Counterpath Presents Computational Poetry, "Cult" Fiction and More at Dikeou Pop-Up Tomorrrow

Computational artist and poet Nick Montfort.EXPAND
Computational artist and poet Nick Montfort.
Chris Ball

Counterpath Press may be homeless right now, but it hasn't lost its way — as evidenced by the program the 2013 MasterMind winner has planned for tomorrow at the Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax space, where four very different authors — Nick Montfort, Michael Friedman, Sanaz Fatemi and Graham Foust — will read from and discuss their work.  Both Monfort and Fatemi have spent much of their literary careers exploring the creative possibilities that link poetry, prose and different computational or digital processes, such as software programming and video gaming. Friedman and Foust, meanwhile, have developed their own voices in more traditional media: Friedman is a lawyer and prose author of “cult” novels, Foust a poet who teaches at the University of Denver. They share a dry humor — and are both regulars at the Eldora ski area, according to Friedman.

Screen shot from Fatemi's "Cross It Out," a cross between video gaming and experimental literature.EXPAND
Screen shot from Fatemi's "Cross It Out," a cross between video gaming and experimental literature.
Courtesy Sanaz Fatemi

Montfort, an associate professor of digital media at MIT, will present sections of #! (pronounced “shebang”), a work he released on Counterpath Press in 2013 that consists of a series of alterable computer programs that generate poetry. Fatemi, a native of Iran who currently studies and teaches at DU's Emergent Digital Practices program, will preview Cross it Out, a cross between a video game and experimental literature. Both Montfort and Fatemi exhibit their work with the aid of visual projections. “I find that there's almost always an aspect of ‘demo’ to presentations of digital poetry, electronic literature, interactive fiction, and the like,” says Montfort. “The person doing the reading is showing something about how they work, not just giving voice to words.”

Friedman, a practicing attorney in Denver and a Yale graduate in English Literature, will read from the just-completed Martian Dawn and Other Novels. The omnibus volume contains three novels, including the titular Martian Dawn, which is set in an alternative present where Richard (based on Richard Gere) and Julia (based on Julia Roberts) work together shooting an action flick on Mars.

With a sparseness reminiscent of some of his poetry, Foust says he “just finished a long poem, which I will read on the 4th.” That poem is titled Remainers.

Michael Friedman's Martian Dawn is set in an alternative present where Richard (based on Richard Gere) and Julia (based on Julia Roberts) shoot an action flick on Mars.EXPAND
Michael Friedman's Martian Dawn is set in an alternative present where Richard (based on Richard Gere) and Julia (based on Julia Roberts) shoot an action flick on Mars.
Courtesy Michael Friedman

Counterpath, which lost its home of four years near the Mercury Cafe at the start of the year, is currently looking for a new location, but in the meantime has found a home for this program at the Dikeou Collection's pop-up space at 312 East Colfax Avenue. The free — and no doubt free-wheeling — event starts there at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 4; visit counterpathpress.org for more information.


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