Carnegie Mellon University

English work study student Noni Shelton with the Short Edition machine.

July 09, 2019

CMU Department of English Launches Short Edition "Story Dispenser" Machine

By Angela Januzzi

Earlier this spring, Carnegie Mellon University's Department of English launched Pittsburgh's first Short Edition "story dispenser" machine, currently stationed in the Cohon University Center.

Printing short stories and poems from CMU English faculty, as well as international stories, the kiosk is connected to an online database of ever-changing content. Visitors can press a button, receive a short work on a scroll of biodegradable and heat-printed paper and enjoy the discovery of their reading. 

"There's an element of surprise here that I think is very important for how we read and for how engage with literature, and with culture in general," said Andreea Ritivoi, head of the Department of English.

"This notion that there is something out there bigger than you, that you have to discover — without necessarily knowing what it is or looking for it explicitly — is what the machine confirms every time you hit that button and you don't know what you're going to get."

More updates on the machine's new and upcoming content will be available this fall. Until then, the Department of English hopes you stop by the Cohon University Center and experience receiving your own reading, too.


Pictured above: Photo of Noni Faith Shelton, English work study student, with the Short Edition machine in the Cohon University Center.