Taper Issue #13 - Superstitions

Taper is an online literary journal for computational poetry and literary art published twice yearly by Bad Quarto.
Each issue is edited by a collective. Editing and production are done in coordination with the Trope Tank, a laboratory/studio at MIT and in NYC directed by Bad Quarto proprietor and publisher Nick Montfort. Taper is not officially associated with MIT or hosted on an MIT server.

All are welcome to submit for possible publication in future issues, but please see the information about our reading periods and the specific calls for each issue. We plan for the information about each N+1th issue to be included with the release of the Nth issue.

Taper #13 invites submissions in response to the theme “Superstitions.” The number 13 has long been aligned with luck (both good and bad), as well as with the feminine and supernatural. We welcome works inspired by these and other references to triskaidekaphobia (or -philia), including but not limited to: the rondeau poetic form, Friday the 13th, baker’s dozens, missing floors, coming of age, the number of lunar and menstrual cycles in a year, the number of witches in a coven, the number of Last Supper guests, the 13 British colonies, the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Apollo 13 mission, and the pop star Taylor Swift, who uses the number 13 as an Easter egg throughout her work. We also welcome works that engage with superstitions in programming, as well as mathematical aspects of the number 13, e.g. as a twin/cousin/Wilson prime, emirp, Fibonacci number, or in relation to honeycombs, stars, and tessellations.

Submission Details

  • Download our template in a zip file so that you can edit it. After you have it and have unzipped it, edit only two parts of the file: the long comment at the top, which will hold your title, your name, and a creative statement from you, and the very end of the file, where your tiny computational poem is to be placed.
  • All code (in the form of ES6, CSS, and HTML) must be placed between the template’s closing header tag (</header>) and the closing body tag (</body>), must be valid HTML5, and must fit within 2KB (2048 bytes).
  • Use the W3C validator to validate the page after you finish. Even though standard forms of compression and minification make many of the works in Taper hard to understand, we need to set limits on how cryptic the source code is, so we will not publish pieces using exec or regex eval functions.
  • Submissions should not use any external libraries or APIs, nor link to any external resources, including fonts. This is so that pages will be self-contained following Taper’s vision. It also has the practical purpose of allowing all of Taper’s work to be viewed without a network connection, for instance, in a gallery setting.
  • Please refer to this About page for license terms under which all poems have been and will be released; by submitting to Taper #13, you agree that, if we accept your work, we may release it, copyright by you, under this same short all-permissive license. Since you are submitting the work to us in the provided template, this will be part of your submission.


Submissions for this issue will be accepted until Friday, September 13, 2024 at 11:59 PM AoETaper #13 will be published in Fall 2024. There will be no deadline extensions.

We invite rolling submissions from those interested in participating at [email protected]. Simply attach your work in one zip file containing your HTML files (up to five per author will be considered). You should then receive an email acknowledging our receipt of your work within a few days.