About the

SpokenWeb Podcast

The SpokenWeb Podcast: Stories About How Literature Sounds


Hannah McGregor

Co-Host & ShortCuts Producer

Katherine McLeod

Supervising Producer

Maia Harris

Sound Designer

James Healey


Zoe Mix

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.

Episodes are snapshots of literary history and contemporary responses to it, including interviews, panel discussions, lectures, readings, audio essays, and other relevant sound-based forms. The podcast will help share the research discoveries about archival spoken word collections, events, and other topics concerning sound, literature and culture relevant to the SpokenWeb research network, expanding our understanding of the relationship between the fields of literary studies and sound studies.

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. Designed to address the general public, rather than just topic-area experts, over time it may also develop accompanying materials so that selected podcasts can be used in pedagogical contexts at the high school and college levels.

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


Shortcuts 5.5

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May 20, 2024

ShortCuts Live! Turning Our Bodies Toward Sound with Xiaoxuan Huang

Xiaoxuan Huang talks about hybrid poetics (and more) with then-supervising producer Kate Moffatt.

S5-Episode 6

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May 6, 2024

Notes from the Underground: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Ultimatum Urban Poetry Festival

For a riotous underground scene in 1980s Montreal, the Ultimatum Urban Poetry Festival was the site for radical experimentation in artistic performance.

S5-Episode 5

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April 1, 2024

They Do the Police in Different Voices: Computational Analysis of Digitized Performances of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

In this podcast, author and Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto, Adam Hammond, asks if computers can help us to decide which readers are best at “doing” the voices in the poem.

S5-Episode 4

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March 4, 2024

“Two girls recording literature”: Re-listening to Caedmon recordings

In this episode, Michelle Levy and Maya Schwartz revisit the early history of Caedmon records.

S5-Episode 3

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December 11, 2023

Getting Lit with Linda Presents – “The Languages & Sounds That Are Home: Kaie Kellough’s Magnetic Equator”

This month, the SpokenWeb Podcast presents a crossover episode with Linda M. Morra’s, Getting Lit with Linda – The Canadian Literature Podcast.

S5-Episode 2

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November 6, 2023

Listening in Uncertainty

This episode navigates this question using an associative method which links stories and sounds, forming a non-linear audio collage.

S5-Episode 1

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October 2, 2023

As It Is or As It Was: Translating “The Ruin” Poem

Ghislaine Comeau brings us along on her quest to translate the “The Ruin” – a famously ruined Old English poem from the 10th century manuscript known as the Exeter Book.

Season 5 Trailer

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September 18, 2023

Welcome to Season 5!

The SpokenWeb Podcast is back for Season 5! Join us on our ongoing quest to uncover “what literature sounds like” through audio scholarship.

S4-Bonus Episode

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August 7, 2023

The Serendipitous Headlight 24

This bonus episode is about Headlight 24, the most recent edition of Concordia University’s graduate student-run literary journal.

June 5, 2023

Ambient Connection: The Sounds of Public Library Spaces

EPISODE SUMMARY In this episode, Maia Trotter—SpokenWeb research assistant and recent graduate of the MLIS program at the University of Alberta—explores what libraries actually sound like. Featuring interviews with three staff members at the Edmonton Public Library Stanley A. Milner branch and her own personal reflections, this episode considers how the sounds of library spaces […]

S4-Episode 7

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May 1, 2023

Audiobooks in the Classroom

Join Dr. Michelle Levy and graduate student Maya Schwartz as they think through what it means to read audiobooks in the literary classroom.

S4-Episode 6

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April 3, 2023

Revisiting “Mountain Many Voices: The Archival Sounds of Fred Wah”

Inspired by experimental radio, this episode from Don Shipton and Teddie Brock revisits an event with Fred Wah and meditates on recording and voice.

S4-Episode 5

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March 6, 2023

The Affordances of Sound

Producer and SpokenWeb Podcast Sound Designer Miranda Eastwood asks, “What is sound design?” They go on an epic sonic journey to find out.

S4-Episode 4

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February 6, 2023

Genuine Conversation

SpokenWeb RA Frances Grace Fyfe thinks about the literary concept of the dialogue—about conversations—by having conversations of her own.

