Poetic Voices – Anything But Ordinary
I imagine many are familiar with The Poetry Archive; Sir Andrew Motion and Richard Carrington were able to engineer this excellent resource for poetry, and it remains part of Sir Andrew’s lasting legacy as Poet Laureate.
A quick search on the Poetry Archive shows that contemporary poets such as Hannah Lowe and Jack Underwood can be found alongside poets from ‘The Canon’. The site is huge and covers poets from all parts of the globe. One could spend hours on the site; the audio recordings, in particular, are worth giving time to – hearing Tennyson from 1890 for instance is quite something.
Being on the Poetry Archive site must carry some cachet, though in fairness the site does say “It is important to emphasize that we do not consider poets who are already in the Archive to be better poets than any who are not there yet.” Inclusion on the site is by way of recommendation to a panel that “is always looking for reasons to include people and never for reasons to exclude anyone.” However, finances are part of the sticking point in adding to the Archive, the cost of including a new poet being around £2,500 (studio hire, engineer, copyright etc).
An alternative route to hearing poetry being read aloud online exists with Poetic Voices – a home to poets –
“of all ages and backgrounds to share their work on a simple, easy-to-use, accessible platform. Not only is it a useful tool for artists, it also serves as an online library of sorts, in which you can explore and discover poets, get inspired, or simply to get lost in the art of poetry.”
This is an excellent resource for finding poets who may be less-well known than some on the Archive, but whose work ranks alongside them (in my view). I was alerted to the project when I read at Enfield Poets and I have subsequently been able to contribute three poems to the site.
It really is an excellent venture and one worth exploring. My only question or criticism is to wonder why the site labels itself ‘The online archive for ordinary poets’ – why the word ‘ordinary’? Take a look at what’s on the site and you will agree that there are some wonderful pieces on there that are anything but ordinary.
My three recordings are here https://poeticvoices.live/portfolio/elder-neil/
The Poetic Voices Home page is here https://poeticvoices.live/
The Poetry Archive http://www.poetryarchive.org/