Questioning Our Own Crusade: Bing AI Reimagines ‘Reunion’ in the Style of Edgar Allan Poe

Image Credit: Pixabay

As you know, acting on advice from my former journalism adviser and mentor, Prof. Peter C. Townsend, I recently revised and re-published Reunion: A Story, a novella that I originally wrote in 1998 and self-published in 2018 through Amazon’s CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (paperback) and Kindle Direct Publishing (e-book).

Although Reunion is a work of fiction, it is loosely based on some of my experiences at South Miami High in my senior year, lo! 40 years ago. The school itself is center stage for the tale of Jim Garraty and Marty Reynaud, and most of the story takes place within its walls on one mid-June day in 1983. (There is a frame story set in what was Present Day when I wrote the first draft 25 years ago, set both in pre-9/11 New York City and in Miami, Florida, but the core of Reunion is the “Ballad of Jim and Marty.”)

Also recently, I learned about Microsoft rolling out its Bing AI Chatbot, which, among other things, can mimic the writing style of many famous authors and poets, including William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, and Edgar Allan Poe.

If you’re a regular visitor to this space, you’ve noticed that I’ve already asked Bing to reimagine the plot summary of – and in one case, a scene from – Reunion in the style of Shakespeare. Some of those efforts had good results. Others, not so much because I kept asking the AI to change things on the fly, which the chatbot – being artificial – can’t do as quickly as an experienced human poet could.

Last night I decided to switch things up a bit, so I asked Bing to retell the back cover blurb of my novella in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. This is what the AI Chatbot created:

Photo by Tamilles Esposito on

In June of ’83, young Jim Garraty
A senior at South Miami High
A staff writer for the school paper, he
A scholar bound for college nigh

But as commencement draws near
Jim must deal with unfinished business
The girl he loves from afar will disappear
And rumor has it she’ll be gone for the summer, no less

Worse still, Marty doesn’t know
How deeply Jim’s feelings for her are
Unless he tells her so
But when opportunity arises, Jim hesitates afar

Now 15 years later, James Garraty
An up-and-coming history professor
Respected by his peers and literary
But true love eludes him no lesser

Reunion is a tale of regret and loss
Of friendship and choices made
A glimpse into a life that leaves us at a loss
And leaves us questioning our own crusade.

In June of ’83, young Jim Garraty
A senior at South Miami High
A staff writer for the school paper, he
A scholar bound for college nigh….


A “selfie” I took back in 2020.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of experimenting with both 2020s computing tech and 19th Century American literature. I’m still on the fence about the role of artificial intelligence and its applicability in the creative arts; like everything technological, AI can be a double-edged sword. It has the potential to be a useful tool for creative individuals, including me, to help in crafting all kinds of works, including poetry, short stories, or illustrations. But, just like atomic energy and digital technology, it can also be used for nefarious purposes, such as writing English Composition 101 essays or research papers for college students who don’t want to write them on their own.

Side-by-side comparison of the two front covers of Reunion: A Story. (Image Credit: Thomas Wikman)

Still, I think that it’s fun to see my stuff presented in the style of well-known writers such as Poe and Shakespeare. Plus, it’s an unusual way to tell the world about my novella and hopefully convince readers to get a copy.


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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