I completed my undergraduate studies at Texas Tech University with degrees in both public relations and English (with an emphasis in creative writing.) Computer science was my declared major when I first enrolled, but my initial interest in programming sputtered until I married my interest in writing, design and technology to create one of the early Twitter/SMS-based literary journals, escarp, that code began to infiltrate my academic life.
While much of the literary criticism and poetry I've written in graduate school at Old Dominion University have hewed reasonably close to current mainstream practice, my interest in exploring the intersection of code and literature has grown progressively, leading me to experiment at first with "code poetry" in workshop, and since to venture into a statistical analysis of gendered pronoun use by characters in the Shakespearean canon. Similar experiments in appropriative/found literature merged with my code interests to inform my creative thesis—an experiment in both generating poems from transcripts of Glenn Beck's television program and responding to those poems with a constrained vocabulary dictated by the generated poem.
My current creative and academic/research interests lie in this field of "conceptual" writing, both analog and digital, and in other areas of theory/scholarship germane to the production of computational/conceptual writing such as natural language processing, hermeneutics, artificial intelligence, emergence and in broader discussions of conceptual art and avant-garde aesthetics.
For much of my time as a writer I worked on individual poems and not on cohesive projects; "collections" of these poems would be largely coincidental and eclectic in nature, even if loosely centered on recurring tropes, subject matter, tones or gestures. Sometimes people ask what I write about, or why I write. Perhaps it's obvious, but I write about what I think about. In this way, the life of the writer is not unlike the life of the dreamer. I have dreams which bear much similarity with the experiences I have lived. I dream for the same reason I write; it is a way of untangling life.
More recently, the process of composing a creative thesis has changed my artistic life. In workshops as both an undergraduate and graduate student I often chafed at the insistence of my mentors that I ground my abstractions. In the process of chasing my project to reconstitute Glenn Beck's television transcripts into poems, the research I did led me to the realization I was engaging in "conceptual writing," named for its similarities with conceptual art. That knowledge along with my readings in conceptual writing since lead me to believe that conceptual writing is the "grounding" my abstractions have been in search of.
Likewise, the charge to create a cohesive, book-length creative manuscript encouraged me to think of writing as a "project" not unlike any of the many design or other creative projects I've undertaken, rather than the ongoing and perhaps recursive activity I had made it into. To be more precise, I stumbled on a sort of structure that has allowed me to envision ways to undertake projects my personal voice, especially at the single-poem scale, struggles to address.
I was born and grew up in Lubbock, Texas, under the big sky and open horizons of the Llano Estacado. I'm fond of the severe weather and exquisite sunsets that are hallmarks of the southern plains.
My hobbies tend to wax and wane, but for the past few years I've spent most of my spare time reading, coding, editing my literary journal, writing, running, cycling, listening to music, gleefully receiving packages from Amazon, and doing whatever sorts of research or work are relevant to my current side-projects. I enjoy television and movies, but I almost always pick more active ways to pass time when I'm alone. The exceptions (if I'm in the mood) are documentaries, political talk-shows, and almost any sport there's footage of.
I'm a bit of a homebody, but I like going out to enjoy local food, craft beer and good conversation (or a good game).
I began my first foray into publishing on the web in the fall of 1998 with zero knowledge of HTML. I wouldn't call what I did back then "design," but it was the seed of my interests in writing, editing, publishing, design and programming. I'm somewhat horrified that I remember all too well my first conscious attempts to do this design thing, originally in MS_Paint, later in CorelDraw, and finally (by late 2000,) in my stepfather's work copy of Photoshop.
My first experience with print publishing came between 2006 and 2010, when I was involved in the production of Texas Tech's student literary journal, Harbinger, first as an editorial panel member, then as editor-in-chief, student advisor, and alumni advisor. In 2009 I founded my own literary journal, escarp, which is published via Twitter, and started my first work with full-fledged programming.
Upon arrival at Old Dominion University, I helped out with the technical (design, HTML/CSS, PHP, Wordpress templating and staff training) work necessary to found Barely South Review, a digital literary journal first published in HTML format. In the spring of 2012, our managing editor and I transitioned the journal to a PDF/InDesign workflow to support editions for web, e-reader, mobile and eventually print.
As a lifelong student I've found that I both learn and improve new skills best when those skills are required for an interesting project—and I find that new skills come slowly if at all in abstraction. As a creative writer, programmer, designer and participant in DIY/"Maker" culture, I find my most fertile creative periods cluster around large projects requiring new skills. The employment of varied skill sets and (I feel more importantly) the engagement of the broader spectrum of senses which comes from using a variety of skills allows the incoming information to be assembled into a deep, robust connective web.
This is, of course, why we encourage writing across all educational disciplines; broad, deep connections help new knowledge stick.
This is, of course, why I use a recursive, project-oriented assignment track to help my composition students learn how to work with a pen or keyboard alongside projects they're completing with bowls, spatulas, running shoes, punching bags, X-acto-knives, pencils, paint brushes, basketballs, ovens, much thinking, careful research and hard work.
