Sunday 13 May 2007

PennSound is a free source for poetry audio files for poetry audiophiles

PennSound is like iTunes for poetry -- but each poem is free, said Charles Bernstein, an English professor and the site's co-director.

"It's unprecedented within poetry," Bernstein said, calling it the "first and the biggest site of its kind."

Started more than two years ago, PennSound features about 200 writers and more than 10,000 recordings contributed by poets, fans and scholars worldwide and converted to digital format. Some, such as Gertrude Stein recordings from 1934, date back decades.

The site mainly focuses on historical avant-garde and innovative contemporary poetry. So while you can hear Allen Ginsberg or current U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall, you won't find Maya Angelou. -- Get the rest of the story on

There's a few Canadians here, too. Including Darren Wershler-Henry, bpNichol, Paul Dutton, a.rawlings, and Christian Bök. Which is wonderful, but with theory-lovin' folks like Charles Bernstein and Kenneth Goldsmith behind this project, it's no wonder other Canadian poets, ones who write more in the mode of Donald Hall or CK Williams, are not represented. Still, it is an excellent resource to add to your collection on on-line poetry treasure troves.

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