A page from the "Poetry through the Ages" exhibit...

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Mapping new paths.

Node poems mediate a new interaction between readers and writers by letting readers permeate texts as they become active participants in shaping the direction of the language. Writers, in turn, can develop new strategies to give their audience exciting and engaging opportunities to navigate their work.

To discover the new potential of node poetry, check out the following works by the team of node poets who prototyped the form.

Marci Johnson’s "Choose" recontexualizes phrases into different moods. As you navigate through the nodes, you’ll notice how these phrases take on new meanings depending whether you select "hesitation," "suspense," or any other of the initial options.

Nodemap         Nodemap         Nodemap

With "As Dawn Rises," Tina Gagliardi experiments with radial writing. The surrounding nodes can be read as a complete sentence, or readers can choose to select an individual node and move deeper into the poem. Gagliardi’s strategy matches the content of the poem. Once readers permeate the surface nodes, the language becomes ever more abstract.

Spicynodes forms an fascinating forum for traditional strategies of poetry. Scott Siders begins "The Inside of Out" by exploring anaphora, but notice how the repetition degenerates as the poem moves towards further nodes, and the thoughts and emotions become less and less restrained.

Nodemap         Nodemap

SpicyNodes, the underlying technology for node poems, also works with simple, elegant and classic styles, as Bob Yehling’s "Himalayan Cloud-Drops" bears out. Joe Romano’s "Postponed" explores the concept of navigation itself as he wonders how one moves while asking readers to navigate his node poem.