Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Sound and the Poem

Since I recently posted about the online journal, Soundzine, I thought I would mention a handful of other places where you can find poetry and audio combined. It makes so much sense, I think, to provide audio for poetry, an oral art, and to provide readers an opportunity to also be listeners. If I can't get to your reading on the other side of the country, perhaps I can hear you read your work online.

The Cortland Review was, as far as I know, a trailblazer in providing audio to accompany the poems in the journal. You can find an alphabetized list of all their holdings HERE. It's huge. You can also search by poet's name. The site also provides a list of other online audio sources.

Rattle, although a print journal, has found a great way to make the poems and the poets audible. Editor Tim Green invites poets published in the journal to submit recordings of their work. He then posts the recordings at the journal's website. An extensive ARCHIVE is maintained. It provides access to both the poems and the recordings.

Linebreak is a unique publication. It uses a weekly newsletter format, sending those who subscribe one poem per week, always on Tuesday. Most of the poems are accompanied by a recording by one of Linebreak's readers, usually another poet who has been featured in the past. All the poems and recordings are archived online. When you get to the page, scroll down a bit to find the subscription form. I encourage you to subscribe. I don't think I've ever received a poem from this source that I didn't really like.

Another unique addition to the poetry / sound combo is qarrtsiluni, an online project created by Dave Bonta and Beth Adams. Every three months or so they put out a call for submissions for a themed issue. Usually, the issue is farmed out to a guest editor. Once the poems have been selected, they appear a day at a time in the journal. Each poem is accompanied by an audio which is available for download. Past issues are maintained in their entirety at the site.

Dave also keeps a nifty blog called Moving Poems. This site is for poem videos. Some of the videos are made by other people; some are made by Dave. I love this site for both the poetry and the lovely videos. The right sidebar contains a long list of other sites that provide poetry videos. If you're interested in how the videos are made, Dave often links to his other site, Via Negativa, where he provides more detailed explanations of how his own videos were made. While you're at Moving Poems, you might want to subscribe to Dave's weekly newsletter. This comes out each Saturday and provides links to the videos that were posted in the past week.

Finally, I want to mention Nic Sebastian's Whale Sound. If you go to the home page, you will find the current poems. Every few days Nic posts 3 recordings she's made of poems by other poets. She is an outstanding reader (as well as a fine poet herself) and more than does justice to the poems. The site keeps an indexed list of all poets who have had poems on the site.

Happy listening.


  1. Terrific post, Diane. Thanks for tracking all of this down.

  2. John is right, great post! I love Dave's Moving Poems site! I saw several poets who's books I own on there.

  3. Useful list--thank you!

  4. Thanks. Just added you to my Blogroll.

  5. These sound like some great resources. I have been kicking around the idea of doing a spoken word page on my blog. (BTW I found you blog through Thanks so much for posting this!

  6. Go ahead, Nicole, and do it! In my more recent post I included a media player. Took me a few hours to figure out how to do that. Let me know if you need help.


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