Call for Submissions | {Currently Accepting}

Thinking Machines: An Anthology of Programmer Poets & Poems about Computers is currently seeking the following:
  1. poems by programmer poets (eg. poets who write code and/or have studied computer science).
        NOTE The poems themselves need not be explicitly about programming, computers, or
               programmer culture. This section archives poetry by programmer poets.
  2. poems about computers or programming (which can extend to artificial intelligence, digital technologies, or programmer culture and work experience).
        NOTE These poems are about the computer as subject or object of interest.

Although the first category is limited to poets with a programming background, the second category is open to any poet who has work which fits the call. This second category can also include poems which:

  • significantly draw on film or literary representations of computers (think Jean Luc Godard's Alphaville, Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc)
  • invoke the formal conventions of code or pseudocode in a literary fashion (conditional statements, recursion, etc)
  • are centered on some aspect of the history of programming and/or computers (Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, Alan Turing are all fair game)
  • in some other way engage or explore the role of computers and programming in our contemporary world (in other words, if you think it fits, but aren't certain try us)
Send 3-5 poems to


  1. Consider past models (Philip Levine, B.H. Fairchild, and many other poets found ways to write about the factory, the automobile, and other aspects of industrialization. Are there similar ways to approach the computer through narrative or lyric poetry? What other forms and/or approaches might work?)
  2. In what ways does the computer constitute an "other" in our society? (Feel free to examine the interactions and encounters where human and computer come together)
  3. Code vs poetry (In what ways do we "program" the world around us? How does an understanding of object oriented programming or data structures affect our perception of our surroundings and life experiences?)

About the Editor

Neil Aitken is the author of The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga 2008), winner of the 2007 Philip Levine Prize, and the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review. Prior to pursuing graduate work in creative writing and literature, he completed an undergraduate degree in computer science minoring in mathematics and worked for several years as a computer games programmer for Knowledge Adventure, then a division of Vivendi Universal Games. He presently lives in Los Angeles and is working on a PhD dissertation examining the figure of the machine in Victorian literature. You can find him online at