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Podcast Episodes

SpokenWeb Podcasts: Feature Episodes and ShortCuts Minisodes


The SpokenWeb Podcast is a monthly podcast produced by the SpokenWeb team. It is one of the compelling ways the SpokenWeb project is framing and showcasing the audio of unique archival literary recordings held by SpokenWeb-affiliated universities and communities across Canada.

Released monthly on The SpokenWeb Podcast feed, ShortCuts minisodes take listeners on a deep dive – via short, sonic cuts – into the audio collections of SpokenWeb.

The SpokenWeb Podcast targets a general audience interested in literary topics, history, culture, and analysis, but who might not have studied it since high school. The podcast intends to bring literature, and especially Canadian literature, into the lives of everyday citizens and engage new people in the literary conversation.

All SpokenWeb collaborators may submit episodes, regardless of podcasting experience. To learn more about pitching an episode, visit our “Pitch Us!” page.

ShortCuts 3.2

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November 22, 2021

What the Archive Remembers

EPISODE SUMMARY In this episode, ShortCuts explores one of the methods of listening from the previous episode of The SpokenWeb Podcast. That episode, produced by Julia Polyck-O’Neill, listens to the emotional weight of archives. Julia’s conversations with poet Lisa Robertson uncover the ways in which archives record the relationships between memory, affect, and mortality. In […]

S3-Episode 2

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November 1, 2021

Lisa Robertson and the Feminist Archive

In this episode, SpokenWeb contributor Julia Polyck-O’Neill shares an archived recording of Canadian poet Lisa Robertson with us and talks us through two interviews she recorded with Robertson. Polyck-O’Neill invites us to consider the significance of Robertson’s intimate archival collections in light of the relationships between archives, memory, affect, and mortality. In examining these conceptual, […]

ShortCuts 3.1

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October 18, 2021

Sounds

EPISODE SUMMARY ShortCuts is back! Season Three of ShortCuts begins with a listening exercise. We attune our ears to what it sounds like and feels like to hear archival clips ‘cut’ out of context. Join ShortCuts producer Katherine McLeod in this exploration of the sonic and affective place-making of ShortCuts as podcast. What kind of […]

S3-Episode 1

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October 4, 2021

Podcasting Literary Sound: Revisiting ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Elizabeth Smart’

Today, we are welcoming you to Season 3 by reintroducing and replaying an episode that exemplifies what our podcast is all about. In January 2020, we released the episode “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Elizabeth Smart” created by researcher and producer Myra Bloom. To kick off this season, Hannah and Myra sat down for […]

Season 3 Trailer

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September 20, 2021

Welcome to Season 3! Our Trailer.

Another season is upon us! At the SpokenWeb Podcast, we continue to bring you episodes that journey into literary history and explore our contemporary responses to it. This season, researchers from across the SpokenWeb community – and a few special guests – produce audio stories that creatively engage with literary recordings in the SpokenWeb archives […]

S2-Episode 11

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August 2, 2021

Revisiting “Podcasting as a Field of Critical Study”

This episode takes us back to a SpokenWeb Project panel presentation from April 2021: “Podcasting as a Field of Critical Study.” This panel was organized by Jason Camlot and Stacey Copeland, and led by SpokenWeb Podcast host Hannah McGregor. It used the recently published volume, Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media (ed. Dario Llinares, […]

ShortCuts 2.10

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July 19, 2021

Alone Together

EPISODE SUMMARY For our last minisode of season two, ShortCuts dives into the archives of The Words & Music Show, a monthly series of poetry, spoken word, music, and dance performances that has been happening in Montreal for over twenty years. Last year, SpokenWeb RA Ali Barillaro was digitizing that collection when she heard a […]

S2-Episode 10

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July 5, 2021

Robert Hogg & The Widening Circle of Return

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a group of poets at UBC Vancouver began a little magazine: the TISH poetry newsletter. The TISH poets would later be called one of the most cohesive writing movements in Canadian literary history. In the summer of 2019, Craig Carpenter visited one of the former editors of TISH […]

ShortCuts 2.9

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June 21, 2021

Situating Sound

EPISODE SUMMARY On this ShortCuts, we dive into a new audio collection: Gerry Gilbert radiofreerainforest Collection, accessible through SFU Library’s Digitized Collections. We’ll hear a recording of Dionne Brand reading in Vancouver with Lee Maracle of the Stó:lō nation. The recording of this reading was then played on the local radio program radiofreerainforest on August […]

