SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 GERALD LAMPAND MEMORIAL AWARD
repeater is a poetic investigation into the coding, function, language, and structure of computer programming. Using the ASCII 8-bit binary code as an acrostic, each lower-case letter of the alphabet is arranged alongside the lines of the title poem. As a result, this poem "programs" an investigation of layered and digitalized language that is coded into the heart of the code itself. Appendixes to this code form supplementary studies, and deviate into additional problems and concepts at the convergence of poetry and computer programming. Ultimately, repeater reveals what happens when the creative variability of poetry is "inputted" into the rigid binaric structure of computer language.
Praise for repeater:
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