Woodrat Podcast 28: Nic S. on Whale Sound and audio poetry

Nic S. and Whale Sound avatars with listening tree
Nic S. and Whale Sound avatars with listening tree

A conversation with Nic S. about the challenges and rewards of reading poetry and sharing it on the web. There are three essential links connected with this interview:

(Update 11/15) Nic has just launched a new companion site to Whale Sound, Voice Alpha, “a repository for thoughts, theories, suggestions, likes and dislikes and anything else related to the art and science of reading poetry aloud for an audience.” She is actively searching for guest bloggers.

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Theme music: “Le grand sequoia,” by Innvivo (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike licence)

15 Replies to “Woodrat Podcast 28: Nic S. on Whale Sound and audio poetry”

    1. The side-effect of linking outwards in order for a reader/listener to access the text is that one is introduced to the many avenues (journals, samples from a book and so on) a poem can be published online.

  1. I enjoyed the interview. “One’s own voice as an organ of investigation.” The “duality of the poem on the page and poem as sound… They do not necessarily have to conflate.” I agree. Sometimes the music exceeds the page. Other times a poem falls flat when read aloud. Reciting the poem is the best way to figure it out. For this poet, speech is an essential part of the writing process. And I loved “The Forestry Student.” Thank you for posting this.

  2. Pingback: Voice Alpha
  3. A thought-provoking exchange: thanks!

    Love the idea of an MFA performance course. And surely recitation would help poets also develop that other voice, as heard by silent readers.

    Text-driven law schools similarly fail to require the adequate development of oral advocacy skills. Timbre, cadence and the use of silence can be powerful tools of persuasion, or instruments of self-destruction. Many practicing lawyers remain remarkably tone-deaf as well in their written word-choice: what a shock when an opponent gleefully adopts those same turns of phrase. Read your arguments aloud before you file, or risk a courtroom flogging by your own stick.

    Nic’s arm-waving reminds me to finally buy David McNeill’s Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal About Thought.

      1. Yes, that would be terrific! I wonder if there are there any online resources designed to help lawyers hone their oral skills.

        The David McNeill sounds like something I should track down!

      2. Contrariwise would be so much the easier assignment. Perhaps it’s a loop: what poets can glean from lawyers consists of what lawyers have learned from poets. But I’m always happy to provide Dire Examples.

  4. I listened to this podcast three times (as I did to your podcast with Julie Martin) and wrote down two pages of notes and ideas. I even stayed up most of last night introducing myself to Audacity and to a similar program. I had never heard of Nic or her web projects. I love it.

    Great show, Dave.

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