Library of Congress: Fresh Life (Online) for the epic Shahnamah. “‘The Shahnamah,’ (translated as ‘The Persian Book of Kings’) is the majestic narrative that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia, a staggering work of literature first published about 1,000 years ago. Written by the poet Ferdowsi, it is composed of 62 separate stories set in 50,000 rhyming couplets and divided into 990 chapters. It was 33 years in the making. ‘Epic’ doesn’t begin to cover it…. The Library has three gorgeous manuscript copies of ‘Shahnamah’ – and, as a four-year digitization process of the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection is now wrapping up, you can now see them all online.”
Google Blog: Create a personalized poem, with the help of AI. “POEMPORTRAITS is an online collective artwork, experimenting at the boundaries of AI and human collaboration—a combination of poetry, design and machine learning. A POEMPORTRAIT is your self portrait overlaid with a unique poem, created by AI. Starting today, you can create your own and contribute to the evolving, collective poem.” You do NOT have to take a selfie to get a poem. Which is good because I was about to do a level 8 Daffy Duck.
WBIW: State Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka to Receive Major Poetry Fellowship. “Matejka will receive a $100,000 fellowship award to grow ‘Poetry for Indy’ workshops in Indiana cities with underserved, culturally and economically diverse communities. He also plans to launch a digital archive serving both as historical documentation of poetry in Indiana and as a resource for teachers.”
Library of Congress: Celebrating 200 Years of Walt Whitman with Series of Exhibits, Events and Digital Crowdsourcing to Showcase Collections. “The Library’s crowdsourcing initiative ‘By the People’ will launch a campaign April 24 to enlist the public to help transcribe more than 121,000 pages of Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online. Documents selected for transcription will include samples of Whitman’s poetry, prose and correspondence, including versions of poems such as ‘Oh Captain! My Captain!’ and fragments of poems Whitman published in more finished form in ‘Leaves of Grass.'”
Lifehacker: How to Spice Up Gmail’s ‘Smart Replies’ With Random Poetry. “Not all hacks have to make you a productivity wizard. Some only need to make you happy, and add a little joy (or confusion) to those you email, too. At least, that’s the best way I can think of to describe the Chrome extension ‘Suggested poems for Gmail,’ a brilliant little service that drops a literary bomb on Google’s normal suggested autoreplies in Gmail.”
The National Herald: Onassis Foundation Launches Digital Collection of Cavafy Archive Open to All. “The Onassis Foundation announced on March 28 the launch of the digital collection of the Cavafy Archive – manuscripts of poems as well as prose literary works, studies and notes by the poet, all set alongside his personal archive rich in correspondence, texts and photographs…” To be clear, the “Cavafy” referred to in this article is Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy.
Princeton: Princeton Prosody Archive Launches a Bold New Site. “The thousands of digitized works in the Princeton Prosody Archive are now publicly available on the archive’s new and improved website. The searchable site means centuries’ worth of texts are right at your fingertips.” After I went and looked up prosody, I checked out the Princeton Prosody Archive. It describes itself this way: “Welcome to the Princeton Prosody Archive, a full-text searchable database of thousands of digitized books published between 1570 and 1923. The Archive collects historical documents and highlights discourses about the study of language, the study of poetry, and where and how these intersect and diverge.”