Interview with Whale Sound poet – Susan Elbe

1. Please comment on the following:a. The experience of hearing your poem on Whale Sound (WS): It’s enlightening to hear someone else read my poem, particularly someone with Nic’s amazing voice. It’s not how I would have read it and I like that. It helped me to see that the poem and poems in general, at their best, are not static, but mutable. I’m grateful. One always hopes that the poem is more than even the writer knows.

b. The WS decision to focus only on web-active poets: I love it! It’s a way to showcase a lot of wonderful work, partly because there’s less upfront work for Nic since the poems can already be found online and linked to, and partly because there is so much great work being done online that it’s difficult to find it. Nic is discriminating in her tastes so we get a lot of the best, I think. I don’t have time to wade through a lot of the dreck. I also like that I’m discovering terrific voices that probably don’t have a chance to be heard in the very limited pages of journals.

c. The WS third-party submissions policy: This is brilliant! A great way to build community.

2. What does WS do well? Well, the voice for one thing, but that goes without saying. And Whale Sound is both a poetic and apt name—we are calling to each other across this vast cyber ocean. The concept is genius. Thanks, Nic! I wish I’d thought of it.

3. What could WS do better? Right now, and perhaps this is just my computer, if I open the poem text, I can’t listen to the poem read and vice versa. It would be helpful to have the poem text open in a separate new window so I can read while I’m listening.

Whale Sound is fairly new so I’m thinking that time may take care of how many listeners it gets each day, but with good marketing, I see this as becoming an audio Poetry Daily. The goal should be that we all have Whale Sound as our home page and listen to a poem every morning. I have no words of wisdom as to how to make that happen except for all the writers to “sing” about WS through the cyber ocean and hope that the chorus grows. (Ed: :))

4. Anything else you’d like to say about the WS experience? Waving my flukes in thanks!

About Susan Elbe.
Susan’s poem on Whale Sound: How To Fall In Love
More Whale Sound poet interviews

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

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