Jul 15, 2015

ASYMPTOTE Mega-Summer Issue


Also including a multilingual poem by Mircea Cartarescu and an essay by Ruxandra Cesereanu exploring a possible parallel between Alexandru Musina's "Budila Express" and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" HERE

Jun 21, 2015

MARGENTO & Inkpen Paper @ New Directions in the Humanities Conference 2015


Chris Tanasescu (MARGENTO) & Diana Inkpen: “Poetry Computational Graphs: Applying Graph Theory in Poetry”

[this paper is part of the ongoing Graph Poem project]

Excerpt:
… As we have already seen is the case of the previous publication in poetry computational analysis, collecting data and the features of the databases analyzed are more intimately related to the specifics and performance of the resulting classifiers and computational tools than one would suspect, and moreover, they also involve weighty even if implicit or unconscious cultural and literary choices.  But the issue is even far more complex than that.  Data in general and particularly the huge amount of data that is continuously made available and that grows exponentially in the digital age has attracted the attention of major scholars before and has actually meanwhile come to represent not only a self-sufficient subject and a challenge to a variety of disciplines, but even a new research paradigm.  This fourth paradigm succeeds according to Gray and Szalay (2007) three older ones, the experimental, theoretical, and simulation paradigms, and in computer science “it means that the term e-science is not primarily concerned with faster computation, but with more advanced database technologies.” (Levallois, Steinmetz, and Wouters 2013, 152)  For Jim Gray, a late computer scientist “celebrated as a visionary” (id.), we are witnessing the evolution of two branches in every discipline, “a computational branch and a data-processing branch” (ibid. 153), and the new field dedicated to studying such ramifications is called data-intensive research or data-intensive science.  There is no consensus as to when data are large or complex enough to qualify as object of data-intensive research, especially since huge or massive may mean completely different things in different fields and disciplines, but Levallois, Steinmetz, and Wouters advance a very relevant and potentially very useful definition: “data-intensive research [is] research that requires radical changes in the discipline” involving “new, possibly more standardized and technology-intensive ways to store, annotate, and share data,”  a concept that therefore “may point toward quite different research practices and computational tools.” (id.)
In the contributions quoted above the poem datasets are in the hundreds (the largest one, the Malay corpus containing 1,500 elements, while the other handful of papers ever published on computational poetry analysis employ significantly smaller sets or corpora), whereas our first paper—focusing on multilabel subject-based classifications of poems—analyzed over 11,000 poems in Poetry Foundation’s database, and since we have meanwhile consistently expanded our corpora by including material from more and more print and online sources, we can assert that the size of our databases and corpora can count as the basis for data-intensive research.
On the other hand, we do use different research practices in that we put together a model that analyzes poems comprehensively and not limiting the approach (as the precedent computational analysis approaches have) to only (one or several aspects of) one poetic feature—diction, subject, form, etc.  Moreover, using graph theory applications in analyzing both particular poems and poetry corpora is a completely novel poetry criticism and analysis practice, and it involves in its turn different computational tools than what has been used so far in the field.  These tools range from meter parsers to locating enjambments to assembling weighted graphs of poems and analyzing features such connectivity and spotting cut vertices.
...
from the Conclusions:

The Graph Poem Project is:
•The first big data poetry analysis project;
•The first data-intensive poetry project;
•The first application of graph theory in poetry computational analysis; with further poetry criticism and creative writing related benefits;
but, also has to:
•Keep developing the data-intensive work towards comprehensively covering the print and online poetry in North America, in the English language, and in English translation;
Continue refining the tools (the issue of syntax in contexts of erratic punctuation; tropes).

http://thehumanities.com/…/program-and…/schedule-of-sessions

http://thehumanities.com

May 23, 2015

MARGENTO @ FLAIRS-28: Multilabel Subject-based Classification of Poetry


Multilabel Subject-based Classification of Poetry
Andres Lou, Diana Inkpen and Chris Tanasescu (MARGENTO)


[This paper is part of the larger ongoing MARGENTO project "The Graph Poem"]

Abstract
Oftentimes, the question “what is this poem about?” has no
trivial answer, regardless of length, style, author, or context
in which the poem is found. We propose a simple system
of multi-label classification of poems based on their subjects
following the categories and subcategories as laid out by the
Poetry Foundation. We make use of a model that combines
the methodologies of tf-idf and Latent Dirichlet Allocation
for feature extraction, and a Support Vector Machine model
for the classification task. We determine how likely it is for
our models to correctly classify each poem they read into one
or more main categories and subcategories. Our contribution
is, thus, a new method to automatically classify poetry given
a set and various subsets of categories.
[...]

