other tools: GTR Language Workbench, Rhyming Robot (seuss), Infinite Monkeys
I should probably write an extended review of each of these systems, but I wanted to make sure people knew about them ASAP.
First, GTR Language Workbench was developed a while back, went offline, and is now being distributed by the Newark Review through the efforts of computer poetry titan Chris Funkhouser. I need to play around with it a bit more, but the web page calls it “a digital studio for language which allows for any number of literary and aesthetic modifications to texts, similar to the way current graphic design software like Photoshop and audio software like Sound Forge permit artists to create, modify and combine different visual and sound pieces.” Here’s a screencap I swiped from the web page (for review purposes!) The program’s available for Windows and Mac.
Second, Rhyming Robot (seuss) is an n-gram markov generator that produces rhyming lines. Here’s a web interface. The source code is in python, and can be run via command-line, web interface, or IRC interface.
Finally, Infinite Monkeys is a Windows (and Linux/FreeBSD?) template-based poetry and text generator. The downloads page includes The Book of the Damned, an impressive collection of poetry generated with it.
BONUS: check out some slides by Adam Parrish about Teaching Creative Writing with Python. It doesn’t really stand alone if you don’t know much about programming, but it’s quite possible that “you will be convinced that creative writing and programming are in love.” (Not really! Creative writing likes programming’s money, but thinks that programming’s inarticulate and needs to bathe more. Programming thinks creative writing is kinda cute, but a bit of an airhead. Can this relationship be saved??!?) Anyway for more info, you should check out his pages on Reading and Writing Electronic Text.