On one hand, it’s a testament to the art form. On the other, there must be something that can be done to modernize the medium. Now, the Arts Council and BBC has released a new project called 60 Years in 60 Poems. Designed by Faber & Faber and Somethin’ Else, it’s a rich, HTML5-based multimedia platform too appreciate the last half century of poetry in a new way.
Here, poetry has taken cues from online text, a digital take on the traditional anthology. The collection is sortable by tags (either by year or by topics) and is sharable across social networks. It’s also beautiful and data rich, as each poem is infographic-ized as a circular waveform with a play button at its center. Hit play, and hear the poem read. Explore other pages and read the poem in print, or see photos from the era the poem was originally published.
While you can code “so that the lines wrap correctly, doing so requires hand-coding and some work-arounds, and even then it seems like it doesn’t always work. . . . Publishers can’t just send their poetry collections to mass-conversion houses and hope for the best,” the article said. “A few have tried, and the results are disastrous. (Take, for example, HarperCollins’s eBook edition of the ‘Collected Poems’ of Allen Ginsberg, which makes‘Howl’ look like a formless blob of text on a screen; it’s unreadable.)”
Instead Kim Roberts, editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, says the Web works better for poetry than e-readers.
e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for November 2012 in Fiction
Laura Rahme submitted The Ming Storytellers designed by Caryn Gillespie. “It is with pleasure that I submit the cover of The Ming Storytellers for your consideration in this competition. The Ming Storytellers was released on Amazon Kindle in July 2012. Its cover is the work of designer, Caryn Gillespie. The artwork is intended to evoke the dark, mysterious and oriental themes of the novel. The female representation is sensual and introspective in a manner that recalls the beautiful and strong female protagonist. There is an emphasis on the ocean which evokes far away journeys -the main male character being the famous Chinese admiral, Zheng He- along with the idea of a spiritual journey. The dark blue color scheme and the burning buildings in the background aim to convey the depth and intense journey that is The Ming Storytellers.”
JF: Just love this cover and the evocative illustration. Even though the illustration is complex it maintains our focus, drawing us into the story. And although I would like to “bump up” the author’s name a bit, the dimensionality added by having the woman’s figure arising from a dark sea adds even more drama. Fantastic job.