For my final project, I decided to put together a short (virtual) book of “glitched” poetry. It includes It is ever so imaginatively titled Glitch Poets, and can be accessed by clicking here. Or here. Or maybe even here if you prefer. Heck, this whole sentence is yet another chance to click and get linked to my book. Check it out! Here’s a random screenshot to help persuade you:
My process was fairly simple. First, I chose a list of 20 great/famous poets. I did this by googling “best poets.” Seriously, a list just comes up on Google. It’s that easy. From there, I used PoetrySoup.com to gather my source text. This site in particular was helpful because it also includes lists of each poet’s most famous works, which were the ones I really wanted to tinker with. I grabbed each individual poem and copy-pasted it into Edde Addad’s awesome Markov Chain generator CharNG. There was no particular rhyme or reason to the settings I used; the only constants were the 100 character option (to keep the poems short) and 4- or 5-gram models (to keep the poems comprised of actual words). I basically just kept pounding the “Generate” button until something I liked came up. The method was pretty random, but I had a lot of say in what actually ended up in the final project. The computer was spitting everything up but I selectively chose which pieces I would keep. Here’s some pics of the process, for reference:
After I had my poems, I glitched out my images. I grabbed the best image I could find of each poet, threw it into Notepad++, and messed around until I had something that looked cool. I followed as strict of a method as I could, by only allowing myself two methods of tampering with the .jpgs: deleting a few lines at random, or copy-pasting that poet’s glitched poem into the file. For example, here’s a screenshot of me in the process of glitching the Shel Silverstein photo:
After I had all of my poems and pictures, I threw them together in a Word document with a title page and exported the file to .pdf. From there, I was able to import the .pdf directly into a virtual book creation software that I quickly wrote up for this project….. haha. Yeah, not at all. That would require a proficiency in coding that I didn’t magically gain from that one time I learned basic HTML in Comp Sci in high school. I owe a lot of thanks to FlipHTML5, an awesome (free!) software that makes creating e-books a breeze. There’s paid options that come with all sorts of bells and whistles, but the free version was more than enough for this particular project. I imported my .pdf, waited a minute or so for the book to be created, and then uploaded it online. And now you can check it out in any of the links I included at the beginning of this post. And, hey, why not… here’s another link.
And that’s that. Overall, I’m very happy with how my final project came out. Most of the pictures turned out really cool, and I actually think a lot of the poems are pretty awesome too. My only regret is that it’s so short. Enjoyable as it is, the process can be fairly tedious… sometimes it can take quite a while before CharNG or my random .jpg glitches spit out anything good! Given more time, I would love to make a much longer piece of the same nature. Maybe even switch it up a bit and use rappers and singers instead, or some other slight variation from my current formula. The possibilities are endless-ish!