presented by the MACHINE reading series

<< a poem is a small (or large) machine made out of words. >>
[william carlos williams]

The Electronic Literature Collection, volume one, is a collection of digital literary work. It is available online and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM which will be distributed to all Autostart attendees.

The editorial collective for this first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection is N. Katherine Hayles, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and Stephanie Strickland.

Main Page

Participant Listing

All Participants [click to get bio]

Charles Bernstein [University of Pennsylvania]

Charles Bernstein is the author of 30 books of poetry and libretti, including Girly Man (University of Chicago Press, 2006), Shadowtime (Green Integer, 2005), With Strings (University of Chicago Press, 2001), and Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Press, 2000). He has published two books of essays and one essay/poem collection: My Way: Speeches and Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999); A Poetics (Harvard University Press, 1992); Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Sun & Moon Press, 1986, 1994; reprinted by Northwestern University Press, 2001). [...]

Jim Carpenter [University of Pennsylvania]

Jim Carpenter, who developed the Electronic Text Composition project, taught English for 12 years before abandoning his teen-age charges for the thrills of the world of application design, where he held a series of positions in both application development and management for more than 20 years. During that time he, along with two partners, founded, expanded, and sold a company that developed software products for the election industry, an experience that taught him that entrepreneurship is a real lot of work, but good preparation for the artistic practice of flagrant self-promotion. [...]

Mary Flanagan [Hunter College]

Mary Flanagan investigates everyday technologies through critical writing, artwork, and activist design projects. Flanagan's work has been exhibited internationally at museums, festivals, and galleries, including: the Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum of American Art, SIGGRAPH, The Banff Centre, The Moving Image Centre, New Zealand, Central Fine Arts Gallery NY, Artists Space NY, the University of Arizona, University of Colorado-Boulder, and venues in Brazil, France, UK, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Her projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Pacific Cultural Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. [...]

N. Katherine Hayles [University of California, Los Angeles]

N. Katherine Hayles is a noted postmodern literary critic and theorist as well as the author of How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics which won the Rene Wellek Prize for the best book in literary theory for 1998-1999.

Hayles received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1966, her M.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1969, her M.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University in 1970, and her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Rochester in 1977. She has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Missouri, Rolla, the California Institute of Technology, and Dartmouth College.

She is currently the Hillis Professor of Literature in English and Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she has taught since 1992. [...]

Daniel C. Howe [Brown University]

Daniel C. Howe is a digital artist, researcher & doctoral candidate at NYU's Media Research Lab. His interests include generative systems for artistic practice (specifically for natural language); and the social/political aspects of technology design. Current projects include the ALTK, a toolkit for affective language generation; TrackMeNot, a software tool designed to protect the privacy of web-searchers; and Values-In-Design, a developing methodology for integrating social/political considerations in technical systems design. In addition to a background in creative writing and fine arts, Daniel has master's degrees in Computer Science (U. Washington) and Interactive Media (NYU/ITP), as well as ~10 years experience as a programmer, software architect & educator. He is a regularly exhibiting digital artist with recent work featured in Leonardo, E-Fest06, ASCI05, Web3dArt, Experimental Typography, Thailand New Media Arts Festival, PixxelPoint, Artbots, Ars Electronica, & Terra Acoustica. He is the 2005-06 recipient of the Brown Fellowship for Electronic Writing.

Aya Karpinska [Brown University]

Aya Karpinska's research and creative work focus on the intersection of physical and virtual spaces. Her diverse output includes computer music, fiction, poetry, web and graphic design, and game design. Her 3-D poetry has been featured in such venues as p0es1s, a digital poetry exhibition in Berlin, Germany, and the Fourth International Digital Art Exhibit and Colloquium in Havana, Cuba. She received her Master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. She is the 2006-2007 recipient of the Brown Fellowship for Electronic Writing.

Aaron Levy [Slought Foundation Executive Director]

Aaron Levy (b. 1977) is the founding Executive Director and a Senior Curator at Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, a new arts organization and archival resource, also available online (, engaging contemporary life through critical theories about art. He completed undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University. At the University of Pennsylvania, he occasionally lectures in the English Department on contemporary art, poetics, and curatorial practice, and helped establish and run the Kelly Writers House (1998-2002).

Marjorie Luesebrink [Irvine Valley College]

As Marjorie C. Luesebrink, she carries out the embodied essentials of life--mothering, teaching, and publishing non-fiction--both academic work and feature articles. As M.D. Coverley, she explores the cyberhalo of creative adventure, writing short fiction for the web, jumping from the top of tall stacks of technical manuals, and making novel narratives in hypertext, such as Califia and Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day, for CD-ROM.

