Finders Keepers: A weekly round-up of found poetry news and resources


This post is part of a weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. If you know of found poetry related news, resources or events that should be featured here, please email News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell.

Fax Machine Poetry

FaxAfter receiving a misdirected call from a fax machine (Do people still send faxes?), software developer EJ Brennan (@EJ_Brennan) unexpectedly discovered a poem created by his Twilio voice mail’s voice-to-text feature. Although the machine-created poem might be a little awkward at your local open mic, it’s a fun read. If you can get the pitch of your voice high enough, you can almost hear the fax machine sounds.

Petri Dish Poetry

bacteriaCanadian poet Christian Bök is blurring the lines between art and science with his ambitious Xenotext Experiment. Bök is attempting to genetically encode a poem in the DNA of a bacterium. The poem itself will then instruct the organism to create a protein that can be decoded into a second, new poem. Bök’s goal is to “engineer a primitive bacterium so that it becomes not only a durable archive for storing a poem, but also a useable machine for writing a poem.” Despite some recent setbacks, the project is an example of yet another remote stone that can be turned over to find poetry.

The Blurbinator

BlurbAs if each hypothesis were a parasol which slightly changed the light, The Blurbinator’s poems contain privileged messages from the spirit world that must be shielded from the direct rays of reality because such information might so easily disintegrate, remaining unrecognizable under the harsh glare and preoccupied manner of contemporary scrutiny. It’s very hard to make poetry seem like a person talking intensely to you across the table. Blurbinator can do this and much, much more. The Blurbinator has an insatiable, tender, and wry imagination. Poems to read in all seasons, but especially when winter storms howl outside. – This is just a taste of the magic that is The Blurbinator…

Spotlight on Newspaper Blackouts

blackoutLast week, The Toronto Star featured an article about Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout project. In addition, as part of their poetry week (11/9-11/16), the paper is encouraging readers to submit newspaper blackout poems of their own via Tumblr. You can read submissions from The Star’s readers here.

Collective Thought as Google Poetics

GooglePoeticsThis week, Hyperallergic featured an article by An Xiao Mina titled “The Found Poetry of Google Autocomplete.” In addition to several other highlights, the article praises “the most accidental and least curated” of Google poems. Featuring a United Nations campaign about sexism and women’s rights, An Xiao reminds us that Google auto-fill is truly a reflection of the biases inherent in society.


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