Double Major Combines Poetry and Code for Thesis Project

Poetry is something that everyone has probably
experienced in school. It’s sonnets and prose poems and rhymes and code is something that
a lot of people might not have experience with.
[music] Code poetry is poetry that’s in programming
format. I combine them by taking the structure of code, which looks a very particular way,
and putting poetry into that structure. I line up expressions and thoughts and dialogue
with certain people and I line up actions in a different way. I’ve never taken a semester
with both information science classes and english classes, so last semester I did and
I found my work bleeding into each other so I found myself writing code analysis with
prose and writing poetry with code. [music]
This is a poem called private self and it’s describing the self of someone who is in computer science and english. [music]
When many of the students and even when I first read one of her code poems, which was
in the fall, when she was in my advanced creative writing workshop, I didn’t quite know what
to make of the work, at first, because I’m not, I haven’t studied computer programming.
And the more she kind of explained the relationship, the more I see how she sees the poetry and
the narrative and the story inside of the programming.
I’m working on my capstone project for english right now and half of that is in code poetry
and I do it that way to tackle the problems of being both a woman in programming and being
an english major and an information science major.
One of the things that her project did was not only teach me new ways of thinking about
how these two disciplines might relate but also how her education has worked.
[music] I think it’s a great way to tackle the issues
that we face as a society. Like there are so many gender normative issues within programming
and STEM, in general, and then as someone who is involved in all of these fields, I
think that it really needs to be known that this is very difficult and it shouldn’t have
to be. By writing this poetry, I hope that people will see that and react to it.
[music fades]

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