Rowan University Professor'Mixing Technology and Poetry

Rowan University Professor'Mixing Technology and Poetry

Share
Dr. Michael Kolitsky, director of Instructional Technology at Rowan University, is melding the world of high technology with the world of poetry to create virtual reality three-dimensional haiku/poetr
Dr. Michael Kolitsky, director of Instructional Technology at Rowan University, is melding the world of high technology with the world of poetry to create virtual reality three-dimensional haiku/poetry in cyberspace.

Using Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), Kolitsky is taking the traditional Japanese poetry form and composing what is in effect cubes of poetry where the second line of seven syllables serves as the building block for four poems that are read horizontally or vertically. (Haiku traditionally consists of three lines, the first and last with five syllables, the middle with seven. In Kolitsky's work, one seven-syllable line serves four first and last lines to form four poems.)

The four poems are color coded on his computer and the middle line alternates through each of the four colors to provide continuity for each poem. Additionally, the edges of the poems form another poem.

With the addition of different fonts, type size, color and other variables, Kolitsky has turned the poetry into a type of art form as well. In some cases, he has included background art and music.

Kolitsky, who holds a Ph.D. in biology, believes that incorporating the use of technology into writing may draw more students into the creative field who would otherwise not attempt to write. He has already introduced the topic in a writing class at Rowan University and is starting to work with middle and secondary schools here and in the Midwest on the subject. Kolitsky presented <+>Creating Poetry for Cyberspace: a 3-D Haiku Experience<+> at the WebNet99 Conference in October in Hawaii and will present <+>3-D Haiku: Introducing Students to a New Poetic Genre<+> with Rowan writing professor Dr. Sanford Tweedie at the TechEd2000 Conference in March in Palm Springs, Ca.

Said Kolitsky of this genre, <+>The writing and positioning of poetry for 3D display calls upon both right brain and left brain functions as one first captures ideas and thoughts in text and second must work with that text for its ideal arrangement in the very real visual world of the 3D environment.<+>

(NOTE: Media interested in learning more about Kolitsky's creation may arrange an interview on campus and see his work or may visit the web site http://users.rowan.edu/~kolitsky. Viewers will need a CosmoPlayer Plug-in, which they can download from that site.)