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Megan Moriarty is an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. Her poetry has appeared or will soon appear in Opium Magazine, elimae, At-Large Magazine, Washington Square Review, and Best New Poets 2009.

Artist Statement: Before writing, I often come up with what I consider a sort of frame. This could be anything from a conceit to an idea to a feeling to a structure - something that gives me a set of perimeters in which to bounce around. Consider the pinball machine: without the mazelike layout of the board, the pinball wouldn't do much, and nobody would really want to play the game. Therefore, in my writing, I like to think about the machine before I let the ball go.

In Ed Falco's New Media Creative Writing class, I was initially drawn to hypertext because the form almost encourages you to make a machine. With the links, images, multiple pages, and ways of reading/entering/leaving, there's a definite element of design to a hypertext's creation. In addition to catering to the architect in me, new media has given me a new perspective on writing and the shapes that it can take. A poem or story doesn't have to be read from top to bottom; it can begin in the middle of things and latch on to what follows.

In looking back on the work that I've produced during my time in New Media, the word "breathing" keeps coming to mind. Like placing a ball in a pinball machine, putting poetry (or fiction) in the hypertext form makes it feel very much like a living thing, one that moves unpredictably within a set of boundaries. Because of my experiences in this class, I've begun to think of all writing as living objects, and when looking at poetry and fiction, both in and out of workshops, I'll be looking at how it breathes.

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