Classifying Poetry
In this work, we focus on how the vocabulary of a poem
determines its subject. While seemingly intuitive, this
notion is a much more difficult task to perform than what
it seems at first glance. As an example, let us consider the
following excerpt from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,"
by T. S. Eliot:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

As is the case with many modern and contemporary poems,
the subject of this celebrated high modernist piece is
problematic, elusive, and multilayered. The question of
what category this poem belongs to has a nebulous answer.
The title, while indicative, cannot be used to readily classify
it as a “Love” poem. Furthermore, the fact that it belongs
to a certain category such as “Love” does not imply that it
does not belong to a different category as well, such as “Living”,
nor does it imply whether it belongs to a subcategory
thereof, specifically, the subcategory of “Marriage & Companionship”
(indeed, as we will see, unequivocal single categorization
is rare). Furthermore, is the speaker’s insistent
urge to travel and discover (new?) places actually a facetious
one, as some of his diction strongly suggests, and then
what is the target of his irony? Are possibly capital existential
questions as the one in the penultimate line muffled by
the modern condition of pointless rambling, undiscriminating
consumerism, and chronic disorientation? And where is
the announced love in the “tedious argument” of the alienating
placeless cityscape? The task of determining whether
a poem belongs to any given number of categories and subcategories,
by means of analyzing its lexical content, is the
objective of our work.
[...]

Methodology
Our methodology involves three distinct phases: 1) Determining
the number of categories and subcategories, and their
nature, in which to place each poem; 2) Determine a method
to extract relevant features from each document, and 3) Selecting
an appropriate classifying algorithm.
[...]

Feature Extraction
The content-based nature of the classification task makes it
ideal to use two models to extract features from our corpus:
Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (tf-idf)
as applied to a Bag-of-Words model, and Latent Dirichlet
Allocation (LDA).

[MORE IN THE FORTHCOMING PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE]
Check out the full Program of FLAIRS-28 here


Apr 15, 2015

ASYMPTOTE RECEIVES THE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY TRANSLATION INITIATIVE AWARD AT 2015 LONDON BOOK FAIR


LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association.

The award is presented to the organisation that the committee considers to have “succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works,” whose scope of achievement lies outside of the UK. Last year’s winner was the Best Translated Book Award, launched by Three Percent, the University of Rochester’s ground-breaking prize for literature in translation.

Shortlisted alongside the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Paper Republic (China), Asymptote’s recognition this year reinforces its status as an innovative audio-visual platform showcasing the most exciting writing from around the world.

According to the selection committee, who came to a "unanimous decision," Asymptote is "the place where translators want to publish their own and their authors' work."

Asymptote’s Editor-in-Chief, Lee Yew Leong, said, "It is extremely special for our magazine to be honored among the many wonderful international initiatives celebrated at this year's London Book Fair Awards, especially given that our international setup means we don't qualify for national funding. This award truly belongs to all editors, contributors, and guest artists past and present, who have made Asymptote what it is today: a site to discover the best in world literature.”

This is the first time that a Singaporean organisation has been nominated for, as well as won, an award at the London Book Fair.

Asymptote is delighted to be officially recognized for its work in the field of literary translation over the past few years, and wishes to first and foremost thank all its supporters and collaborators from around the world who have made it possible for Asymptote to consistently publish such stunning work. Our team of volunteer editors, translators, designers, and other creatives is thrilled to be sharing this award, and we are already hard at work on our exciting next issue, out this coming July!



LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association. - See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/lbf2015award.php#sthash.3QhDQqdt.dpuf
LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association.
The award is presented to the organisation that the committee considers to have “succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works,” whose scope of achievement lies outside of the UK. Last year’s winner was the Best Translated Book Award, launched by Three Percent, the University of Rochester’s ground-breaking prize for literature in translation.
Shortlisted alongside the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Paper Republic (China), Asymptote’s recognition this year reinforces its status as an innovative audio-visual platform showcasing the most exciting writing from around the world.
According to the selection committee, who came to a "unanimous decision," Asymptote is "the place where translators want to publish their own and their authors' work."
Asymptote’s Editor-in-Chief, Lee Yew Leong, said, "It is extremely special for our magazine to be honored among the many wonderful international initiatives celebrated at this year's London Book Fair Awards, especially given that our international setup means we don't qualify for national funding. This award truly belongs to all editors, contributors, and guest artists past and present, who have made Asymptote what it is today: a site to discover the best in world literature.”
This is the first time that a Singaporean organisation has been nominated for, as well as won, an award at the London Book Fair.
Asymptote is delighted to be officially recognized for its work in the field of literary translation over the past few years, and wishes to first and foremost thank all its supporters and collaborators from around the world who have made it possible for Asymptote to consistently publish such stunning work. Our team of volunteer editors, translators, designers, and other creatives is thrilled to be sharing this award, and we are already hard at work on our exciting next issue, out this coming July!
- See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/lbf2015award.php#sthash.3QhDQqdt.dpuf
LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association.
The award is presented to the organisation that the committee considers to have “succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works,” whose scope of achievement lies outside of the UK. Last year’s winner was the Best Translated Book Award, launched by Three Percent, the University of Rochester’s ground-breaking prize for literature in translation.
Shortlisted alongside the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Paper Republic (China), Asymptote’s recognition this year reinforces its status as an innovative audio-visual platform showcasing the most exciting writing from around the world.
According to the selection committee, who came to a "unanimous decision," Asymptote is "the place where translators want to publish their own and their authors' work."
Asymptote’s Editor-in-Chief, Lee Yew Leong, said, "It is extremely special for our magazine to be honored among the many wonderful international initiatives celebrated at this year's London Book Fair Awards, especially given that our international setup means we don't qualify for national funding. This award truly belongs to all editors, contributors, and guest artists past and present, who have made Asymptote what it is today: a site to discover the best in world literature.”
This is the first time that a Singaporean organisation has been nominated for, as well as won, an award at the London Book Fair.
Asymptote is delighted to be officially recognized for its work in the field of literary translation over the past few years, and wishes to first and foremost thank all its supporters and collaborators from around the world who have made it possible for Asymptote to consistently publish such stunning work. Our team of volunteer editors, translators, designers, and other creatives is thrilled to be sharing this award, and we are already hard at work on our exciting next issue, out this coming July!
- See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/lbf2015award.php#sthash.3QhDQqdt.dpuf
LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association.
The award is presented to the organisation that the committee considers to have “succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works,” whose scope of achievement lies outside of the UK. Last year’s winner was the Best Translated Book Award, launched by Three Percent, the University of Rochester’s ground-breaking prize for literature in translation.
Shortlisted alongside the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Paper Republic (China), Asymptote’s recognition this year reinforces its status as an innovative audio-visual platform showcasing the most exciting writing from around the world.
According to the selection committee, who came to a "unanimous decision," Asymptote is "the place where translators want to publish their own and their authors' work."
Asymptote’s Editor-in-Chief, Lee Yew Leong, said, "It is extremely special for our magazine to be honored among the many wonderful international initiatives celebrated at this year's London Book Fair Awards, especially given that our international setup means we don't qualify for national funding. This award truly belongs to all editors, contributors, and guest artists past and present, who have made Asymptote what it is today: a site to discover the best in world literature.”
This is the first time that a Singaporean organisation has been nominated for, as well as won, an award at the London Book Fair.
Asymptote is delighted to be officially recognized for its work in the field of literary translation over the past few years, and wishes to first and foremost thank all its supporters and collaborators from around the world who have made it possible for Asymptote to consistently publish such stunning work. Our team of volunteer editors, translators, designers, and other creatives is thrilled to be sharing this award, and we are already hard at work on our exciting next issue, out this coming July!
- See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/lbf2015award.php#sthash.3QhDQqdt.dpuf
LONDON, UK: We are very proud to announce that Asymptote was today presented with the London Book Fair’s 2015 International Literary Translation Initiative Award. The prize is part of the International Excellence Awards, designed to showcase publishing innovation around the word, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association.
The award is presented to the organisation that the committee considers to have “succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works,” whose scope of achievement lies outside of the UK. Last year’s winner was the Best Translated Book Award, launched by Three Percent, the University of Rochester’s ground-breaking prize for literature in translation.
Shortlisted alongside the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Paper Republic (China), Asymptote’s recognition this year reinforces its status as an innovative audio-visual platform showcasing the most exciting writing from around the world.
According to the selection committee, who came to a "unanimous decision," Asymptote is "the place where translators want to publish their own and their authors' work."
Asymptote’s Editor-in-Chief, Lee Yew Leong, said, "It is extremely special for our magazine to be honored among the many wonderful international initiatives celebrated at this year's London Book Fair Awards, especially given that our international setup means we don't qualify for national funding. This award truly belongs to all editors, contributors, and guest artists past and present, who have made Asymptote what it is today: a site to discover the best in world literature.”
This is the first time that a Singaporean organisation has been nominated for, as well as won, an award at the London Book Fair.
Asymptote is delighted to be officially recognized for its work in the field of literary translation over the past few years, and wishes to first and foremost thank all its supporters and collaborators from around the world who have made it possible for Asymptote to consistently publish such stunning work. Our team of volunteer editors, translators, designers, and other creatives is thrilled to be sharing this award, and we are already hard at work on our exciting next issue, out this coming July!
- See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/lbf2015award.php#sthash.3QhDQqdt.dpuf