S2-Episode 9

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June 7, 2021

Mavis Gallant, Part 2: The ‘Paratexts’ of “Grippes and Poche” at SFU

In the March 2021 episode of the SpokenWeb Podcast, SpokenWeb contributors Kate Moffatt, Kandice Sharren, and Michelle Levy presented the first episode of a two-part series: “Mavis Gallant reads ‘Grippes and Poche’ at SFU,” which included a full-length recording of Mavis Gallant’s reading of her New Yorker short story at Simon Fraser University in 1984. […]

ShortCuts 2.8

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May 17, 2021

Contrapuntal Poetics

EPISODE SUMMARY  In this ShortCuts minisode, listen to the contrapuntal poetics of poet Alexei Perry Cox. In a recording made at home, Alexei reads and improvises in response to a second voice in the room – the voice of her daughter Isla. Their interaction itself could be heard as a poem. Meanwhile, sounds of place enter […]

S2-Episode 8

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May 3, 2021

Talking about Talking

In this episode of The SpokenWeb Podcast, jamilah malika and Jessica Karuhanga talk about the sounds and sound-based practices that have informed their projects as recipients of the 2020-2021 SpokenWeb Artist-Curator in Residence Award. For her residency, jamilah is building an online archive highlighting Black women sound artists across Canada to provide inspiration and representation […]

ShortCuts 2.7

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April 19, 2021

Moving

EPISODE SUMMARY This month, it is April – the month of poetry. The audio we will be listening to is a poem by Canadian poet Phyllis Webb. In fact, it is a series of poems from Naked Poems, poems that open up space and that leave room for the listener to listen – to listen […]

S2-Episode 7

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April 5, 2021

Listening Ethically to the Spoken Word

This episode is a series of interviews with Humanities scholars Mathieu Aubin, Clint Burnham, Treena Chambers, and T.L. Cowan about their approaches to the ethics of listening in their own research. We join Deanna Fong and Mike O’Driscoll as they step back to listen to the ethical practices of expert listeners. They’ll guide us through […]

ShortCuts 2.6

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March 15, 2021

Listening Together

EPISODE SUMMARY March is a time of year when you can hum along to “It Might as Well be Spring,” but, on other days, it can feel like winter might never end. Can we hear spring in the archives? And what does it feel like to listen to sonic representations of change – at a distance […]

S2-Episode 6

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March 1, 2021

Mavis Gallant reads “Grippes and Poche” at SFU

On February 14, 1984, Mavis Gallant visited Simon Fraser University. She did a reading of her short story “Grippes and Poche,” which was published in the New Yorker in 1982  — her ninety-fifth work in the magazine. Containing the full recording of her reading, which includes Gallant’s live commentary as she reads, “Mavis Gallant Reads […]

ShortCuts 2.5

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February 15, 2021

Connections

EPISODE SUMMARY In this season of ShortCuts we’ve spent some time in a 1969 recording of poet Muriel Rukeyser, and we’re going to stay in that recording for this minisode, partly due to the depth of material within this single recording and partly as an opportunity to reflect upon what a minisode can do – […]

S2-Episode 5

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February 1, 2021

Cylinder Talks: Pedagogy in Literary Sound Studies

What does “listening” mean within the context of the literary classroom? In this episode we join Director of the SpokenWeb Network and Professor at Concordia University – Jason Camlot – in conversation with SpokenWeb podcast supervising producer and Simon Fraser University PhD candidate – Stacey Copeland – to explore how sound studies is being taken […]

ShortCuts 2.4

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January 18, 2021

You Are Here

EPISODE SUMMARY This ShortCuts minisode listens to one of the January readings that we heard about last time: a reading by Muriel Rukeyser that took place on January 24, 1969. Along with listening for mentions of January in the recording, this minisode listens to how Rukeyser’s reading enacts the very connection that she describes – […]

S2-Episode 4

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January 11, 2021

Drum Codes [Part 1]: The Language of Talking Drums

For hundreds of years, the Yorùbá people of West African have used “talking drums” to send messages across great distances. West African languages are highly musical, full of rising and falling tones. The pitch of talking drums can be adjusted to mimic these tones, so drummers can “speak” to one another. The drummer encodes the […]

ShortCuts 2.3

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December 21, 2020

Audible Time

EPISODE SUMMARY In trying to listen for time, this ShortCuts minisode listens for the New Year in SpokenWeb’s audio collections. What hopes do audiences have for the new year? And how do archival recordings help us understand our affective relation to time in our present moment? The audio for this ShortCuts minisode is cut from […]

S2-Episode 3

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December 7, 2020

Sounds of Trance Formation: An Interview with Penn Kemp

For Penn Kemp, poetry is magic made manifest. While her subjects are varied, and her interests and approaches have evolved over the years, Kemp has always understood the power of spoken word to evoke emotion, shift consciousness, and shape the world. Drawing on a syncretic blend of spiritual philosophy informed by Buddhist, Hindu, and Celtic […]

ShortCuts 2.2

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November 16, 2020

The Poem Among Us

EPISODE SUMMARY This month’s ShortCut is an archival recording which transports us into the feeling of being at a live poetry reading. A feeling we are craving (right now in November 2020) as the covid-19 pandemic and social distancing continue. What is it that we are really missing about the live listening experience? The poetry? […]

S2-Episode 2

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November 2, 2020

Lesbian Liberation Across Media: A Sonic Screening

This episode of The SpokenWeb Podcast is a little different than episodes you’ve heard from us before. It is a kind of “feminist memory-work” – An audio collage, a method, an approach to community building which aims to honor lesbian-feminist collective histories and renewed public attention to lesbian feminist culture. SpokenWeb network members Felicity Tayler […]

ShortCuts 2.1

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October 19, 2020

Introducing ShortCuts

EPISODE SUMMARY Welcome to ShortCuts. To kick off the new miniseries season, Katherine invites us into an audio remix of short clips from deep in the archive to consider: what does it mean and what is possible (technologically, phenomenologically, ethically, poetically) to cut and splice digitally? What kinds of new stories and audio-criticism can be […]

S2-Episode 1

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October 5, 2020

Deep Curation – Experimenting with the Poetry Reading as Practice

Who chooses what words will be heard at a poetry reading, in what order, and why? Since 2018, Montreal-based poet and researcher Klara du Plessis has been developing her own practice of poetry reading organization by heightening the curator’s role in its production. She calls this experimental practice Deep Curation. This episode – the “Season […]

Season 2 Trailer

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September 21, 2020

Season 2 Trailer. We’re Back!

Get ready for Season 2 of the SpokenWeb Podcast, stories about how literature sounds. We have a brand-new line up of original episodes for you from archives, universities and in these physically distant times, the many spaces and places we call home, all across Canada and beyond.  Whether it’s a deep dive into deep curation poetry, […]

Episode 11

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August 3, 2020

Ideas have feelings, too. Voice, Feeling and Rhetoric in podcasting.

How do concepts make us feel? What is the function of affect in the communication of ideas? In this episode, three SpokenWeb graduate students – Ali Barillaro, Sadie Barker and Emma Telaro – revisit their experience of making a short-form podcast as an exercise that was assigned to them by SpokenWeb researcher Jason Camlot in […]

ShortCuts 1.7

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July 20, 2020

Audio of the Month – As Though Her Voice is Dancing

EPISODE SUMMARY In episode 7 of The SpokenWeb Podcast (“The Voice is Intact”), producer Hannah McGregor and guest Jen Sookfong Lee listen together to Gwendolyn MacEwen reading the poem “The Zoo” (recorded in Montreal, 1966). As we listen to them listening on the podcast, we hear a gasp and even an exclamation: “Melodious!” What was […]

Episode 10

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July 6, 2020

SoundBox Signals presents “Is Robin Here?”

This month on the SpokenWeb Podcast, we are excited to share with you a special episode from our sister podcast Soundbox Signals. Spokenweb’s Karis Shearer is joined by curator Amy Thiessen and special guests Hannah McGregor and Emily Murphy to question what we can uncover about the dynamics of a space through listening. Together they […]

ShortCuts 1.6

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June 15, 2020

Audio of the Month – From Poetic Surveillance to an Avant-Garde Dinner Fit for a Queen

EPISODE SUMMARY This month we bring you a very special guest curator edition of SpokenWeb’s Audio of the Month. In this minisode, Katherine McLeod is joined by SpokenWeb researcher and postdoctoral fellow Mathieu Aubin for a glimpse into the life and work of Canadian poet bill bissett – from poetic surveillance to an avant-garde dinner […]

Episode 9

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June 1, 2020

Producing Queer Media

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, there’s a name you might be familiar with — it’s mentioned every episode — that has so far been almost entirely off-mic. We’re talking about Stacey Copeland, SpokenWeb’s podcast project manager and supervising producer. Stacey helps to make this podcast possible, collaborating with SpokenWeb contributors […]

ShortCuts 1.5

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May 18, 2020

Audio of the Month – Then and Now

EPISODE SUMMARY This month our SpokenWeb minisode features Canadian poet Daphne Marlatt reading “Lagoon” from Vancouver Poems (1972), a deeply local collection that she had not yet published when this reading took place at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) in Montreal. When listening to Marlatt reading “Lagoon,” we can hear the many futures of […]

Episode 8

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May 4, 2020

How are we listening, now? Signal, Noise, Silence

Since mid-March 2020 most people across the world have been adhering to protocols of social distancing and self-isolation due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are living a historical period of major global and local disruption to work, social life, home life, and major new parameters around what we can do, who we can see, […]

