Poetry on Vinyl/Vancouver Laureate – Poetry news roundup November 29th

In today’s new post we bring you a poetry round up that takes a look the return of poetry on vinyl and also the search for the 5th poet laureate of Vancouver.

Live Poetry Returns to Vinyl

One of the most prolific poets in America, Alice Notely, has created something a little different with her latest poetry collection. Rather than being published as a book “Live in Seatle” will be a recorded album of her work. For new record label Fonograf, this is just the latest in a series of albims of poetry that they will be releasing.

For Notely this is a new venture, although her live poetry readings can be quite dramatic, she has tried recording before but has found it to be “really trying” because of the need to re-record lines when sound experts aren’t completely happy with the way certain words come across. These vinyl recordings won’t have this, they are just as a live performance would be with pauses, stammers and even hiccups occurring as they would on stage. This is the way Jeff Alesandrelli the founder of Fonograf, who came into being just last year when they broke away from the independent book publisher Octopus Books, says poetry should be read. The hope is that the company will release 2 -3 records of poetry each year.

Of course, poetry on vinyl isn’t a completely new phenomenon, between the 1050’s to 1980’s it was certainly a thing. Fonograf isn’t the only recording label producing poetry records, and with the increase in YouTube videos of poetry reading, it would seem that listening to poetry rather than reading it is becoming increasingly popular.

Notley is best known for her long epic poems but “Live in Seattle”, which is made up entirely with poetry from her 2016 collection “Certain Magical Acts” contains some much shorter poems. “Two of Swords” is one such poem, it has just three stanzas, and was written in 2008 after the election, it discusses political divisions and how polarised the country has become: Notely is happy to admit that she hasn’t voted since the 1980’s as there has been no candidate worth voting for.


New Poet Laureate for Vancouver

Vancouver is on the look out for a new poet laureate, and are currently looking for nominations from Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh or Squamish Nation. In looking for candidates from within the local First Nations they are looking to cement their commitment to making the city a “city of reconciliation”.

In looking for a poet laureate from the First Nations the city hopes that they will be able define the role Vancourerites should play in the city and give them a greater understanding of how to help these nations become more visible on their own land.

In 2014 Vancouver, the year that the city designated itself “city of reconciliation” they also acknowledged that the city itself is built on what is unceded traditional territory of these nations.

This will be the 5th poet laureate for Vancouver, and nominations for the position which will begin in 2018 are open until 15th December.

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