Poetastic (http://www.poetastic.com), a website curating transformative video recordings of poetry readings, is currently soliciting new video submissions of reciters reading and recording themselves reciting other people’s poetry, which will be featured on the site.
For more information about the site’s objectives, please read below. For submission guidelines (rolling deadline), please see http://www.poetastic.com/submission.html.
Poetastic is a project created by Harrod J Suarez, Assistant Professor of English at Oberlin College. Please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poetastic is aimed at poetry’s audiences. While there are countless video recordings online showcasing poets, from the well known to the emergent, reading their own work, Poetastic seeks contributions from those who read, appreciate, and are inspired by poetry.
Poetastic asks us to think about what it means to recite someone else’s work: What is gained by it? How does the reciter transform the work’s meaning, given their performance? What then happens when that recitation is disseminated online, to unannounced and unpredictable audiences? How does the poem become a wholly new work within this endless transmission?
In doing so, Poetastic challenges recent and continuing claims about the demise of poetry, literature, and the humanities. These claims cite declining book sales and surveys marking a decreasing interest in reading to argue for cultural erosion.
By making poetry’s audience visible and audible, though, Poetastic suggests other ways of recognizing the persistence of poetry. Poetry can be a habit we aren’t ready to kick or the stranger we keep encountering unpredictably, but always at the right time. Invariably. Either way, it never goes away for good; it has a way of reinventing itself, rejuvenating its pleasures and its purposes.
And marshaling collective forces on Poetastic, it will happen over and over again. Here, poetry’s audiences are also its participants, even its creators, and connections are formed, stringing together a community of poets, readers, viewers, and listeners who channel diverse and unheralded interpretations, expressions, ideas, thoughts, feelings, experiences, and actions.
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