trompes loude and clarioun & Chaucer interviewing Margaret Atwood

Yesterday I posted a terrific reading from the Knight’s Tale by UPenn Professor David Wallace at Voice Alpha, and today found this at Geoffrey Chaucer’s blog, one of my all-time favorite blogs.

In other news, I’m a ‘bits and bobs’ teaser at the Best American Poetry blog, where I start my blogging week this Sunday. It’s going to be poetry out loud, intensively, in all my posts throughout the week, so be warned…

new & frabjous since last time

three poems at MiPOesias

invitation to blog at Best American Poetry blog for a week starting Feb 27. It’s totally going to be ‘poetry out loud’ at the BAP blog that week, so watch out

interview with Linebreak editor Johnathon Williams at Voice Alpha

two great posts on reading vs reciting poetry by Dave Bonta and Dick Jones at Voice Alpha

Homer on You Tube. I love this!

new audio chapbook: ‘Cloud Studies’ by Christine Klocek-Lim

Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks is delighted to announce the publication of its third audio chapbook, Cloud Studies, a sonnet sequence by Christine Klocek-Lim.

This one has been every bit as rewarding and just as much fun to work on as the first two. These are reflective, exploratory poems that serve as test-beds for both technical and intellectual/emotional investigation. They tackle a range of difficult themes – from love, grief and betrayal, to death and existential angst – with a fine sensibility and delicate language, all underpinned by Christine’s considerable technical skill as a poet.

Read Christine’s process notes here.

Read Nic’s process notes here.

Audio Chapbooks Evolution

And there’s so much new with the audio chapbook format!

Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks is offering some new options to the poetry consumer with the publication of Cloud Studies. The central question for the poetry consumer we have been asking as a publisher remains unchanged: How do you like your poetry served?

With this edition we’ve expanded the menu of options. As with previous audio chapbooks, you can:

1. Read each poem online as an individual post
2. Listen to each poem online as an individual unit
3. Download a free PDF of the whole chapbook
4. Download a free MP3 audio file of the whole chapbook

What’s new this time around? You can also:

5. Purchase a print edition of Cloud Studies from Lulu ($4.90 + shipping – this is cost-price, no author/publisher mark-up)
6. Purchase an audio CD of Cloud Studies from Lulu ($5.50 + shipping – again, at cost-price, no author/publisher mark-up)
7. Purchase an e-book edition of Cloud Studies from Lulu ($0.99 – cost-price)

I had some back-and-forth with a friend when I came up with these options. My friend said:  “But if you provide the whole chapbook as a free PDF, who will buy the printed book? If you provide the whole chapbook as a free MP3 file, who will buy the CD?”

I answered with a couple of questions: Wait – what are we trying to do here? Are we trying to sell books, or are we trying to get these poems read? At Whale Sound, we are trying to get the poems read. The number of people who buy the book are not the point. We don’t make money off sales, and we don’t want to. And since Lulu is a print-on-demand publisher, there will not be — cannot be — piles of unsold chapbooks sadly gathering dust in some warehouse.

What matters to us is that the individual poetry consumer who prefers to read poetry from a book or an e-reader in their hands has the option to obtain these poems in those forms.  That the individual consumer who prefers to put a CD in a player to hear these poems can obtain these poems in that form. The question is not: Who will buy the book or the e-book or the CD? The question is: Are we catering to people who prefer their poetry in printed books or e-books or their poetry audio as a CD? In other words, are we delivering poetry in forms that maximize its chances of being read?

Adding these delivery methods is not a whole lot of extra work, believe it or not. I was and remain very surprised at how easy it is. The hardest work lies in producing the basic ‘raw’ material – the edited manuscript, the recorded poems and the cover art. Once that is done, all that remains is to repackage this same raw material in several different ways for different types of consumers. Online text, online audio; downloadable text, downloadable audio; print edition, e-book, CD edition. The technology that makes all these different packaging options easy is available to anyone and is both free and easy to use. Once Christine and I were comfortable with the manuscript and cover art, for example, it took me less than an afternoon on the Lulu website to upload, design and publish the chapbook, of which we both ordered preview copies that same afternoon. The CD was just as easy to put together. As was the e-book. Rocket science, this ain’t.