Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pinsky's digital involvements

In this interview for The California Journal of PoeticsRobert Pinsky -- former Poet Laureate of the United States, present keystone faculty member at the graduate program in creative writing at Boston University, and long-time impresario behind the Favorite Poem Project -- discusses his history of involvement in the domain of electronic publishing. Here is Pinsky, talking about the pleasure he takes as Poetry Editor for online magazine
With all due respect to excellent organizations like the Academy and the Poetry Society of America, as a matter of my own eccentricities I much prefer the informal, personal, improvised forum of Slate.
His digital involvement goes beyond the online magazine. Did you know that Pinsky is the author of one of the first "hypertext" novels? It carries the title Mindwheel, and is described thusly:
The situation is dire. The world is in chaos and at the brink of disaster. Mankind's only hope is for you to make a telepathic journey through a neuro-electronic matrix dominated by the thought-patterns of four dead people of unusual mental power: an assassinated rock star; an infamous and ingenious dictator; a poet killed for his forbidden love for a princess; and a woman known as the "female Einstein", a scientist, humanist, and distinguished musician. By traversing this mental labyrinth, you must find and recover the Wheel of Wisdom at the dawn of civilization itself.
Read more at related reading, we recommend this essay about the looming problem of obsolescence in innovative media projects, an issue which threatens to lock projects like Mindwheel on old systems no one has the ability to boot or interface with, inaccessible to contemporary digital readers, writers, and scholars:

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