Bad Quarto

A very small press publishing experimental and poetic work in non-traditional formats, from hand-printed cards to computational book art systems: Many things that others don’t find fit to print.

Proprietor: Nick Montfort · New York

Proprietor card for Bad Quarto next to some quoins and such.
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:

To place an order or request printed matter in exchange for your work: Send a note to


Taper #1 table of contents.
Collectively edited, Spring 2017–
Web-based literary journal for short, computational work.
Taper 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.

Untitled (unmutable)

Untitled (unmutable), by Nick Montfort
Nick Montfort, 2020
The final word on 2020.
Edition of 3 + one author’s/artist’s proof.
Detailed listing for Untitled (unmutable).

The Life is a Freestyle Quaranzine

The Life is a Freestyle Quaranzine, by Full Circle.
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.
Detailed listing for The Life is a Freestyle Quaranzine.

200 (of 10,000) Apotropaic Variations

200 (of 10,000) Apotropaic Variations, by Allison Parrish.
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.
Detailed listing for 200 (of 10,000) Apotropaic Variations.

Theft of Color

Theft of Color, by Margaret Rhee.
Margaret Rhee, 2015, 2020
A poem knockout printed on a card.
Edition of 50.
Detailed listing for Theft of Color.

for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

Page spread from Sofian Audry's 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.
Detailed listing for for the sleepers in that quiet earth.


Viral, by Anthony Etherin.
Anthony Etherin, 2018–2019
A letterpress-printed palindrome contained in a 14ml polypropylene test tube.
Edition of 100.
Detailed listing for Viral.
Online ordering for Viral at Spybeam Books.

Leaflet of Eden

Leaflet of Eden, a stack of the leaflets.
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.
Sold out.
Detailed listing for Leaflet of Eden.

Hard West Turn

Hard West Turn, front cover.
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.
Detailed listing for Hard West Turn.


Sheet 3 and some of sheet 2 of Type.
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.
Detailed listing for Type.
Online ordering for Type at Spybeam Books.


Sliders, front cover.
Nick Montfort, 2017
5" × 5" × 40 pp. book of poetry, MIT Press Bookstore Espresso Book Machine.
Sold out.
Detailed listing for Sliders.

Autofolio Babel

Autofolio Babel on a low table, at the Trope Tank.
Nick Montfort, 2017
Unique book object. Standard/reused computer hardware, free software OS and custom free software program.
Autofolio Babel was part of the exhibit History of the Future at the Bostson Cyberarts Gallery, May 26–July 1, 2018.
Detailed listing for Autofolio Babel.


Megawatt, front cover.
Nick Montfort, 2014
5.5" × 8.25" × 252 pp. book, Harvard Book Store Espresso Book Machine.
Detailed listing & online ordering for Megawatt.

World Clock

World Clock, front cover.
Nick Montfort, 2013
5.5" × 8.25" × 246 pp. book, Harvard Book Store Espresso Book Machine.
Detailed listing & online ordering for World Clock.