Almost every single evening in New York City, there is a "reading" happening, a live event where a writer reads their work aloud to an audience. The reading remains the primary live venue for performing literature. It is part of a tradition and practice that goes back thousands of years, to oral storytelling and 18th Century reading groups and dramatic recitations of poetry.

This project was an attempt to create a physical space that reacts live to words being read aloud. To take the speech-to-text software giant tech companies have designed for taking commands from consumers and use them instead to turn words into visuals. A visual poetic synthesizer that can animate based on the words you read into it, and how you read them.

I'm interested in creating spaces where writers and new media artists can collaborate.

I'm a novelist, in the old school, dead tree sense. But I've always been interested in technology, how the digital world can enhance and change the literary arts.


Maxwell Neely-Cohen is a writer living in New York City. He is the author of the novel Echo of the Boom.

His essays and non-fiction have been featured in places like The New Republic, The Millions, and BOMB Magazine. He dabbles in creative technology, music, and interactive storytelling projects. Brooklyn Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture.