Nick Montfort

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Nick Montfort
Nicholas Montfort
Educationsee Field
Known forPoetry, Education, Digital Media, Interactive Fiction
Notable work
The Future, #!, Grand Text Auto, Twisty Little Passages, The Electronic Literature Collection: Volume 1, The New Media Reader

Nick Montfort is a poet and professor of digital media at MIT. He has written and written about interactive fiction, collaborated on the blog Grand Text Auto, and developed many digital poems and text generators. His most recent books are The Future (MIT Press, 2017) and The Truelist (computer-generated poetry, Counterpath, 2017). A futures studies reviewer describes The Future as "written by an outsider to the foresight community" who "examines the works of artists, inventors, and designers and how they have imagined the future."[1] The book was reviewed as "striking a balance between planning and poetry ... a sober, tight account of what 'the future' is and has been, as well as how to think and make it."[2] Among Montfort's several computer-generated books is #! (said "shebang"), in which he "chooses the programming languages Python, Ruby, and Perl (the last of which has a documented history as a poetic medium) to create impressions of an ideal—machines based on the rules of language."[3] The book includes a Python version of "Taroko Gorge," which is available online in JavaScript and has been modified by many authors.[4][5] Some of these "remixes" are collected in The Electronic Literature Collection: Volume 3.[6] Montfort and Ian Bogost wrote Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (MIT Press, 2009). Montfort also wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (MIT Press, 2003) and co-edited The Electronic Literature Collection: Volume 1 (ELO, 2006) and The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003).[7]



  • The Truelist
  • Autopia
  • 2x6 (collaboration with six others, 2016)
  • Taroko Gorge
  • Ream/Rame (collaboration with Anick Bergeron, 2008)
  • 2002: A Palindrome Story (collaboration with William Gillespie, 2002)


  • Grand Text Auto group blog
  • Book and Volume (2005)
  • Implementation (collaboration with Scott Rettberg, 2004)
  • Ad Verbum (2000)
  • Winchester's Nightmare (1999)

Study of video games[edit]

Montfort's Twisty Little Passages was described by Steve Meretzky as "a thoroughly researched history of interactive fiction, as well as a brilliant analysis of the genre."[8] His longtime study of the world's first widespread gaming system led to Racing the Beam, co-authored with Georgia Institute of Technology associate professor Ian Bogost. In the book, they analyze the platforms, or systems, that underlie the computing process. They also discuss the social and cultural implications of the system that dominated the video game market.[9]

In print[edit]

  • Montfort, Nick; Patsy Baudoin; John Bell; Ian Bogost; Jeremy Douglass; Mark C. Marino; Michael Mateas; Casey Reas; Mark Sample; Noah Vawter (2012). 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. MIT Press.
  • Montfort, Nick (2003). Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Montfort, Nick; Noah Wardrip-Fruin (2003). The New Media Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


  1. ^ "Book Review: The Future | AAI Foresight". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  2. ^ "A Review of The Future". ADJACENT Issue 3. 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  3. ^ "Book Review: #! | The Found Poetry Review". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  4. ^ "Taroko Gorge and Its Remixes". I ♥ E-Poetry. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  5. ^ Marques da Silva, Ana; Bettencourt, Sandra (2017-04-18). "Writing–reading devices: intermediations". Neohelicon. 44 (1): 41–54. doi:10.1007/s11059-017-0382-0. ISSN 0324-4652.
  6. ^ "Electronic Literature Collection - Volume 3". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  7. ^ "Nick Montfort". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2018-07-21. Retrieved 2018-07-21.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Twisty Little Passages". The MIT Press. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  9. ^ Edgers, Geoff (March 8, 2009). "A talk with Nick Montfort". The Boston Globe.

External links[edit]