JF Ptak Science Books Post 2202
All I have in this question is the question, and one that I believe I have not seem before. There are certainly much earlier ideas published on writing machines--Lemuel Gulliver encounters such a beast in Laputa in his third voyage, and there's also Ramon Lull's writing device--but they were more popularly published. In this case I'm referring to poetry made by a computer that is composed by the machine, not hypertext mark-up digital poetry, and not a poem-generator, nor code poetry, nor visual programming, but a computer Poe, and published in a technical journal. It is unknown to me when this first happens, though I did find an unusual and very early appreciation of such a thing in the May 1956 issue of Computers and Automation. A snippet from this early effort is here:
Computers and Automation is the first semi-popular magazine dedicated to the computer (the first professional computer journal was Mathematical Tables and Aids to Computation, begun in 1943) and this bit appeared in its fifth volume, in a story called "The Mechanized Muse" written by Elizabeth W. Thomas. It is a sci-fi/speculative story, which makes what seems to be an odd appearance in a journal such as this, which is the reason why this is a "semi-popular" mag. (As it turns out there are a number of other sci-fi pieces in here over the years, including Arthur Clarke's "The Nine Billion Names of God", which appeared in the sixth volume in 1957.)
So this is a satirical story about the possibilities of computer intelligence, told mostly tongue-in-cheek, resident in a machine called the YERP, built by a 67-year old scientist from Austria named Carl Jonus Yaffee, who built a number of other electronic devices all using a piece of his name in their's. In any event the YERP was designed to treat solutions of words rather than mathematical equations, and was composed of "500 vacuum tubes, 10,000 transistors, 30,000 crystal diodes, 350 pluggable units, 1,356 miles of wiring, a magneto-electronic storage unit with a 5,000,000 word capacity...with a 1,500,000 word vocabulary all of which are punched on cards" and operated by a team of 56 technicians.
The machine worked to some degree and was seen as a success, and would be made available to poets and writers after it was installed in the New York Public Library, though it seems from the results that as remarkable as it was to be envisioning a writing machine in 1956, that it was really not a necessary addition to the cultural canon. At least not yet.