ShortCuts 1.4

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April 20, 2020

Audio of the Month – Dorothy Livesay listening to the radio

EPISODE SUMMARY In this Audio of the Month minisode Katherine Mcleod features recordings of poet Dorothy Livesay. We hear Livesay read selections of her work including “Bartok and the Geranium,” a poem that is often anthologized and, in fact, you may have studied it in a course on Canadian poetry. But do you know how […]

Episode 7

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April 6, 2020

The Voice Is Intact: Finding Gwendolyn MacEwen in the Archive

Poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, perhaps best known for winning the 1969 Governor General’s Award for her collection The Shadow Maker and the 1987 GG, posthumously, for Afterworlds, is perhaps one of the most significant Canadian poets whose work is entirely out of print. MacEwen was only 46 when she died, and her tragic life combined with […]

ShortCuts 1.3

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March 16, 2020

Audio of the Month – Where does the reading begin?

EPISODE SUMMARY This month our SpokenWeb minisode features Kaie Kellough reading at The Words and Music Show, Nov 20, 2016. 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? EPISODE NOTES Each month on alternate fortnights […]

Episode 6

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March 2, 2020

SoundBox Signals presents “Is That Me?”

This month on the SpokenWeb Podcast, we are excited to share with you a new podcast in the SpokenWeb family – SoundBox Signals – inviting us to listen in close to UBCO’s SoundBox Collection. In this episode, Spokenweb’s Karis Shearer, curator Mathieu Aubin and guests Lauren St. Clair and Nour Sallam invite us into a […]

ShortCuts 1.2

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February 17, 2020

Audio of the Month – Improvising at a Poetry Reading

EPISODE SUMMARY As we come to the end of a holiday long weekend here in Canada, it’s time for a new episode of SpokenWeb’s Audio of The Month: ‘mini’ stories about how literature sounds. This month Katherine shares a recording of Canadian poet Maxine Gadd reading “Shore Animals” with improvised flute by Richard Sommer (1972). […]

Episode 5

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February 3, 2020

Revisiting Feminist Noise, Silence, and Refusal

In this episode of the SpokenWeb podcast, student contributor Kate Moffatt revisits “Feminist Noise, Silence, and Refusal” – a live panel from the 2019 SpokenWeb Symposium hosted at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. With presentations from Lucia Lorenzi, Milena Droumeva, Brady Marks, and Blake Nemec (moderated by Hannah McGregor) the panel explores how we […]

ShortCuts 1.1

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January 20, 2020

Audio of the Month – Daryl Hine’s Point Grey

EPISODE SUMMARY Welcome to our first SpokenWeb minisode. Each month on alternate fortnights (that’s every second week following the monthly spokenweb podcast episode) – join Hannah McGregor, and minisode host and curator Katherine McLeod for SpokenWeb’s Audio of Month mini series. This month Katherine shares a recording of Canadian poet Daryl Hine reading “Point Grey” […]

Episode 4

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January 6, 2020

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Elizabeth Smart

Over the years, Elizabeth Smart’s 1945 novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept has risen from obscurity to cult classic. The book, which details an ill-fated love affair between an unnamed narrator and her married lover, is celebrated for its lyricism, passionate intensity, and its basis in Elizabeth’s real-life relationship with the […]

Episode 3

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December 2, 2019

Invisible Labour

From archival work to domestic and care work or the hidden labour behind the podcast you’re listening to right now… invisible labour is everywhere. That is, the work and the people not always seen from the outside or valued in our day to day lives. This month we reflect on the often invisible (or inaudible) […]

Episode 2

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November 4, 2019

Sound Recordings Are Weird

In “Sound Recordings are Weird: Stories and thoughts about early spoken recordings”, SpokenWeb research Jason Camlot interviews collaborators in the SpokenWeb Network to uncover the stories behind the making of Early Literature Recordings. Drawing from his recent book “Phonopoetics: The Making of Early Literary Recordings”, Jason invites guests Lisa Gitelman, Patrick Feaster, David Seubert, John […]

Episode 1

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October 7, 2019

Stories of SpokenWeb

SpokenWeb is a literary research network, dedicated to studying literature through sound. But how did this project begin? What kinds of literary recordings inspired it and where were they found? And what happened next in order for these recordings to be heard? For this inaugural episode of the SpokenWeb Podcast, Katherine McLeod seeks to answer […]

Trailer

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September 18, 2019

Welcome to SpokenWeb

Say hello to SpokenWeb host Hannah Mcgregor as we kick off our brand new series – The SpokenWeb Podcast: Stories about how literature sounds.