Nick Montfort [University of Pennsylvania]

Nick Montfort is an author of literary work for the computer; he also studies the forms, functions, aesthetics, computational nature, and cultural contexts of such work and of related production in new media, digital art, and video gaming. He is completing a Ph.D. in computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania on narrative variation in interactive fiction, having earned masters degrees at MIT (in media arts and sciences) and Boston University (in creative writing - poetry). The digital media projects he has undertaken in the past seven years include the blog Grand Text Auto, where he and five others write about computer narrative, poetry, games, and art; Ream, a 500-page poem written on one day and put online as Digital Ream; Book and Volume, an interactive fiction; Mystery House Taken Over, a collaborative "occupation" of a classic game; Implementation, a novel on stickers written with Scott Rettberg; Ad Verbum, a short, award-winning interactive fiction; The Ed Report, a serialized novel written with William Gillespie; and the interactive fiction Winchester's Nightmare: A Novel Machine. He wrote the first academic book about interactive fiction, Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (The MIT Press, 2003). With William Gillespie, he wrote 2002: A Palindrome Story (Spineless Books, 2002), which was acknowledged by the Oulipo as the world's longest literary palindrome. [...]

Stuart Moulthrop [University of Baltimore]

Stuart Moulthrop is Professor of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore, where he directs the B.S. program in Applied Information Technology and teaches in the Bachelor of Technical or Professional Studies in Simulation and Digital Entertainment, as well as the Master's and Doctoral programs. His hypertext fiction Victory Garden (Eastgate Systems, 1991) has earned a place in Robert Coover's "golden age" of electronic writing. His later projects ("Hegirascope," 1995; "The Color of Television," 1996; "Reagan Library," 1999; and "Pax," 2003) belong happily enough to our present era of manmade fibers. Moulthrop has written many essays, including "You Say You Want a Revolution?", which has been reprinted numerous times and brings up the rear in the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. [...]

Jason Nelson [Griffith University, Australia]

Jason Nelson is a digital artist and cyber poet whose work has appeared across the globe in galleries and journals and other odd venues. His most popular net artworks include: "This is how you will die" A slot machine for predicting death, using the stripped down code of an online pokie game, inserted 15- five line death fictions/poetics. You can win death videos and free spins. Some are rather scared of this creature's forecasting tone. "Uncontrollable Semantics" While net-art becomes increasingly more complex, more database and programming centered this project shoots for simplicity. Utilizing the basic mouse-follower, uncontrollable semantics pulls together over fifty dramatically different sound, image and interactive environments, all through the simple mouse-follower. While a simple innovation this technique allows the user/player/reader to create their own experience, to feel the work come from the screen. Each environment offers four directions to four terms, four semantics, four named creatures. "The Bomar Gene" Within every human there is a singular gene, unique only to that individual. And with that gene comes a singular ability, a rare, mostly never realized capacity for interacting with the world. "The Bomar Gene" explores this mythical gene, through a series of ficto-biographies, with each story being re-translated and spatialized through interactive interfaces and embodied animations.Each section opens up to such questions as: How are we defined by our genetic code? What does it mean to be an individual, to be unique? What are the implications of a society obsessed with rare abilities and super-powers? "Hermeticon: Pop Spell Maker" 1980s kids commercials combined with 16th century hermetic texts. After cutting out the hooks, the most compelling spells of our toy and cereal fueled world, the videos were compressed and coupled with mysticism and our new alchemy. Also uses a keyboard driven interface. Explore his other works at either or

Jena Osman [Temple University]

Jena Osman is a poet and scholar who teaches poetry workshops to graduate students in the Creative Writing Program, poetry and playwriting workshops to undergraduates, and literature classes in contemporary poetry. She is also the faculty advisor for the undergraduate literary magazine, Hyphen. Osman's books of poetry include Essay in Asterisks (Roof, 2004), The Character (Beacon, 1999 and winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize) and Amblyopia (Avenue B, 1993). Chapbooks include Jury (Meow Press,1996), Balance (Leave Books, 1992), Underwater Dive: Version One (Paradigm Press, 1990) and Twelve Parts of Her (Burning Deck Press, 1989). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry of 2002 (selected by Robert Creeley), and many other anthologies and literary magazines such as Conjunctions, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, and Verse. Her poems have been translated into French, Swedish, and Serbo-Croatian. With Juliana Spahr, she is the editor of the award-winning and internationally recognized literary magazine Chain. She has received grants for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Fund for Poetry. She has been a writing fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, the Djerassi Foundation, and Chateau de la Napoule. Osman received an M.A. in poetry and playwriting from Brown University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in English from the Poetics Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1998.