My composition assignment-track requires students to embark upon a project of personal or professional interest. They begin by writing about the initial iteration of their project before enacting multiple modes of research: reviewing a similar project, doing traditional secondary research, and performing primary research through hands-on experimentation and interviews. After completing the research phase of the course, my students make a semiformal proposal for a new, improved version of their initial project, execute the new project, and complete the course with a postmortem evaluation of the results.
Travis A. Everett
4434 Orange St.
Bacliff, TX 77518
- Print/web/mobile design: HTML, CSS, jQuery Mobile, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator
- Other software/packages/template engines & API proficiencies: Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office, Wordpress, Doxygen, Django, NLTK, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordnik, RhymeBrain
- Freelance contract programmer/designer (Python/HTML/CSS/PHP), Total Seminars, LLC., Jan 2013-Present. Responsibilities:
- Pick up stalled development on video-oriented paid-content user portal.
- Build out code, database and interface support for new features.
- Hone user experience/design for new portal.
- Develop new or interface with existing educational software to provide robust support for educational users.
- Document existing code (all undocumented).
- Programmer & administrator, TsunamiMUD, 2010-Present. Subprojects:
- Refactor http socket code, write native oauth & social-media libraries.
- Maintenance/bug-fixes for multi-user text-based game with 40,000+ files/objects.
- Refactor primary game objects to modernize pre-2000s code, simplify customization, and assert standards.
- Develop grammar/text-processing modules to improve messaging for core objects.
- New documentation system based on Doxygen XML output.
- Document core objects and methods via Doxygen.
- Develop/improve productivity/workflow tools.
- My Friend Glenn, online/Tumblr conceptual, perpetual arts project based on my creative MFA thesis.
- Founding editor, et al, of escarp, a text-message-based journal of super-brief poetry and prose, March 2009-Present. Responsibilities:
- Design, develop, maintain and promote journal's online presence.
- Manage 5-person editorial panel, submissions and responses.
- Develop/maintain custom database backend for high-performance visitor statistics tracking and efficient Twitter follower management.
Projects & related experience
- Graduate teaching assistant, ENGL 110c, college composition, Old Dominion University (ODU), 2011-2012:
- Developed a custom project-oriented course requiring students to implement and document multiple facets of a semester-long project.
- Integrated initial student feedback to improve the course.
- In second semester, received positive student reviews while students wrote on average 2-3 times more than departmental objective.
- Freelance editing for Farideh Dayanim Goldin, author and lecturer at Old Dominion University:
- Provided copy/thematic editing for "Silencing Women," a 40-page essay on how the Persian language's construction of gender influences writing by Iranian women.
- Technical editor, poetry editor, Barely South Review, 2010-2012. Developed:
- InDesign templates and training documentation for future staff.
- Multiple training sessions for staff with little to no InDesign experience.
- Streamlined poetry-panel editorial workflow to allow for scaling up from a single, 120-submission reading period in fall 2010 to 500+ and 800+ submission periods in the 2011-2012 school year.
- Director, TUNNEL TRAFFIC reading series, ODU, 2010-2012:
- Created, promoted (Facebook, Twitter, fliers, interviews, etc.) and hosted topical reading series held every 2/3 weeks.
- Founding technical editor, Barely South Review, the online literary journal of ODU, 2009-2010. Responsibilities:
- Consult with faculty/editorial staff on technical/implementation issues.
- Design, develop and implement the journal's online presence.
- Train additional staff on website operation.
- Design, typesetting & copyediting, WHERE campaign proposal, Texas Tech University:
- As part of a team, researched and developed public relations campaign for Office of Institutional Diversity to improve minority recruitment.
- Student Advisor for Harbinger, student journal of Arts and Letters at Texas Tech University, 2008-2009. Objectives:
- Train new Harbinger staff.
- Write, organize and edit comprehensive guide to the publication and all tertiary activities.
- Editor-in-Chief of Harbinger, student journal of Arts and Letters at Texas Tech University, 2007-2008. Oversaw:
- 300% increase in submissions, 1600% increase in funding,
- 2000% increase in circulation
- Introduction of visual art to the publication
- Student Tutor, TECHniques Center, January 2007-May 2009:
- Provided one-on-one tutoring to learning-disabled students at Texas Tech University.
- Earned Level 3 College Reading and Learning Association certification
- Old Dominion University, May 2012:
- M.F.A. Creative Writing
- Thesis: "My Friend Glenn", advisor: Tim Seibles, consists of 28 pairs of poems, one generated from Glenn Beck television transcripts by a program I wrote, the other written by me in response.
- Texas Tech University, May 2009:
- B.A. English: Creative Writing
- B.A. Public Relations
Awards & Fellowships
- Perry Morgan Fellowship, Old Dominion University, 2009-2010.
- First runner up, 2007-2008 Stephan Ross Huffman Poetry Prize.
- Poem "You and I, the ingredients," in Short, Fast, and Deadly issue 20.
- Poem "Mira," in Analecta 34.
- Flash-fiction "University Writing Center" in Boston Literary Magazine, Spring '07.
- Poem, "Delicate Veil," February 2007 in the International Museum of Women's online exhibit, Imagining Ourselves.
- "Conceptual" writing, both analog and computational/digital
- Natural language processing, generation & hermeneutics
- Artificial intelligence & emergence
- Conceptual art and avant-garde aesthetics.
References available upon request