e-Lit Resource
Generative Poetry

With roots in indeterminate and asemic writing in print, generative poetry is born-digital poetic projects that use code, algorithm, or other indeterminate means to generate poetic texts. Alison Knowles's and James Tenney's "A House of Dust" is one of the first generative poetic works, using a standardized syntactical structure and a set lexicon of words and phrases as variables to allow the poem to continuously generate its own randomized stanzas. Generative poetry calls into question the role of the author, the division between human and machine learning, and the tension between material and ephemera in the digital poetic text.

This glossary entry was derived from David Jhave Johnston's workshop, "From Dust to Deep Learning: Introduction to Generative Poetry," held in Toronto, 21 October 2017.