Here at PRISM we specialize in the printed word. Hearing a work read aloud, though, can bring it to life in a completely different way. That’s especially true for poetry read by its own creator. Thanks to the incredible online resources of Penn Sound at the University of Pennsylvania and the Poetry Archive, a wealth of recordings that present poems in their authors’ voices are available—tape hiss, auditorium echo, and occasional stumble or cough included, and to great effect. Poetry Archive content can be streamed directly from their site, and Penn Sound provides options for online streaming and download for offline listening.
Andrew Motion, former U.K. poet laureate, writes at the Poetry Archive that “the sound of a poem is as crucial to its meaning as the achievements of the words on the page.” Both of these sites offer numerous opportunities to encounter already familiar works in a fresh way, and also to get lost in some new voices.