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Turn On Literature: A new EU-project involving the Poetry Machines

A new EU-project includes a further development, distribution and translation of the Poetry Machines. Two new partners join in – a library in Norway and a library in Romania.

One of the Poetry Machines which the EU-project is based upon, photo from the Instagram profile @poesimaskinen by Roskilde Library.
One of the Poetry Machines at Dokk1, Aarhus.

The project Turn on Literature will make the Poetry Machines available for more users in an international collaboration between libraries and by translating the installation into Norwegian, Romanian and English. In connection with the project, a further development and exploration of the format behind the poetry Machines will be established.

Researcher of digital aesthetics Søren Pold is affiliated to the project and will be following the project closely. One of Søren Pold’s key points of interest is in how the format of the Poetry Machines translate into other languages and in consequence other literary cultures. Since the first Poetry Machine was built in 2012 the machines have contributed to an ongoing debate about the digitisation of literature, the reader’s role in digital literature, and the future of the book.

The three libraries, CAVI, and Søren Pold have met for an idea development workshop to start this project. The workshop resulted in the creation of five concepts where one was chosen to be prototyped at CAVI. The chosen concept defines new written sentences, a new user interface, and new algorithms for the way the poems are created. The sentences for the Danish version of the new Poetry Machines will be written by poet Ursulla Andkjær Olsen. The poems will be created in the Indonesian poetic form called “pantoum”.