1. Please comment on the following:
a. The experience of hearing your poem on Whale Sound (WS): This was the first time I’ve ever had an auditory publication, so to speak, so the idea that my poem could become an acoustic object outside of my own writing life is something I had not previously considered. I like thinking of the poem making its own sound as it moves into the world. And hearing it in another poet’s voice gives me the rare sense of collaboration – something I experienced when I played in a band but not when I’m sitting alone at my desk. I enjoyed hearing Nic’s interpretation, how she added her own pauses and inflections in places I had not considered. Her creative input somehow made the poem larger, or perhaps wider is a better word.
b. The WS decision to focus only on web-active poets: I’m of two minds about this decision. First, a publication should have complete autonomy when choosing its aesthetic. In other words, Nic Sebastian/Whale Sound is putting a lot of work into developing a fresh kind of web presence for contemporary poetry, and she should pursue this undertaking however she sees fit. Yet, I worry about exclusion, about poets who are writing fine poems but are not necessarily web active. Should we as readers and listeners overlook these writers? Is this kind of stance in any way similar to the not-so-long ago view that print journals held towards online publications, where the former sort of scoffed at the latter as inconsequential in the larger context of lit publishing? Perhaps these are questions we should mull over as we place our own poems and publish the works of others.
c. The WS third-party submissions policy: Love it. This is a great way to share poems that haunt and inspire us, a way of turning others on to new work and opening a dialogue between poets about precedent and reading.
2. What does WS do well? WS has built a virtual and welcoming inn of sorts, with many windows and doors through which poets can enter and congregate with one another. It’s an important community, and I’m glad to be a part of it.
3. What could WS do better? I’d love to see a some selections paired with visual art, or perhaps a special section devoted to poems that are somehow connected to paintings and photographs made by other artists. Moving from sound to image seems like a natural progression for Whale Sound.
4. Anything else you’d like to say about the WS experience? Invigorating. Unexpected. Divine.