I had download issues exploring them through my iPhone. I had trouble getting podcast segments down to my phone at all and then quickly ran out of my data-plan bytes. It was much easier to deal with it all from my iTunes interface through to my iPod.
Poets Reading Their Poems
Poets.org - Not Recommended
This would be an interesting podcast to recommend. After all, they're posted by The Academy of American Poets. But this is the podcast that gave me the most technical anguishing. The last podcast was posted in March of 2008 and the rest are listed as available...until you try to download them and iTunes can't locate them for you. I listened to the only available March 2008 segment called Ars Poeticast, a series of readings of poems about poetry to celebrate National Poetry Month of that year. The podcast ran 9 minutes with readings by Philip Schultz ("Ars Poetica"), Russell Edson ("Soup Song") and Robert Kelly ("Science"). I loved "Science"
Science explains nothing
but holds all together as
many things as it can count
science is a basket
not a religion he said
a cat as big as a cat
the moon the size of the moon
science is the same as poetry
only it uses the wrong words.
I also loved Kenneth Koch reading "One Train May Hide Another." Would have loved more Podcasts but alas...Poetry.org has left us at the altar.
News Hour Poetry Series - Highly Recommended
I listened to four of these. They're short and sweet (3-5 minutes) and well edited:
- Mark Doty reading his "Handel's Messiah" (posted on 12/21/11). The segment not only included his reading, but excerpts of Handel's piece. "Glory shall be revealed" indeed.
- Tony Hoagland reading "Romantic Moments" (posted on 2/14/12). This poem surprised me with its Santa Fe locations of Canyon Road, the Plaza, pink adobes and plaza jewelry stores.
- For sentimental reasons, one of my favorite poets is Phil Levine, (known as our "working class poet"), 82 years old and talking about being Poet Laureate and reading his perennial "What Work Is" (posted on 8/10/11). They talked to him about working at the auto plant in Detroit with the ubiquitously condescending question elitist poets love to ask: "What was poetry then?" Levine also talked touchingly about his wife who "honors what he is doing" and how important it is to be honored "not by an abstract nation but by family. It keeps you going."
- Natalie Diaz on location on a boat trip through the Mohave desert down the Colorado River talking about her weekly workshops to preserve the Mohave language (and make a talking computer dictionary for students) and themes of hunger in her work. You get to hear her read, which is extraordinarily full-throttle.
Authors & Poets - Recommended
From the Academy of Achievement, lots of good stuff here. I was only able to get to the 13 minute Rita Dove segment from June 1994. She talks about where inspiration comes from and reads "Flash Cards" and the beautiful Billie Holiday poem "Canary." Loved her quote in the reading warning us that "Evil is not stupid and can be very creative." The last podcast was posted in October of 2012.
Learn Out Loud - Recommended
Simple: readings of a single poem or two, sometimes by the original poet. I like the broad range of eras and styles represented. The last podcast was added in October 2010 and there are 21. I picked William Yeats reading "The Song of the Old Mother" and "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." What a creepy reader he was, rolling his r's and reading like an incantation. Have I just been cursed?
Indie Feed - Highly Recommended
Probably one of my favorite podcasts. They are short (6 minutes) and updated frequently, recording live performances of indie poets around the country followed by short interviews with them. I listened to Greek American Angela Kariotis read HiNRG protest poetry from her one woman show Stretch Marks (posted on 2/6/13). Loved it. Also listened to Brendan Constantine (posted on 2/8/13). He read a bit overbearingly in that tone of poets. He was much more comfortable in his interview. His father is Michael Constantine from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Brendan is a poet and teacher. The host asked him if he planned to go into acting and he said "No, two dead end jobs are enough."
Interviews and Lectures
Poet Tech - Recommended
There are some aggravations with this podcast. They were a bit tricky to download, there aren't many and they stopped on 3/17/10. Also host Will Brown could have edited them a bit cleaner and the interviews are via phone.
However, when I finally listened to the last 45-minute podcast, an interview with poet/gamer Radames Ortiz and his multi-media partner musician Jonathan Jindra, I was blown away. It was worth the slight hassle. They talked about multi-media poetry projects, poetry CDs with "extra features" (how interesting!), social media marketing, theatrical projects with projectors, comics poetry...they so had me a hello. Ortiz read his poem about gaming called "Grand Theft Auto Monstrocity." The podcast ran a bit too long but I was inspired by their projects.
Poetry Lectures - Highly Recommended
The Poetry Foundation has about a million podcasts. I picked this one to start with and wasn't disappointed. The first lecture/interview explored Palestinian poets Fady Joudah and Ghassain Zaptan (posted on 1/13/13). The host had a calm NPR voice and delved into what Palestinian poetry is all about, both classical and modern. They explored themes of statelessness, longing and revolution. They also read from two women poets. One had written a great archaeology poem called "Bone Taste" and I couldn't catch the author's name but the lines went like this:
Who will teach us to protect our bones
from archaeologists and myths
that glow in the plazas.
The worms will ask us
the questions of the Gods.
But who will ask them
about the taste of bones?
They implored us to never stop learning from the younger generations and discussed the art of translations, saying "rewriting is the closet form of reading" and translations offer something new to English, not just "an anthropological study of another culture." What is created is a new thing.
I also listened to the podcast Three Native American Poets from 3/20/12. These podcasts run about 45 minutes and this one had Allison Hedge Coke interviewing Linda Hogan and Sherwin Bitsui, both alumni of the Institute of American Indian Arts. They talked about native aesthetics and ceremonials, colonialism and their favorite poets: James Welch (they read "Harlem, Montana. Just Off the Reservation"), Ofelia Zepeda, Simon Ortiz, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Silko, Maurice Kenney, and Diane Burns. Sherwin talked about border towns. Linda talked about poetry in the body ("What would my feet write? Where does the mind really live? Where does the poem really come from?") Sherwin talked about restorative poetry and always having to re-harmonize yourself to place. He recommended James Thomas Stevens (current faculty at IAIA) and read from Stevens' poem "Tokinish."
Serendipitous because James just gave me a copy of his book Bulle/Chimere which I hope to start next week.