Recommended: ‘Poetry Says’ podcasts

By and large, our experience of poetry is an active affair. Reading a poem well generally demands diligence and attention, which partially explains poetry’s neglect when compared to other artforms that are often experienced somewhat passively – from film to the visual arts, to music, to audiobooks, and even the novel, which generally relies less on an actively constructed meaning.

Of course, recordings of poems abound, and a recording of a poem can be experienced just as passively as an audiobook or piece of music. But there’s something to be said for Philip Larkin’s argument that ‘[h]earing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page, means you miss so much – the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even knowing how far you are from the end.’

As someone who prefers to experience poems from the page, it’s a delight to have access to Alice Allan’s regular Poetry Says podcasts, a series of lively and engaging conversations about poetry. The podcasts are perfect for those moments in which reading poems from a book is impractical.

Over 100 episodes of Poetry Says are available, including episodes on Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Jack Gilbert, Ted Berrigan, Judith Wright, Jorie Graham, and contemporary Australian poets, such as Michael Farrell and Jill Jones. The episode on Plath’s bee poems is highly recommended. Invariably, an episode sends me back to a poet and their work with fresh insight and new regard.

Poetry Says website : Poetry Says on Twitter : Poetry Says on Facebook

On the Adelaide Writers’ Week Poetry Podcast

A podcast of the 2016 Adelaide Writers’ Week poetry reading is now available.

The Monday afternoon poetry reading is an enduring and eagerly anticipated tradition at Adelaide Writers’ Week. In past years, it has showcased interstate and international guests, however, this year poet and novelist Peter Goldsworthy chose five South Australian poets to read at the session, and appear in a complementary poetry feature for the March edition of Australian Book Review. The feature is part of ABR’s ‘States of Poetry’ project, a federally arranged project, funded by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, that will include poets from all states and territories.

Tom Thom Sullivan Poet Adelaide Writers Week Poetry Reading 1.jpg

I’m among the poets who were chosen to appear at the reading, along with Aidan Coleman, Jelena Dinic, Jill Jones and Kate Llewellyn. The reading, like all Writers’ Week sessions, was a free event and took place in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. The poetry reading is well attended year-after-year, but this year’s crowd was the largest I’ve seen. Details for the podcast are as follows:

Laura Kroetsch: Director’s introduction (0:00)

Peter Goldsworthy: Chair (0:17)

Aidan Coleman (2:40) @AidanColeman4

Jelena Dinic (17:06)

Jill Jones (28:48) @_jill_jonesblog

Kate Llewellyn (40:50)

Thom Sullivan (53:12)

One poem by each poet appears in the March 2016 print (“dead tree”) edition of ABR, along with a poem by Ken Bolton. A further four poems by each poet will be published on ABR’s website as part of the ‘States of Poetry’ project (forthcoming). ‘States of Poetry’ anthologies for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria and Queensland are already accessible online.

Tom Thom Sullivan Poet Adelaide Writers Week Poetry Reading 2

I’m somewhat sympathetic to Philip Larkin’s view that “[h]earing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page, means you miss so much – the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even knowing how far you are from the end.” With that in mind, I’m happy to indicate where the poems I read during the session can be found in print and/or online, including a poem by American poet AR Ammons (1926-2001):

“Homo Suburbiensis” (Cordite)

“Threshold” (forthcoming)

“Freehold” (The Best Australian Poems 2015, Black Inc, 2015)

“In Camera” (Australian Book Review, online and March 2016 print edition)

“The City Limits” (AR Ammons)

“Carte Blanche” (Cordite, The Best Australian Poems 2014, Black Inc, 2014)

“All Things Go” (Australian Book Review)

“Nothing Doing” (Australian Love Poems, Inkerman & Blunt, 2013)

As stated by Peter at the end of the session, South Australian poets and ABR’s ‘States of Poetry’ project will feature at Writers’ Week in future years. It’s an addition to a venerable tradition that’s well worth applauding.

Ref.