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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Calling All Bards of the Binary Code

Are you equally comfortable with Linux and linebreaks? If so, this post is for you.

Poetic use of mathematics and science as both topic and literary device has been around for quite some time. For a classic compendium, see Verse and Universe: Poems About Science and Mathematics, compiled by Kurt Brown (Milkweed Editions). In the past few years, Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics, edited by Sarah Glaz and JoAnne Growney (AK Peters), has also come on the scene. The latter editor also has one of the better blogs on the subject, compiling poems and briefly introducing the thinking or history behind them, at Intersections--Poetry With Mathematics.

I have to admit, however, that I am not as familiar with the blending of computers/computer science and poetry. Recently I was directed to the following site, Thinking Machines, run by Neil Aitken, editor of Boxcar Poetry Review. Here Aitken is soliciting poems for an anthology about computers, programming, and poetry. Neil Aitken is presently working on his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at USC, but in a previous incantation he was a programmer, so he's the go-to guy for all things on this subject. He even has suggestions to stimulate your thinking about this mix of topics on the website cited above.

If you have a poem relating to programming and poetry, OR if you are a programmer and a poet who's written poems on any subject, you are invited to submit. So check it out.

And if you have a favorite book of/about poetry and math/science/computing, let me know! I'd love to hear about it.

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