Apr 12, 2015

Grigore Negrescu (MARGENTO)--Self-portrait & Work Site

                                          © Grigore Negrescu, 2015


                                          © Grigore Negrescu, 2015

Mar 20, 2015

STEAUA -- Album de Familie -- 29 de scriitori inclusiv MARGENTO


Foto (c) Octavian Bour


Trei jucării pentru toată lumea

Trei jucării preferate cu care mă joc eu – și nu numai eu – de vreo douăzeci de ani, deci cam de la prima tinerețe/a doua copilărie, sunt: internetul, cartea și studioul.

De fapt e o copilărie comună – internetul era încă la pubertate în 90 și–, cartea (lucrată pe calculator pentru tipografie) abia se năștea (cu năbădăi!), iar studioul – de înregistrări sau de pictură – încă se minuna că ar putea exista în varianta independentă și occidentală, începând, de fapt, mai întâi ca „parazit” al vechilor case de cultură (studențești) sau instituții (radio, tv etc.) dar (și) cu „scule” occidentale. Treptat dar sigur, printre acestea din urmă și-au făcut loc calculatoarele specializate și programele de prelucrare a sunetului și montaj al înregistrărilor.

Se vede „din avion” ce leagă toate aceste jucării, cel puțin ca mediu(m): calculatorul și programele sale informatice, jucăria actuală universală. Dar nu despre asta vreau să vorbesc aici în principal.
Să le iau pe rând. Cum se știe, azi nimeni nu există dacă nu e pe google și, cine știe, poate curând se va putea spune la fel și despre facebook (în tot cazul, nimeni nu mai zice asta despre televizor). Și ca scriitor sau artist, lumea te caută, te (re)descoperă, te citește sau ascultă în primul rând pe internet, și chiar dacă te știe, tot acolo caută confirmarea, sau cel puțin amănuntele; sau noutățile. Și reciproc, pentru mulți (toți?), principalul public spectator și țintă, ca și principalul mediu de transmitere (conștient sau nu), principala „tribună”, așadar, este internetul.

Mi-amintesc că acum cîțiva ani, la o lectură de poezie pe care am făcut-o împreună cu Jerome Rothenberg și Ilya Kaminsky (cum, nu știți cine sunt?! Păi dați repede o căutare pe... google) la o librărie importantă (Barnes & Noble) din San Diego au venit vreo... 15-20 de oameni (deși s-ar putea să nu mă pot abține să exagerez – în plus, bineînțeles) care au cumpărat două cărți (dintre care una a mea, luată, cred, din curiozitate, sau mai degrabă din greșeală). Vă sună cumva cunoscut cifrele astea? Dar... pe internet... și Jerry și Ilya sunt niște star-uri, blogul lui Jerry are sute, uneori mii de vizite pe zi, iar cărțile lui sunt best-seller-uri. Pe piața de poezie, să fim bine înțeleși; pe care se comandă în proporție zdrobitoare on-line.

A doua jucărie – cartea. Cine nu s-a jucat cu font-uri, formate, diverse forme de paragrafe, spații etc., în varianta electronică a manuscrisului unei cărți? Cu atât mai mult dacă era vorba de o carte cu (inclusiv) poezie concretă, sau care să conțină și imagini. Știu din proprie experiență că la un moment dat joaca respectivă ajunge să eclipseze scopul final. De fapt nu este cumva cartea ca produs finit un compromis față de valențele proteice ale manuscrisului electronic? Teologul nostru literat zicea, tocmai, că a tipări cartea e ca o întoarcere din exil sau de pe o mare furtunoasă, când „așa și tipografulu de-a cărții sfârșire/ laudă neîncetată dă și mulțămire”. Dar el deși avea bun cumpăt, n-avea computer, în timp ce nouă ne place să ne pierdem cumpătul la computer. Ca să nu mai zic că trăim în era exilului generalizat, cea transnațională. Alt tipograf, însă, se bucura dinainte s-apară random access memory (celebrii biți de RAM) să celebreze aleatoriul și impuritățile ce interveneau pe placa de tipar, luându-le drept emblemă a propriei opere. Cine? – Walt Whitman, desigur, căci titlul Leaves of Grass poate fi citit, a spus-o bine Harold Bloom, și așa.

