celebrating web-active poets


Dear Web-Active Poet – I am writing to ask your permission to interpret and record for Whale Sound your poem X which appears online in location Y. The recording will form part of a larger project, the idea for which evolved generally out of a recent interview series on “Poets & Technology” and specifically, out of a suggestion made by Amy King in her responses to those interview questions.

Asked about what technology can still do for poetry, Amy said: “If every poet were to record just one book of poems that they loved for the rest of us to listen to, and not just their own poems, how excellent would that be?”

This project is my response to that suggestion, helped greatly along the way by Dave Bonta’s generous technical and creative assistance. My idea is to record and post readings of a range of contemporary poems, selected through a mixture of solicitations and submissions (self- and third-party).

The recordings are posted, archived and indexed on this blog, and Whale Sound is also available as a free downloadable iTunes podcast (click here to subscribe). Links to poem texts available elsewhere online are posted, but no text is posted on the blog itself.

Whale Sound also accepts third-party submissions made on behalf of other web-active poets.

As I said in a recent blog post on the project, I find that reading other people’s work aloud is the most tender and respectful, and also the most careful, way to engage with it. I hope you will join me in this continuing celebration.

I am recording process notes for the Whale Sound project on my regular blog, Very Like A Whale, and you can read those process notes at this link.


Nic Sebastian
August 2010

  1. Great idea, Nic! Let me know if I can send some poems your way. Loved the Mesler piece!

  2. Great idea. Certainly you can use a poem. Let me know what you want.

  3. […] whale sound Jump to Comments Very Like A Whale is a blog I look to for excellent discussion on poetry, publishing, and the role of social media and technology in art. Author Nic Sebastian’s newest project is a no-brainer, then: Whale Sound, an audio collection of Nic’s favorite poems. Most interesting is that the poems aren’t read by the authors, but rather by Nic. Where possible, she’s posting links to the text of the poems online, but Whale Sound itself contains no text of the poems. You can read all about Whale Sound‘s reason for being here. […]

  4. I think this is an amazing project. I love the idea of people reciting poetry by authors other than themselves. I might have to start my own. :)

  5. Unique idea here Nic… I have always longed to hear the poet read their work because I am fascinated to hear the piece as they ‘hear’ it, as its author. This project offers a glimpse of how a poet’s work is interpreted by another, which is most certainly how the majority of poetry comes to life for each of us — through our personal ‘filter’. Might be very interesting to feature two recordings of each poem, one by you and one by the poet — each recoded independent, and without the influence of the other. Could provide enlightening insight into perception?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Rob. That is a good idea and would certainly add interesting layers to the project. Definitely something to bear in mind going forward. Thanks again! Nic

  6. […] that in some way have affected her. I not only find it to be based upon a sound concept (see the About page), but it functions also as a sort of personal audio literary journal. It’s a very […]

  7. So very thrilled about your project.

  8. what a fantastic idea! been listening to some of the poems and now on my way to itunes for downloading….
    thanks for doing this – it’s amazing

  9. I love this idea. I am experimenting with putting readings of my poetry, being a fan of readings, etc in general.

  10. Love this site! Great idea. You have a beautiful reading voice ~

  11. […] noted in this post recently. How has reading other poets poems helped you as a writer? I started Whale Sound at the end of August 2010 and all through September, October, November and up until about 10 days […]

  12. you read beautifully…just listened to monkfish by carol novack. i do a lot of reading, too – check this out. i’d love to participate in a group reading. cheers from berlin.

  13. hi, i sent you a poem to read & i added [very like] whale sound[s] to my blogroll at nothing 2 flawnt. cheers!

  14. […] PANK, SLAB Magazine, Two Review, and others. You can read her e-chapbooks at Gold Wake Press and Whale Sound. She is the director of  the Living Poetry Project. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers

%d bloggers like this: