Patchwork Poetics: Visualizing Poetic Sound Devices through Interactive Quilt Design for Learning


Because scansion (the sonic patterning of poetry) is no longer taught as a matter of course in primary and secondary schools, students may find it difficult to discern and enjoy the beautiful patterns that poets build into their works. Part of the difficulty in teaching sonic patterns is that students are unused to thinking of words as material (in this case, sounds) rather than as conveyers of information. Patchwork Poetics is an interactive online application built to help individuals better understand scansion by converting these patterns into colorful quilt designs.

Working from research in craft-based HCI and textual analysis, and applying a lens of feminist data visualization, Patchwork Poetics is an online interactive tool that facilitates the learning process by teaching students to abstract meter, rhyme, assonance, and other sonic elements of a poem into color, shape, orientation, and other design elements of a quilt. With the visualization tool of Patchwork Poetics, students are able to transition from seeing word-as-information to word-as-sound, thereby gaining a new level of enjoyment and understanding of poetry.

Publications, Exhibitions, Other Products

2020. Sullivan, Anne, Katie Farris, Maria Elena Margarella, and Zehua Chen, "Patchwork Poetics." (un)continuity at Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Festival (ELO 2020). Online.

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Anne Sullivan
Kathryn Farris
Elena Margarella
Yijun Jia
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