Markovian Parallax Generate: On digital writing and poetics

Digital poetics reading list now under construction

Posted in Computational Poetics, Personal, Poetics by Eric Goddard-Scovel on September 26, 2008

Haven’t posted since June, but I’ve been busy, trust me. I’ve begun a new mchain project (his&hers, available online as it is written), a series of one line visual/aural poems (Lines) and I’ve gotten closer to completing the Heart of Darkness Gnoetry Sonnets (still no set title). Carrots and Sticks is still in the works, and will likely be done in 8 or 9 one-page sections.

Work on my thesis has begun. At this stage it will likely take the form of a collection of chapbooks (five or so), most of them long poems or sequences. Some of the pieces are computer-assisted, some are not.

I’ve recently expanded my collection of books on general poetics, digital poetics and hypertext theory, so I’ve decided to keep some record of these in case any readers of this blog are interested in or unaware of them. I’ll likely post more about individual essays or sections of the books later on.

Reading List [last update 10-26-08]:

  • Contemporary Poetics, edited by Louis Armand. Northwestern University Press, 2007. An excellent collection of essays focused mainly on concrete, language and digital poetics (or technopoetics, as the back cover calls it). Also contains essay on “Precursors” for valuable literary-historical context.
  • Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms, 1959-1995, by C. T. Funkhouser. University of Alabama Press, 2007. A detailed “documentary study and analytic history of digital poetry.” I just got this one, but I already love the Chronology of Works in Digital Poetry. I had no idea that Robert Pinsky was involved in such work until now.
  • Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry, by Charles O. Hartman. Wesleyan University Press, 1996. Hartman developed the DIASTEX5 program that Jackson Mac Low used compose his Forties and Stein Poems series. This is only one of his contributions to computer poetry. This book documents and reflects on all of his experiments in this field.
  • My Mother Was a Computer, by N. Katherine Hayles. University of Chicago Press, 2005. A posthuman exploration of the intersections of language and code–human and machine–and the effects of this on “creative, technological, and artistic practices.” I haven’t got to this one yet, either, but it sounds exciting.
  • Hypertext 3.0, by George P. Landow. A landmark update of a landmark book in hypertext theory.
  • p0es1s: Asthetik digitaler Poesie. The Aesthetics of Digital Poetry, Block, Friedrich W., Christiane Heibach and Karin Wenz, eds. Hatje Cantz, 2004.  A bilingual (or is it multi-lingual?) collection of poetics articles on digital aesthetics.
  • Einladung zu einem Poesie-Automaten, Hans Magnus Enzensberger.  This is in German.  I don’t know German.  If anyone knows of an English translation of this, let me know.
  • Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries, Loss Pequeno Glazier, University of Alabama Press, 2002.  Glazier founded the Electronic Poetry Center with Charles Bernstein in 1994.  If you want to know just about everything about that, you can get a copy of his PhD Dissertation.  This book covers a wide range of topics in digital poetry and theories behind its practice and propagation.

Adventures in AI

Posted in Personal by Eric Goddard-Scovel on February 15, 2008

So I’m part way through an introductory course in artificial intelligence.  I’ve got no practical programming experience, its a 400 level electrical engineering course, and I’m a grad student in English; all a recipe for fun and success!  Wish me luck.

It sounds kind of glamorous if you’re not aware of what artificial intelligence really means at this low level, and it isn’t robots and computers having conversations with you.  Mostly, I’m using it to get into the field of computer science and to learn some tools to use in future computational poetry projects.  I couldn’t tell you if this will take me somewhere in the future, but it’s fun in a math geek sort of way, and I have a hardon for logical structures.  Ha!

If anything more interesting or relevant comes out of this, I’ll let you know.  Right now I’m just trying to keep up.

Good News!

Posted in Gnoetry, Personal by Eric Goddard-Scovel on August 26, 2007

I have been invited by Eric Elshtain to contribute a chapbook of gnoems for his Beard of Bees Press. This is most good. Most good. As soon as I get Gnoetry 0.2 up and running again (I can’t believe I forgot to back it up), I can get started on that.

I’ll be posting updates and drafts of the gnoems up here along with my mchain poem drafts that I will be occasionally writing for workshop. I’m interested in seeing how they differ.

So, yes, the second year of my MFA at Purdue has started up again. That means (probably) fewer posts at what light already light, but more posts here. It’s proving difficult to get a community of mchain users posting here, but I’m leaving the option open for all interested.