Monday, July 16, 2007

New Three Rooms Press audio poems now online

Four new recordings of Three Rooms Press poets are now online including a poem each by Jackie Sheeler, Peter Carlaftes, Karen Hildebrand, and Kathi Georges.

It's interesting to hear audio versions of poems. According to Robert Pinsky in The Sound of Poetry, "Poetry is a vocal, which is to say a bodily, art. The medium of poetry is a human body: the column of air inside the chest, shaped into signifying sounds in the larynx and the mouth. In this sense, poetry is just as physical or bodily an art as dancing."

In listening to the four poems now online, I think the real spirit of the poems comes through. Part of the reason, naturally, is that the poems are being read by the authors themselves, which never hurts. But the main reason is that they are four solid poems, which, if read by any human, would add to the deeper understanding of the poems.

Last Friday, while hosting a poetry reading at Cornelia Street ("Son of Pony"), several readers snuck in readings of short fiction, instead of poetry. Don't get me wrong: I love fiction. But poetry is so clearly superior as an oral form of art. The fiction was BORING (even though on the page it might have been interesting). But the images you paint in fiction are like the drawings of an engineer, as opposed to an artist. There's no music in the lines, except in the case of poetic fiction writers (none of whom were present on Friday).

It's odd that the term "spoken word" was invented to describe oral poetry. All poetry is really best read aloud; therefore, all poetry is "spoken word."

But speaking of "spoken word": If you want to know the source of the phrase, make plans to go to Cornelia Street Cafe on Saturday, July 28th for a live performance by Poez (accompanied by Stan Baker, the human television). Poez is a long-term New York street poet (long, as in 40 years as a poet), and many credit the invention of the term "Spoken Word" to him. Jackie Sheeler hosts. Should be pretty amazing.

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