Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Visual poetry

I've been a volunteer reader for LibriVox since 2007 and, although I haven't had as much time to read books for them since I've been narrating-for-pay, I still like to participate in their weekly poem reading.  Every Sunday a different poem (one that's in the Public Domain, of course) is chosen by members of LibriVox.  The poem may be recorded by anyone who chooses to participate.  The collection of readings for that poem is then proof-listened, cataloged and released for listening on the following Sunday.  There is also a bi-weekly poem reading, too.  As with the weekly poem, the bi-weekly poem is listed on Sunday but prospective readers have two weeks to record the poem as this one is released two Sundays after it's posted.  Sometimes I record both the weekly and bi-weekly poems depending on my schedule and, also, if the poem intrigues me.

This is a wonderful way to 'get your feet wet' if you've ever thought about recording for LibriVox.  Everyone there is very helpful and it's such a great way to experience or re-experience the joy of poetry.  I rarely miss a weekly poem recording.  Now, this is where the 'visual' in the title of this post comes in.  Because our recordings are released into the Public Domain, anyone may use the recordings as they please.  We do appreciate it if LibriVox is credited and the reader, too.  I discovered early on that many of the members of LibriVox had found their readings being used for filmmakers who then posted their videos on YouTube.com

It's flattering to have someone use your reading for a video and there are several LibriVox members who have had, literally, dozens of their poetry readings used.  Kristen Hughes is a favorite reader (and with good reason if you've heard her voice) although she has not always been credited by the YouTube user.  The first time I stumbled across a poem I'd read that was now accompanying a video, it was a bit of a shock.  I wasn't credited (although I am now since contacting the filmmaker) and it was so strange to recognize my voice.  Since that first find, I've searched a few times and come across a few other videos that have used my readings but that can be hit-and-miss since, as I've mentioned, LibriVox and/or it's readers are often not credited.

Here's the first one I found.  It's one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson -- "I Heard a Fly Buzz -- when I died" -- and the filmmaker entered his video into a one minute film contest in Belgium.  The filmmaker is Jim van Nunen.  Original music by Joris van der Herten.  Reading by moi.  It can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HXOoCVKuM  Apparently, the filmmaker does not allow embedding.   A little spooky but fun.  Here's a still pic from it although you have to use the link I gave to watch the film.

I came across another poem in the past couple of weeks.  Once again, this was by accident since, although I was credited, my name is misspelled in the credits.  At least the filmmaker did list me and LibriVox which we really appreciate.  This poem is "All Things Can Tempt Me" by William Butler Yeats.  I really like the Public Domain images that the maker, Othniel Smith, used to illustrate his 'vision' of this poem. 

I've come across a few more listed under the column on the bottom right-hand side of my blog but they basically used photographs and some nature sounds to accompany the poems.  I'm still flattered that they used my readings and I'm glad that the makers of these vidoes are exposing more people to poetry and to LibriVox.

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