De altfel, cum zice C.T. Funkhouser, dintre noile direcții în poezia digitală, una esențială este cea în care se creează/asamblează/programează „poems of the Web, by the Web, for the Web” – poeme de pe net, generate prin net, pentru net. Chiar și cartea pe hârtie a ajuns să implice cel puțin una dintre aceste trăsături. Atâta timp cât nu exploatăm complet oportunitățile astea ne comportăm ca un Gutenberg care și-ar fi folosit invenția doar tipărind planuri și schițe de urmat în cărțile pe care ar fi urmat apoi să le scrie tot niște copiști, tot ca înainte: de mână, pe piele de vițel.

A treia jucărie – studioul. Aici voi înșirui doar ce a însemnat și înseamnă studioul (de înregistrări, căci despre atelierul de pictură am mai vorbit) pentru (mine ca membru al trupei) MARGENTO. Libertatea și frenezia de a forma, deforma și reforma împreună (prin [non-]con-[per]formare reciprocă) sunete; și odată cu ele, mii de alte lucruri.

O experiență ce nu poate fi înlocuită de nimic altceva – cum zicea Kenneth Koch, dacă te-au prins cincizeci de ani fără să te fi bucurat de ceea ce înseamnă sexul oral, e târziu pentru tine. Sau Fellini: de foarte tânăr am vrut să mă fac regizor să pot pune toate femeile alea frumoase să facă toate chestiile alea [în film]. Și noi la fel, pe înregistrare: oral – prin și cu tot felul de instrumente și mașinării.

Societate inițiatică și agenție de propagandă. Carnaval; suntem cine vrem noi și oricine vrem noi e (cu) noi. Măscări. Zaiafet. Templu; in-templ-are; întâmplare. Bibliotecă; potecă. Piață – de bârfe și zvonuri; talcioc și iarmaroc. Belșug; ioc! Cioc-cioc, bate și te vei deschide. Ex... amen! Restaurant, cramă; ramă. Ail – cocktail. A-mes(s)-tec(h) – best track. Te(ch)st. Dormi-t(h)or. Exhibiționism, voyeurism, seducție și mas(s)-turbare și (prin) rendez-vous; rendez-voodoo. Orga(sm[s]). Budă. Ghe(e)nă. (E-)scatologie. Topos al farsei. Asceză cu supradoză. Navigări, asamblări. Telepatie, telechinezie, chinezărie. Munci și nopți. Concentrare, percuție, prostituție, inducție. Vacanță la separ-eu absurd. Academie beată. Clinică. Moarte clinică. Bala-moog. Pro-(me)nadă. Café de Flore. Confesional. Confusional. Confisional. Hău.


Sunt 3 jucării? Dar la ce bun sau rău o carte sau un net (de poeme) care să nu aibă și ele tot ce-am zis că e la studio?
                                                                                                                                           --MARGENTO
(text aparut in Steaua, no 1-2/2015)

Feb 18, 2015

Lou, Inkpen & MARGENTO Computational Poetry Paper Accepted to FLAIRS Conference


The paper “Multilabel Subject-based Classifi cation of Poetry” by Andr es Lou, Diana Inkpen, and Chris T an asescu (MARGENTO) has been accepted to the 28th Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society–FLAIRS–Conference; the paper is part of the ampler MARGENTO project Poetry Computational Graphs and the Graph Poem.
Here is the abstract:
Multilabel Subject-based Classi cation of Poetry
by Andr es Lou, Diana Inkpen, and Chris T an asescu (MARGENTO)
University of Ottawa, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Abstract
Oftentimes, the question “what is this poem about?” has no trivial answer, regardless of length, style, author, or context in which the poem is found. We propose a simple system of multilabel classifi cation of poems based on their subjects following the categories and subcategories as laid out by the Poetry Foundation. We make use of a model that combines the methodologies of tf-idf and Latent Dirichlet Allocation for feature extraction, and a Support Vector Machine model for the classi fication task. We determine how likely it is for our models to correctly classify each poem they read into one or more main categories and subcategories. Our contribution is, thus, a new method to automatically classify poetry given a set and various subsets of categories.
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