NEW MINSTRELSY OF THE SCOTTISH BORDER by Harry Josephine Giles and Martin O'Leary
240x160mm, 12 pages, Black and white throughout, Saddle stitched, 2018.
“‘We met in the border town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, built a computer program from repurposed old code and self-authored new code, tweaked and tuned it to the ballad text of Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and set it to write new ballads in the same form and language. We are asking of the program no more than was expected of the ballads’ first singers; in recording the results, we are as editorial as Scott. The program, as with all poetry, lives in the border zone between success and failure, to teach us something about language, something about poetry, and everything about what it means to create.’ – from ‘The Computer Writes a New Old Language’, New Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border
Commissioned from open submission, Harry Josephine Giles & Martin O’Leary have used a neural network to produce poems that return to the vernacular language found in the ballads and poetry of nineteenth century Scotland and Northern England.
Harry Josephine Giles is a poet and performer and Martin O’Leary is a digital artist and designer: they came together from their different disciplines and perspectives over a shared interest in online texts, twitterbots, procedural generation and computer poetry.
Dialecty, conceived by Maria Fusco with The Common Guild, considers the uses of vernacular forms of speech and writing, exploring how dialect words, grammar and syntax challenge and improve traditional orthodoxies of critical writing.
Published in December 2018 at a launch event celebrating the Dialecty series.
Published by Book Works