Welcome to my website! I’m a poet and programmer and an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU ITP/IMA.
What I do
I do research on and make art about language and how it’s used and arranged, especially in the context of computation and the Internet. If you want to learn more, take a look at any of the following:
- My portfolio, which is a curated collection of the projects I like to show off;
- a list of smaller and/or unfinished projects or my old (pre-2017) list of projects;
- the list of projects on GitHub that I’m responsible for.
Learn from me
I teach classes on programming, text analysis, computational creativity and culture at the post-secondary level. A few classes I’ve recently designed and/or taught:
- Computational Letterforms and Layout (formerly Material of Language) (NYU ITP)
- Computational Approaches to Narrative (NYU ITP)
- Reading and Writing Electronic Text (NYU ITP)
- Electronic Rituals, Oracles and Fortune Telling (NYU ITP)
- Introduction to Python for Text and Data (Peking University)
Here’s a list of older classes, often with links to syllabi, schedules and example code.
I frequently teach tutorials or lead workshops and post the outlines and sample code as GitHub gists. Here’s a list of tutorials I made in 2016 and 2017.
Get (or keep) in touch
If you want to get in touch, just send me an e-mail. If you want to have my thoughts and opinions in your social media feeds, try the following:
- @email@example.com on Mastodon
- Allison Posts, my blog (RSS)
- My bookmarks (formerly on Pinboard)
- allison.parrish on Instagram
This domain previously hosted a Wordpress blog that I was not good at keeping up-to-date. You can access the content of the old blog here.
Watch me talk
Sometimes I give talks and people record them and post them online. In some cases, I’ve also posted transcripts of these talks, or brief essays based on the talks. Here are a few recent favorites:
- Variational Autoencoders and Poetic Form at Iterations 2021.
- Language Models and Poetics, Artificial Intelligence Distinguished Lecture at Vector Institute. Excerpt: “Language models can only write poetry”
- Computational Stichography! (Or: Connecting Lines) at !!Con 2020.
- Guided Decoding of Sequence-to-Sequence Models for Expressive Non-standard Spelling at UC Santa Cruz Computational Poetry Workshop 2019
- Word Breakers: Rewordable and The Raw Material of Word Games at Practice 2018. Excerpt: Rewordable versus the alphabet fetish
- Experimental Writing with the Vectorized Word at Strange Loop 2017
- Programming is Forgetting: Toward a New Hacker Ethic at Open Hardware Summit 2016. Transcript available here.
- Lossy Text Compression, for Some Reason?! at !!Con 2016
- Exploring (Semantic) Space with (Literal) Robots at Eyeo 2015. Transcript available here.
Read stuff I wrote
A few essays I’ve written:
- The umbra of an imago: Writing under control of machine learning
- Desire (under)lines: Notes toward a queer phenomenology of spell check
Buy stuff I made
A handful of things I’ve made are available for purchase. They’re good things. Avail yourself of this opportunity to possess them.
- Rewordable, “The Uniquely Fragmented Word Game”
- Articulations, my book of computer-generated poetry
- @everyword: the book, “an accelerated, ‘director’s cut’ experience of the English language like no other”
- Wendit Tnce Inf, a book of GAN-generated asemic prose poems
Or just, like, give me money
I have a Ko-fi. Your contributions give me the support and confidence I need to make interesting projects that aren’t necessarily legible to the more traditional sources of funding for artists and writers.
(Note: If you’ve ever taken a class from me—and especially if you’ve ever gone into debt to take a class from me—I consider us to be squared up in perpetuity.)
Press and interviews
Some interviews with me and writing on my work:
- Turning Poetry into Art: Joanne McNeil on Large Language Models and the Poetry of Allison Parrish
- “Digging and Sinking and Drifting: Allison Parrish’s Machine Poetics” by Emily Chiu
- Clive Thompson on my work for Boing Boing
- Daniel Temkin interviews me on esoteric.codes
- Rachel Zucker interviews me on Commonplace podcast
Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. She is an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
According to Ars Technica, Allison’s work “delight[s] everyone.” She was named “Best Maker of Poetry Bots” by the Village Voice in 2016, and her zine of computer-generated poems called “Compasses” received an honorary mention in the 2021 Prix Ars Electronica. Allison is the co-creator of the board game Rewordable (Clarkson Potter, 2017) and author of several books, including @Everyword: The Book (Instar, 2015) and Articulations (Counterpath, 2018). Her poetry has recently appeared in BOMB Magazine and Strange Horizons.
Allison is originally from West Bountiful, Utah and currently lives in Brooklyn.