Bad Quarto is a private press (listed
in the International Register of Private Press Names) that produces work for fun, teaching, and exchange. Some publications are also offered for sale online (here at this site); online via Spybeam Books; online via the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA; and during normal times at the MIT Press Bookstore in Cambridge, MA. A major project of the press these days is Taper,
our online literary magazine. The printing/production of Bad Quarto book objects and other literary matter is done using various systems and equipment, including:
- An Adana Eight-Five platen press, first made 1953, from c. 1975
- The Espresso Book Machines of the Harvard Book Store & the MIT Press Bookstore
- Epson & Commodore dot-matrix printers
- Standard consumer laser printers
- Flat panel displays connected to Raspberry Pi Zero computers
- The World Wide Web hypertext system from c. 1990
To place an order or request printed matter in exchange for your work: Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collectively edited, Spring 2017–
Web-based literary journal for short, computational work.
is Bad Quarto’s main publication. The twice-yearly journal hosts very short computational poems and other sorts of digital literary work, composed under the strictures of poetic compression and using practices of sizecoding. (Work is currently limited to 2KB, a mere 2048 bytes!) Taper is edited by a collective, independent of the publisher, that develops each issue’s theme, selects poems, and works to authors to prepare them for publication. All of the poems in Taper
are free/libre/open source software, so anyone can study, share, and remix them in any way.
Nick Montfort, 2020
The final word on 2020.
Edition of 3 + one author’s/artist’s proof.
The Life is a Freestyle Quaranzine
Full Circle, 2020
a zine by rappers with poetry, art, and essays detailing entailments of the conceptual metaphor “Life is a Freestyle.”
Edition of 100, free in PDF format.
200 (of 10,000) Apotropaic Variations
Allison Parrish, 2000
Pamphlets, each one with its own unique 200 computer-generated magic words, ready to be cut out and used for protection.
50 unique pamphlets printed.
Theft of Color
Margaret Rhee, 2015, 2020
A poem knockout printed on a card.
Edition of 50.
for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
Sofian Audry, 2018–2019
5.5" × 8" × variable (272–282) pp. book, presenting the increasingly coherent results of a machine learning process that uses only Wuthering Heights as data.
31 unique books, produced on the MIT Press Espresso Book Machine.
Anthony Etherin, 2018–2019
A letterpress-printed palindrome contained in a 14ml polypropylene test tube.
Edition of 100.
Leaflet of Eden
Nick Montfort, 2017–2018
4.25" × 5.5" twice-folded leaflet with type-in computer program.
Edition of 50, numbered and signed by the author.
Printed on an Epson LX-800 printer using Lydia Davis’s Kaypro II.
Hard West Turn
Nick Montfort, 2018
5" × 5" × 320 pp. computer-generated novel focused on gun violence in the United States, drawing on the English and Simple English Wikipedias.
This is the 2018 edition; Hard West Turn will be regenerated and published annually.
Edition of 13 (corresponding to the original 13 states) + 3 author’s proofs (red, white, and blue), numbered and signed by the author.
Copy-edited and designed by the proprietor; Produced on the MIT Press Bookstore Espresso Book Machine.
Christian Bök & Nick Montfort, 2016–2018
Folio of three 3.5" × 8.5" sheets in gold-colored case, numbered and initialed by the authors.
Edition of 100 + 10 author’s proofs; Printed on the Adana Eight-Five.
Nick Montfort, 2017
5" × 5" × 40 pp. book of poetry, MIT Press Bookstore Espresso Book Machine.
Nick Montfort, 2017
Unique book object. Standard/reused computer hardware, free software OS and custom free software program.
Nick Montfort, 2014
5.5" × 8.25" × 252 pp. book, Harvard Book Store Espresso Book Machine.
Nick Montfort, 2013
5.5" × 8.25" × 246 pp. book, Harvard Book Store Espresso Book Machine.