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 – together? Listen to Margaret Avison read “Thaw” (on 27 January 1967) as our ‘short cut’ this month. Then, get ready for the first ShortCuts audio challenge when a special guest joins us to talk about a perplexing moment in archival listening.
A fresh take on sounds from the past, ShortCuts is a monthly feature on The SpokenWeb Podcast feed and an extension of the ShortCuts blog posts on SPOKENWEBLOG. Stay tuned for monthly episodes of ShortCuts on alternate fortnights (that’s every second week) following the monthly SpokenWeb podcast episode.
Producer: Katherine McLeod
Host: Hannah McGregor
Supervising Producer: Stacey Copeland
Archival audio clips for this ShortCuts minisode are cut from this recording of Margaret Avison’s reading in Montreal on January 27, 1967.
Audio clips of Stephanie Bolster and Barbara Nickel are from SpokenWeb’s Listening Practice, led by Katherine McLeod and held on January 27, 2021.
Audio clips of Katherine McLeod in conversation with Mathieu Aubin were recorded over Zoom on March 9, 2021.
Aubin, Mathieu, “Audio of the Month – From Poetic Surveillance to an Avant-Garde Dinner Fit for a Queen.” ShortCuts 1.6, 15 June 2020, https://spokenweb.ca/podcast/episodes/audio-of-the-month-from-poetic-surveillance-to-an-avant-garde-dinner-fit-for-a-queen/.
@mathieujpaubin. “In today’s listening to the Sir George Williams collections, I heard Margaret Avison, who was introducing one of her poems, being interrupted by a man in the audience who mansplains her own work… eh boy. But, as a bad ass, Avison calls him out, making the audience laugh.” Twitter, 23 February, 2021, https://twitter.com/mathieujpaubin/status/1364328694341246980.
Avison, Margaret. Winter Sun and The Dumbfounding, Poems 1940-66. McClelland & Stewart, 1982.
“Listening to Winter Sun: A Virtual Ghost Reading (Margaret Avison, January 27, 1967) [led by Katherine McLeod.” SpokenWeb, https://spokenweb.ca/events/virtual-listening-practice-guided-by-katherine-mcleod/.
McLeod, Katherine. “Margaret Avison reading ‘Thaw’.” SPOKENWEBLOG, 30 March, 2020, spokenweb.ca/margaret-avison-reading-thaw/. Accessed 12 March, 2021.
Sarah, Robyn. “How poems work: Thaw by Margaret Avison.” Globe and Mail, 2 September 2000, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/how-poems-work/article25470778/.
Nickel, Barbara and Elise Partridge. “The Wholehearted Poet: A Conversation about Margaret Avison.” Books in Canada 33. 6 (September 2004), 34-36.
Quebec, Ike. It Might as Well Be Spring. Blue Note Records, 2006.