New Media: Bad or Good for Poetry?


Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the lack of places to really promote ones poetry, especially in the personal reading of it. Sure, there are open-mics: but those often have a theme or only accept one kind of poet- either written word, or slam, or traditional, or are put on by a specific group that is not interested in newcomers. (Not all- I just had a wonderful experience at an open mic in Westminster, CO that was very welcoming and open). There are also performance competitions- but these days mostly only for slam poets, of which I am not one.

So recently, I’ve been trying out creating video-readings of my poetry. At first, these were videos of me sitting in front of my computer, looking awkwardly into the camera, and trying to connect with the words the way I would connect in front of people. Though decent, I don’t feel like those videos did much for the poetry. After seeing a video posted by fellow poet Joanna Kurowska, however, I got the idea of blending media- instead of videoing myself reading, I would record my voice reading, and then create a video with a video editing platform to put ‘captions’ to my words and pictures or a calming, neutral video in the background- so that the reader can both read the words as I say them, listen to the poem as it was intended to be read, and not be distracted by my weird face (I make very odd facial expressions when in front of the webcam). Currently, I am using WeVideo to make these kinds of things- I just exported my first video reading of my poem ‘English Major Boy’, recently published in Bop Dead City Magazine, to my Facebook page and Youtube Channel, and it got some pretty positive reviews from my circle of friends, who agreed that they preferred to be able to read the words as I read, than watch me mess with my hair. (It’s also in the post below this one, if you didn’t see it yet).

So there’s my brush with newer media outlets. Have other poets been doing these kinds of things? Do you think its a good or bad thing for poetry? Have you tried it? Would you try it? What other ways have you found that are successful in rejuvenating an interest in poetry?

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