Bob Perelman [University of Pennsylvania]

Bob Perleman has published over 15 volumes of poetry, most recently The Future of Memory (Roof Books) and Ten to One: Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press). His critical work focuses on poetry and modernism. His critical books are The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History (Princeton University Press) and The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky (University of California Press). He has edited Writing/Talks (Southern Illinois University Press), a collection of talks by poets.

Aaron Reed [Salt Lake City]

Aaron A. Reed has worked as a travel writer, web monkey, offensive t-shirt designer, graphic artist, 3D animator, filmmaker, and murder mystery producer. His fiction has appeared in "Fantasy & Science Fiction" magazine, and his interactive fiction has been showcased at the Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemakers Competition and won awards in the IF community. He has recently finished an undergraduate degree in Film at the University of Utah.

Scott Rettberg [University of Bergen, Norway]

Scott Rettberg writes, and writes about new media and electronic literature. He is an associate professor of Humanistic Informatics at the University of Bergen. He completed his Ph.D. in English from University of Cincinnati in 2003. Scholarly emphases in Electronic Literature, Creative Writing (Fiction), 20th Century American Fiction, 20th Century American Drama, and 20th Century Irish Literature.

Ron Silliman [Silliman's Blog]

Ron Silliman (born August 5, 1946 in Pasco, Washington) is a contemporary American poet. He has written and edited 26 books to date. Between 1979 & 2004, Silliman wrote a single poem, entitled The Alphabet. He has now begun writing a new poem entitled Universe, the first section of which appears to be called Revelator. Silliman sees his poetry as being part of a single poem or lifework, which he calls Ketjak. Ketjak is also the name of the first poem of The Age of Huts. If and when completed, the entire work will consist of The Age of Huts (1974-1980), Tjanting (1979-1981), The Alphabet (1979-2004), and Universe (2005- ) Ron Silliman's fame and notoriety have grown considerably since 2002, due in large part to his popular and controversial weblog: Silliman's Blog ( Debuting on August 22, 2002 to little fanfare and without expectations of an audience, it is now (arguably) the most influential English-language blog on the web that is devoted to contemporary poetry and poetics. By August 2006, Silliman's Blog had reached 800,000 hits. [...]

Brian Kim Stefans [Richard Stockton College, New Jersey]

Brian Kim Stefans has published several books of poetry including Free Space Comix (Roof Books), Gulf (Object Editions, downloadable at and Angry Penguins (Harry Tankoos), along with several chapbooks, most recently "What Does It Matter?" from Barque Press. His most recent book of poems is What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (Factory School, 2006). He is the editor of the /ubu ("slash ubu") series of e-books at and the creator of, devoted to new media poetry and poetics, where most of his work, including his own series of Arras e-books, can be found. His internet art and digital poems, such as "The Truth Interview (with Kim Rosenfield)" and the "Flash Polaroids" appear at Ubu, Rhizome, How2, Jacket and Turbulence. "The Dreamlife of Letters" was published by Coach House Books. These and many other works can all be found at He has recently completed his in Electronic Writing at Brown University and is now an assistant professor at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Stephanie Strickland [New York City]

Stephanie Strickland is a print and new media poet. Her fourth book, V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una, has a Web component, Prizewinning works include V, True North, The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil, and Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot. She has taught literary hypermedia as part of experimental poetry at Brown, Hollins, U. Montana-Missoula, Boise State, Sarah Lawrence, Georgia Tech, and Parsons. She will be the Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College Chicago in spring 2005. She serves on the board of the Electronic Literature Organization and the Hudson Valley Writers' Center.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin [University of California, San Diego]

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a digital media writer, artist, and scholar. His writing/art has been presented by galleries, arts festivals, scientific conferences, DVD magazines, VR Caves, and the Whitney and Guggenheim museums - as well as discussed in books such as Digital Art (2003) and Art of the Digital Age (forthcoming). He has recently edited three books: The New Media Reader (2003, with Nick Montfort); First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (2004, with Pat Harrigan); and Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (forthcoming, also with Harrigan), all published by The MIT Press. He has been a research scientist at New York University, a creative writing fellow at Brown University, an assistant professor of New Media at the University of Baltimore, and in 2006 he became assistant professor of Communication at the University of California, San Diego.