PoetiX 2017

PoetiX is a competition in computer-generated sonnet writing. This competition ran in 2016 and generated some outstanding creative work. See http://bregman.dartmouth.edu/turingtests/poetix for the 2016 results. While, there are many forms of the sonnet, for the purposes of the prize we are considering only “traditional” sonnets: fourteen line poems, in iambic pentameter, in either Shakespearean or Petrarchan/Italian form. Shakespearean sonnets are characterized by an “abab cdcd efef gg” rhyme scheme. Petrarchan or Italian sonnets will have an octave with the rhyme scheme “abba abba” followed by a sestet with no fixed rhyme scheme. To read more about the sonnet form, see:

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/sonnet.htm, and


  1. Entries must be submitted by 8:00 AM EST, June 1, 2017. Contestants will submit their work to a virtual machine running a Linux operating system. Participants will be responsible for getting their software to run on the platform (although the organizers will do their best to help if problems arise). See the description of the testing environment for details.
  2. When given noun or noun-phrase input, the output should be a sonnet that is related to the input – as determined by the judges – although the sonnet generated need not use the word(s) of the input.
  3. The virtual machine should be able to run the code and generate sonnets within 24 hours using less than 16GB of RAM and less than 50GB of disk space.
  4. We prefer that submissions include source code under an Open Source License. The program must be completely self-contained and require no connectivity to the Internet.
  5. Entries will be tested and a set of finalists will be determined.
  6. Finalists will then be given a random collection of prompts for input. Finalists’ machine-generated sonnets will be added to a collection of sonnets that include those that are human-generated. Judges will try to identify the human-generated sonnets and the machine-generated sonnets.
  7. Among the finalists, the best program (as determined by a panel of judges) that “passes” the Turing Test—i.e., that produces a sonnet that judges believe to be written by a human—will receive a $2000 cash prize.
  8. Judges will give prizes for outstanding creative efforts at their discretion.