As the first Audio of the Week to be selected from The Words & Music Show collection, this clip features poet Kaie Kellough. Kellough’s voice has been recorded many times throughout the past twenty years of Montreal’s Words & Music Show, a monthly cabaret of spoken word, poetry, music, and dance, established and organized by poet and musician Ian Ferrier. The recordings of these shows have now been digitized and catalogued by SpokenWeb researchers at Concordia University. During the digitization process, student research assistant Ali Barillaro noticed that this performance by Kellough stood out from the rest. As Kellough starts to introduce his reading, a pre-recorded voice slowly mixes with his live words. Where, then, does the introduction end, and where does the reading begin?
Call for Papers – “Listening, Sound, Agency” — Dec 22, 2019
The SpokenWeb research network invites you to submit proposals to an interdisciplinary symposium to be held at Concordia University in Montreal, 17-18 July 2020. The theme of the SpokenWeb Symposium will be: Listening, Sound, Agency Listening to sound entails scenarios of subjection and agency. In Althussarian terms we might say that we are persistently interpellated, […]
After reading for about eleven minutes, Earle Birney pauses to ask if there is any water to drink. There is a glass and a pitcher (audibly present) but nearly empty, and thus the evening’s host George Bowering heads out into the hallway to find Birney a cold beverage. This interlude of extra-poetic speech reveals that, despite it being mid-February, the room temperature feels more like summer and, more importantly, the humourous nature of the extra-poetic speech attunes the listener to the sociality as well as to the poetry.
Dorothy Livesay’s poem “The Unquiet Bed” has appeared on the pages of many Canadian poetry anthologies, but what cannot be heard fully on the page is the sound of this poem as a ballad. It is an “unquiet” poem. The refrain – “The woman I am / is not what you see” – suggests that both the speaker and the poem are not what you see, though perhaps they are what you hear.
During her introductory remarks (featured in last week’s Audio of the Week), poet Muriel Rukeyser asks the audience not only to raise their hands if they’ve ever written a poem but also to reflect upon what drives people to attend poetry readings in the first place. She speculates that people come and listen to poems because of embodied elements – the breathing, the heartbeat, the rhythms – and because of something else that is created while sharing a poem together. In her reading, there are poems in which one is acutely aware of being together, listening, even while listening to the recording. This poem is one of them: “Anemone” (The Speed of Darkness, 1968) – a poem that enacts Rukeyser’s opening remarks by making the room at once oceanic and intimate, and by saying to the listener: “You are here.”