     ---. Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature, Brown University, April 7-9, 1999. in "Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature."  Brown University.  <www.stg.brown.edu/conferences/tp21cl/> (24 October 2000).

This conference primarily addresses the question, "Where are we going next, and how do we get there?"  The main emphasis appears to be on the technology, how the authors/teachers have used it, and how it might be used in the future.

     ---.  "Reply from a poet."  5 May 1999. <www.stg.brown.edu/service/lists/tp21cl/0003.html>  (29 October 2000).

In a series of emails about how students/readers respond to the web, Strickland offers her own insight about the different ways readers approach an online text and the way their space changes as they make decisions.  She also proposes ideas that she has about ways to increase a reader's ability to choose and to interact with both text and image.  Her primary goal in the conference "is to find what combination of modalities will really support text in the new environment, so that text does not get reduced to caption."

I was really intrigued by the ideas Strickland presented.  She talks about being able to record (in a way) an individual's reading as if it is a valid primary source--as valid as, or perhaps more than, the original text.  She also harks back to a time of oral culture and talks about ways to include more orality in a hypertext without boxing the reader into the author's pre-imagined intentions.    But I'm especially interested in that first notion because it echoes a theory I've toyed with for years:  there is no one text, there are a thousand texts, and each is valid.

 

MLA Convention 1998 

     "A Performance of Hypermedia Poetry and Fiction by Stephanie Strickland and M. D. Coverly."  The 1998 MLA Convention, San Francisco, Dec 27-29, 1998.  in "The ACH Guide to Humanities-- Computing Talks at the 1998 MLA Convention."  Association for Computers and the Humanities.  21 March 2000.  <www.ach.org/mla98/guide.html> (24 October 2000).

A forum for computing-related talks through MLA's organization.

     ---.  "Dalí Clocks:  Time Dimensions of Hypertext."  The 1998 MLA Convention, The Same River Twice:  Time Representation in Hypertext Literature, San Francisco  December 28, 1998.  in "The ACH Guide to Humanities-- Computing Talks at the 1998 MLA Convention."  Association for Computers and Humanities.  21 March 2000.  <www.ach.org/mla98/guide.html> (29 October 2000).

 

Society for Literature and Science

     Chatfield, Hale (chair), Thomas Etter, Marjorie Luesebrink, Christy Sheffield Sanford, Stephanie Strickland.  "Going Out of Our Heads:  Multimedia Programs as Extensions of Mind and Brain."  Abstract.  Society For Literature and Science, November 5-8, 1998.  in Society for Literature and Science 1998.  <http://web.sls.ufl.edu/abstracts/c2.html>  (24 October 2000)

"The thesis of this session is that computer multimedia programs are physical and actual locations, external to our own bodies, which we enter to perform and store work and to conduct explorations and experiments." The various presenters (who range in talents from quantum philosophers to multimedia artists) propose that the cybernetic world, which many conceive of as external and removed from the human, is actually an extension of the mind and therefore intricately caught up in present space and time.

 

Art-Math Conference 1998

     ---.  "Poems in Conversation with Mathematics and Hypertext."  Art-Math 98 Conference, U. C. Berkeley, Aug. 3-7, 1998.  in Sequin, Carlo H.  "AM98 Conference."  Home page.  <www.cs.berkeley.edu/~sequin/AM98> (29 October 2000)

At this conference, which appears to connect art and math on a level that many might consider unlikely, Strickland presented her 1997 talk from Hamlin University about "Poetry in the Electronic Environment."  

 

 

Print Poetry/Single poems published online:

Book:  V

     Strickland, Stephanie.  V.  Penguin Putnam, 2002.  (forthcoming)

 

Poem: "There is a woman..."

     Stephanie Strickland.  "There is a Woman in a Conical Hat."  Fence.  Summer/Spring 1999   <www.fencemag.com/v2n1/contents.html>  (24 October 2000)

"There is a Woman..." is a series of seven three-line stanzas that wind and twist their way through the poem.  It employs a lot of connective thoughts through image and sound to move from virginity to flight into the virtual.

I really enjoy the movement of this poem and its quick rhythm.  Strickland makes a lot of really sharp turns throughout the piece as her mind jumps from association to association, but her use of alliteration and rhythm bring the reader along without a hitch.

Fence doesn't list Strickland's poem online, but it is presented as the winner of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.  This page may load very slowly. <www.poetrysociety.org/winners-ninetieth_poems.html>

 

Poem:  "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot"

     Stephanie Strickland. "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot."  in "2nd Annual Poetry Contest--Stephanie Strickland." Boston Review.  October/ November 1999.  <bostonreview.mit.edu/BR24.5/strickland.html> (29 October 2000).

In the text version, Soot and Sand seem to constantly renegotiate their positions with each other.  Sand starts out seeming to be the modern, grounded one; but, part of the way through, she becomes more transparent and uncontrollable.  She takes on the mythic level of a dragon, a symbol more readily associated with Sand.  Then things switch again.  And again.

Personally, I think the short, choppy feel to the stanzas suits a hypertext better than a flat text, but I think it's interesting to note how Strickland conceived of the poem's progress in her mind.  When I read the hypertext, it evolved in different ways.  The characters revealed themselves always in different ways.

 

Book:  True North

     ---.  True North.  U of Notre Dame,1997.

 

Poem, "Lodged..."

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Lodged in a Nursery Glass"   Tinfish.  1996.   <wings.buffalo.edu/epc/ezines/tinfish/tinfish03/tinfish03.html>   (29 October 2000)

A witty poem that looks at a future with genetically altered children.  But the poem refuses to be simply that, simply a bleak future.  It reaches out for tropes, for myths, for creations.  For the Creation.  And it succeeds.

I admire the scope of this poem, especially because of its brevity.  It doesn't have quite the same lyricism of her later poem, "There is a Woman in a Conical Hat," but it maintains the witty, wry look at life and continues to move quickly from thought to thought by association.

 

Poem, "Even Purit..."

     ---.  "Even Purit Forced to Re-Cog."  Notre Dame Review.  Summer 1996.  <www.nd.edu/~english/ndr/strickln.htm>   (29 October 2000)

This poem connects old history to the present in fascinating ways. She starts off talking about the Puritans and how they were forced to rethink their ways, then moves forward in history and finally arrives in a snowy Connecticut, where she deals simply with the mind's method of thinking, of cognition.

 Strickland uses abbreviated words to refer to the historical past, which can confuse readers.  But the language is highly modern despite the historical beginning and creates an interesting tension.  I most admire her attempt to explain the process of thinking.

 

Compilation Book (editor)

     Strickland, Stephanie, Ed.  What's Become of Eden:   Poems of Family at Century's End.  New York:  Slapering Hol Press, 1994.  <www.writerscenter.org/slaperinghol.html>   (24 October 2000)

 

Book:  The Red Virgin

     ---.  The Red Virgin:  A Poem of Simone Weil.   Madison:  U of Wisconsin, 1993.

   "The Red Virgin."  Weil Pages.  21 January 1997.    <www.rivertext.com/strickland.shtml> (29 October 2000)

This is an interesting site that provides some background information about Simone Weil.  The page I direct you to look at showcases three poems from Strickland's book as well as an excerpt from her introduction about Weil.

Useful for providing contextual background, as well as for a sampling of Strickland's poetic style.

 

Book (editor)

     Karrer, Pearl.  Weathering.  Stephanie Strickland, Ed.  New York:  Slapering Hol Press, 1993.  <www.writerscenter.org/slaperinghol.html>   (24 October 2000)

 

Book (editor)

     --- and Annelise Wagner, Eds.  River Poems.  New York:  Slapering Hol Press, 1992. <www.writerscenter.org/slaperinghol.html>   (24 October 2000)

 

Book:  Give the Body Back

     ---.  Give the Body Back.  Columbia:  U of Missouri, 1991.

 

 

Miscellaneous:

Stephanie Strickland's Home Page

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Stephanie Strickland."  Home Page.  Sept. 24, 2001.  <www.thepomegranate.com/strickland>  (26 January 2002)

Collects her poetry texts, hypertexts, conferences, essays, and CV in one spot.  The CV is fascinating:  it lists all the work she's been involved in.  Very simple presentation:  nothing fancy.  The work speaks for itself.

 

East Texas Archeological Conference

     Strickland, Stephanie.  "Cooperation between TxDOT and Avocationals."  Feb. 5, 1994.  East Texas Archeological Conference.  listed in Perttula, Timothy K.  "List of Presentations at Past East Texas Archological Conferences."  23 February 1997.  <www.skiles.net/fneta/fn00006a.htm>  (24 Ocotober 2000)

 

 

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