Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What Will Those Crazy (North American) Poets Think of Next?

Thanks to my sister B. Ruby Rich for this article from The Guardian. I would love to hear from someone who calls. I think given Christle's subject matter this makes some sense. You have to love the use of old technology -- voice to voice in real time.

Poet creates 'buzz' around work by reading over phone to potential buyers

It's one way to connect with your fans: poet Heather Christle is launching her new 
collection by offering readers the opportunity to give her a call and hear her read a poem.

The American author, whose poems have appeared in the New Yorker, has just published her second collection, The Trees The Trees, and rather than relying on the usual publicity tour, has decided instead to list her phone number on her website. At set times every day until 14 July she will read a poem to anyone who calls her.

"The book itself is full of references to phones and phone calls, and the speaker often seems to mistake the technology of the page for that of the telephone, imagining that the reader is right there in the moment," said Christle. "My father is a merchant mariner, and when my sister and I were small we would record messages to him on cassette tapes. I'd often ask questions and then pause for his response. There's something so lovely and sad about the hope that another actual person is on the other end of any technology. So I thought it would be interesting to bring that dynamic forward, to read these poems (which frequently address a 'you') directly to another person, across the intimate distance a telephone creates."
So far she has received around 60 calls, from a multitude of different readers, from a couple from Toronto looking for a love poem to a class in western Massachusetts. "I've been amazed at how variously people respond.To continue reading, click right here.

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