are you listening?

July 10, 2017

A note from the keyboard: when you’ve put up 2490 posts on the subject of poetry over the course of seven years, it’s surprising to happen upon poetry news that has somehow entirely missed the radar. One such, now happily discovered, is Commonplace. Commonplace features conversations between Rachel Zucker and other poets, exploring advice, lists, anecdotes, politics, phobias, spirituality, and more.

Launched in June 2016 with an interview with David Trinidad, the collection now numbers 32 — the latest last week’s conversation with Laynie Browne. The recorded sessions vary in length, from about an hour to more than two, and make fine listening for all your podcast needs. You can also find Commonplace on Facebook.


the joy of listening

July 18, 2016

ear budsWe occasionally mention the pleasures of listening to recorded poetry (for example, here and here and here). If you question the benefit of listening, or need a reminder of the particular benefit of hearing authors read their own work, take a quick look at Wyatt Mason’s New York Times article, “Letter of Recommendation: Audiobooks Read by the Author.

If you’re looking for audio, here are a few resources (in addition to those in the posts linked above):

. . . . .
image by Berthold Werner

listen up

July 5, 2016

The Archive Project

If you enjoy listening to the conversation of intelligent people, check out The Archive Project. A collection of talks from the Portland Arts & Lectures series, The Archive Project offers more than 250 original lectures for free listening and downloading as well as weekly broadcasts from the archive on Portland’s OPB Radio. A tremendous aural resource, including many poets.


August 3, 2015

Badilisha Poetry ExchangeAs vast as the continent is, there has never before been a single online collection of Africa’s poetic voices. The Badilisha Poetry X-Change is correcting that omission, gathering the words and voices of, to date, more than 350 African poets from 24 countries. A radio-style audio archive, BPX provides an introduction and bio for each poet along with text and audio files of one or more of the poet’s work. Two new poets are featured each week.

Providing wider exposure for African poets benefits the poets themselves as well as local, regional and international audiences. The user-friendly, searchable Badilisha Poetry X-Change website explains, “of all the published books in the world, the works of African authors comprise only two percent.” With a growing collection (BPX accepts submissions), the website and podcasts, a Facebook page and an upcoming roadtrip, Badilisha Poetry X-Change hopes to bring wider attention to seldom-heard voices that contribute to the rich tapestry of poetry worldwide.

Lucas Smiraldo photo by Jesse Michener

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo has partnered with the City of Tacoma and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to launch the Laureate Listening Project, an interactive audio anthology website where recorded oral poetry from regional poets will be mapped to provide a permanent record of the lives, ideas, concerns, and celebrations of a diverse community through the vehicle of poetry.

Smiraldo will work with various nonprofit and cultural organizations to encourage people from of all backgrounds to share their poetry about places and spaces in Tacoma and around the world. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, will be edited and placed on a Google map website so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site. Some recordings will be accompanied by soundscapes and music created by composers and sound artists.

Individuals who are interested in sharing their short spoken works can contact Smiraldo at for further information and to schedule a recording session.

Smiraldo is also leading a team of poets as an artist in residence for the Race and Pedagogy National Conference at the University of Puget Sound, September 25-27, 2014. Poets and other artists will function as creative journalists to document ideas, challenges and solutions to address the topic of education in a dynamic and changing America. He plans to include audio pieces collected from conference participants in the Laureate Listening Project.

Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma.

If you’re interested in poetry mapping, have a look at The Washington State Geospatial Poetry Anthology.
. . . . .
photo of Lucas Smiraldo by Jesse Michener

summer reading

June 20, 2014

browsing poetry

If you’re planning your summer reading list, or if you’re just eager to catch up on the “important” reading you’ve missed, here are a few places to start when you have a little time to browse.

From The Telegraph (UK), “15 best poetry books of all time

From Flavorwire, “50 Essential Books of Poetry That Everyone Should Read

Take this one to the beach: The Poetry Archive — an entirely free audio trove of major poets reading their own work and new recordings by contemporary poets of classics from the past.

get some culture…

October 12, 2012

Open CultureWondering what to do on those long Northwest nights looming in the months ahead? Listen to a poem, watch a movie, learn a language, read an ebook…free. Over at Open Culture, editor Dan Colman has done all the heavy lifting. He scours the web for the best educational media to find free courses, audio books, language lessons, movies and plenty of enlightenment in between. Here are a few examples:

Take a poetry class:

There’s much, much more on Open Culture, and it’s all free. Browse the stacks at Open Culture and watch for updates at Open Culture on Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: