2017 Elgin Award for Poetry Chapbook
Leviathan follows the extraordinary life and losses of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), a nineteenth-century mathematician who dreamed of building what would have been the first Turing-complete computer. In his near-impossible quest which dominated most of his life, we find a resonance with our yearnings to express whatever lies just beyond the grasp of language and explanation.
Neil Aitken’s Leviathan offers to the extant literary conversation a new perspective of passion as it combines with the technological mind. While many contemporary essays tend to highlight the ways in which technology increases loneliness and separates us from one another, these poems manage to combine those elements in a way that brings us closer to Babbage and his loves, which in turn brings us closer to our own losses and loves.
—Julianna DeMicco, Agape Editions (blog)