Finalist for the 2013 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
repeater is a codebook. It is a poetic code programmed into a computer code.
Using the ASCII 8-bit binary code for each letter of the alphabet as an acrostic, the poems of repeater encode an investigation of layered and digitized language into the heart of the code itself. Appendixes form supplementary studies, and deviate into additional interactions in the convergence of poetry and computer programming.
Ultimately, repeater posits a program in which the creative variability of poetry is inputted into the rigid binaric structure of computer language.
Watch the Author Interview:
“Louis Zukofsky famously located poetry as upper level music, lower level speech. Andrew McEwan’s repeater moves between just those poles. The difference is that McEwan is tracking through the coded moments of a world of language where the lower level operates within the patterns of “information interchange” that increasingly dominate what’s left of the human and “authenticity marks obsolescent outline / to transform the set.” Remarkably, McEwan still makes it sing amidst the ‘unbound bits [that] float in gravity’s delay.’ repeater is a terrific debut book that promises much more to come.” — Michael Boughn
“The book combines the fluidity of poetry with the rigidity of programming code to create an innovative new reading experience.” – Open Book Toronto
“What is revealed in these iterations are the uncanny links between human and computer, between animate and mechanical, between expressive language and functional code.” – Melissa Dalgeish, Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review
“Toronto’s Andrew McEwan presents an accomplished and original debut in Repeater… lines provide a philosophical take on poetry in the digital age.” – Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press
“Andrew McEwan’s repeater is a book of breathtaking scope that is expanding what is possible between computational systems and poetic production…This creates a hyperbolic poetry and code where the poetry functions as poetry, where the poetry functions as code, where the code functions as code, where the code functions as poetry, and where the book functions as a quantum superposition of poetry and code. But it goes even further than this, too. The poetry is often mesmerizingly lyrical and theoretically rigorous. While the ideas propelling the book are something to behold, they are not the only mark of its brilliance. McEwan’s repeater is a superposition of conceptual and lyrical poetry at play in quantum dimensions.” – Amy Catanzano, Jacket 2
Andrew McEwan is the author of repeater (BookThug, 2012), currently a finalist for the 2013 Gerald Lampert Award. and the chapbook Input / Output (Cactus Press, 2010). He is working on his M.A. at the University of British Columbia, where he is an organizer for the Play Cthonics reading series. repeater is his first book.