Thursday, 3 February 2011

Definition of a poetcast

I am not sure if there is even a consensus about the word poetcasting amongst poets, let's face it - there is rarely agreement about anything in the community. 

As an approach it is simply disseminating spoken poetry across the internet. 

And that can be achieved:

1.     with a mic and a computer, edit software not really necessary for simple spoken word (but yes, for more complex effects) or you can record on your phone
2.     check it especially if you are doing things low-tech! it may sound horrible, get rid of those puffing sounds when you are too close to the mic, make another mistake you never make, edit, repeat several times with different or similar errors until it is how you want it
3.     record (editors choose a bit rate of about 128 Kbps to give a sound quality roughly similar to the radio, fine for spoken word) and save in as .mp3 file and upload by FTP, through Facebook etc or email depending on your audience
4.     if you want to do it again and again, true podcasting, then you need to consider syndication via an RSS feed or get a friend or one of the groups listed below to do it

There are however other ideas and philosophies, some more divisive, lurking behind proponents and sites.  Poetcast or podcast, straight spoken word or interview, music, sound effects, outdoors or indoors or live at a gig, language and translation.

An interesting one to consider though is the perceived split between oral poetry and poets, performance poets, and those who like to be read in a book. (Is there anyone solely in the latter camp?). It seems to me that this division is an interpretation based on the marginalisation of poetry in the latter part of the 20th century: when sometimes the only way to get yourself read was to read/perform.

(Lucky enough those who live here in the Scottish Borders know the oral tradition thrives.)

A few resources:

·  Alex Pryce's site (possibly still funded by the Arts Council) providing access to a stellar range of contemporary British and Irish poetry online and out loud; and you can submit yourself as a potential poetcaster. Not forgetting the Joy of Six

· The Poetry Translation Centre is dedicated to translating contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Or get these through i-tunes for free, great stuff such as Kajal Ahmad's Pregnancy translated from the Kurdish by Mimi Khalvaty and Choman Hardi; more on Kajal Ahmad here

· Latin poetry podcast and reportage, cool stuff

· The Association of Poetry Podcasting, grandly named, Members are expected to have regular poetry content in their podcast; have published a show within the last 2 months; have published at least 3 shows, Doesn't look promising on frontpage (the words latest press release 2006 spring out at  you) but forum is active in 2011.

·  Last but not least, Scottish Poetry Library's lively heady mix, features  a "seductive selection of interviews, poems, snippets of events and music" and some great poets.

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