S4-Episode 3

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December 5, 2022

Drum Codes [Part 2]: Sounds of Data

What does data sounds like? Producer Chelsea Miya explores this question with guests Tunde Adegbol, Oana Avasilichioaei, and Matt Russo.

S4-Episode 2

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November 7, 2022

The Night of the Living Archive

What better way to understand the archival state of a poem than to ask it? “The Night of the Living Archive” is an audio drama/mock interview between research assistant Liza Makarova and Fred Wah’s poems Mountain (1967), Limestone Lakes Utaniki (1987, 1989, and 1991), and Don’t Cut Me Down (1972), which currently live in the Fred Wah Digital Archive (fredwah.ca).

S4-Episode 1

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October 3, 2022

Listening to Fire Knowledges in and around the Okanagan Valley Presents “Challenging, beautiful bioregion”

This crossover features an episode from producer Judith Burr’s master’s thesis podcast about fire knowledges in the Okanagan Valley.

Season 4 Trailer

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September 19, 2022

Welcome to Season 4!

The SpokenWeb Podcast is back for its fourth season, premiering October 3, 2022! Join us for more stories about how literature sounds.

S3-Episode 11

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August 1, 2022

The WPHP Monthly Mercury Presents “Collected, Catalogued, Counted”

This month on the SpokenWeb Podcast we are excited to share an episode from The WPHP Monthly Mercury, hosted by Kandice Sharren and our very own podcast supervising producer, Kate Moffatt. First aired on July 21, 2021, this episode of The WPHP Monthly Mercury features an interview with Dr. Kirstyn Leuner, director and editor-in-chief of […]

S3-Episode 10

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July 4, 2022

“starry and full of glory”: Phyllis Webb, in Memoriam

In commemoration of Canadian poet Phyllis Webb (1927-2021), producer Stephen Collis charts a path through her work by following the “stars.”

S3-Episode 9

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June 6, 2022

Talking Transcription: Accessibility, Collaboration, and Creativity

In this episode, Shortcuts producer Katherine McLeod and SpokenWeb Podcast transcriber Kelly Cubbon talk to Maya Rae Oppenheimer, Judith Burr, and Bára Hladík about the accessible, collaborative, and creative practice of transcription.

S3-Episode 8

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May 2, 2022

Academics on Air

Ariel Kroon, Nick Beauchesne, and Chelsea Miya celebrate the history of early UAlberta college radio and its producers in this episode, including interviews with host Jars Balan and audio engineer Terri Wynnyk, as well as archival radio show audio of Western Canadian poets Douglas Barbour and Phyllis Webb.

S3-Episode 7

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April 4, 2022

‘The archive is messy and so are we’: Decoding the Women and Words Collection

SpokenWeb members Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren take us behind the scenes of cataloguing SFU’s Women and Words Collection.

S3-Episode 6

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March 7, 2022

Listening, Sound, Agency: A Retrospective Listening to the 2021 SpokenWeb Symposium

This is a mixed format episode presenting SpokenWeb members Mathieu Aubin and Stéphanie Ricci’s critical commentary after taking part in the organization of and attending the Listening, Sound, Agency Symposium. Bridging techniques from journalism and oral history, this episode includes sounds from the conference, interviews, and critically reflective discussions between Mathieu and Stéphanie. This episode […]

S3-Episode 5

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February 7, 2022

The Show Goes On: Words and Music in a Pandemic

How has the reading series been transformed by the Covid pandemic and its accompanying technologies of virtual gatherings? In this episode, Jason Camlot – SpokenWeb Director and Professor of English at Concordia University – takes us on a reflective listening tour through recordings of the Words and Music Show as it has evolved through the […]

S3-Episode 4

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January 3, 2022

SoundBox Signals Presents “Performing the Archive”

This month on the SpokenWeb Podcast, we are excited to share with you a special episode from our sister podcast Soundbox Signals. Host Karis Shearer, guest curator Megan Butchart, and poet Daphne Marlatt have a conversation about Daphne Marlatt’s 1969 archival recording of leaf leaf/s and her experience of performing poetry with the archive in […]

S3-Episode 3

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December 6, 2021

Forced Migration

Forced Migration: Bison stories and what they can tell settlers about a past, present, and future on stolen land As uninvited guests on Indigenous land, we are continually told that national parks, and our conservation system in general, are a benevolent inheritance from our settler ancestors. The creators of parks and conservation societies crafted archives […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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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.