Monday, February 28, 2005

Literary Radio

I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today by Benny Evangelista that convinced me I don't want to try podcasting myself. I remain, however, fascinated by podcasting's potential for transmitting literature. I think what may happen is that podcasters with time and talent will create Internet radio sites for poetry and literature that will develop vigorous -- even paying -- audiences, much as popular blog sites have turned into a vigorous new form of journalism. Watch out -- here it comes -- literary radio.

One site I'm watching carefully -- and hopefully -- is Safe Digression, a podcast web site out of Boston. Listen, for example, to a podcast on SD of Marianne Moore's "Baseball and Writing" or Maxine Kumin's "In the Park." Podcaster-host Georgy is, presumably, the reader on all. What I hope to hear as a result of today's Safe Digression call for submissions, is a diversity of voices reading many different poems. Yes, I know I can hear all the famous people intoning their famous poems at the Academy of American Poets. But you know, it's a little like reading last month's newspapers. I want to hear today's poems by today-poets. And not all the famous are exactly today. (So shoot me for saying it.) What we need is Poetry Daily X 100 in spoken word, a 24/7 poemcast that's as unpredictable as Bob Holman's wonderful film, The United States of Poetry, now online and available through streaming video.

There's a concept -- web poetry tv. Okay, maybe a different decade for that one. But for a really avante garde marriage of web technology and poetry, take a look at Poems That Go.

But I don't want to be the one to have to figure out how to configure and upload and moderate all that stuff. I don't want to be a producer; I can hardly figure out how to stop my microphone from popping. Please, let the motivated and tech-able people be the producers and podcasters. I just want to be one of many readers, writers and listeners.