Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poetry Podcasts and Poem Audiofiles

I’m tickled to share news of a new venture in poetry promotion: I’ve created my first podcast! I’ve been wanting to try that for awhile and finally gave it a shot. Thanks to Terry Borzumato-Greenberg at Holiday House who invited me to create something for their Web site and jump-started my learning process. You’ll find two free downloadable audiofiles at the Holiday House web site. I share ideas about how to use two of their books with kids, read excerpts aloud, as well as provide tips on using poetry with kids, in general.

Poetry Podcasts
*Alice Low's The Fastest Game on Two Feet and Other Poems About How Sports Began (Holiday House, 2009) Podcast here

*Dian Curtis Regan’s poetry-focused picture book Barnyard Slam (Holiday House, 2009) Podcast here

I’m a big fan of introducing kids to the audio qualities of poetry and have written about that before—particularly about seeking out audiobook versions of poetry like the amazing Jazz by Walter Dean Myers (our first Odyssey audiobook award winner). But there are also free audiofiles of poetry available on the web—more and more as time goes on. Here are some of the major sites:

The Academy of American Poets
Audio archives alongside extensive biographical information and selected poetry

The Poetry Magazine
Audio recordings of many major poets reading their works, as well as interviews with and speeches

Poets and Writers
Offers multimedia slideshows, videos, and podcasts of all kinds of poetry-related material

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center
An archive of recordings of over 2000 adult poets reading their own work

Just One More Book
Clever coffee shop podcast recordings of hundreds of booktalks and interviews

Amateur recordings of books in the public domain including some poetry

Favorite Poem Project
Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s project to have average citizens audiotape their favorite poems

Poetry Speaks
I’ve been meaning to post about the Poetry Speaks web site since I learned about it late last year—still being beta-tested. The Sourcebooks people who brought us Poetry Speaks, Hip Hop Speaks to Children, My Hippo has the Hiccups, The Tree that Time Built, and the upcoming Poetry Speaks; Who I Am (for middle school) are making audiofiles of poetry readings available (like the CDs that accompany each of their books), as well as the opportunity to download our own poem readings. Cool!

Poets whose Web sites feature audio recordings of their poetry:
Kristine O’Connell George
Janet S. Wong
Nikki Grimes
Joyce Sidman
Jack Prelutsky
Shel Silverstein

ACTIVITY: If audio announcements are made at your school or library, include the oral reading of a poem by the poet (downloaded) or by a child or adult volunteer on a daily or weekly basis. And of course with the simplest equipment you can encourage kids to record themselves reading their own poetry (or favorite poems) to share with friends and family.

Just for fun, here's a glimpse from Alice Low's clever and informative collection of sports-themed poems, The Fastest Game on Two Feet, featured in my podcast. It's an excerpt from the poem "Sonja Henie, Girl in White" about the Norwegian figure skater who revolutionized the sport in the 1920's-- in honor of last night's beautiful performances by Olympic figure skaters from Korea, Japan, Canada-- and the U.S.

Sonja Henie, Girl in White (p. 20)

by Alice Low

She started winning championships

When she was only eight.

When she was ten she won again.

Oh, how that girl could skate!

She practiced seven hours a day

And studied ballet, too,

And fused ballet with skating

In a style that was new.

There isn't room to list

The countless titles that she won.

The Worlds, ten times, Olympics, three.
And still she wasn't done.

For more Poetry Friday fun go to Check it Out today.

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.
Image credit: amazon; holiday house;;


Sheri Doyle said...

I'm so excited to discover these podcasts! You mentioned Jazz by Walter Dean Myers (my Poetry Friday post looks at this book)and I agree that this book and others such as "Blues Journey" would be excellent recorded.
I'm off to checkout the podcasts. Thanks for sharing this!

Laura said...

I bought your book, Sylvia, and I'm so glad I did. You present a lot of good ideas, so my book is very marked up.

I enjoyed your podcasts. Nice work!

Several of your sources I already knew about, but I found a couple that are new. So thanks for sharing these.

Laura Evans

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Sherri-- yes, JAZZ and BLUES JOURNEY are BOTH available in audiobook form and they are both amazing! Be sure to look (and listen) for them!

And thanks, Laura, for the kind words about my book. I'm so glad you're finding it useful.

Thanks to you both for stopping by today--

CJ Heck said...

There's another children's poetry author who is doing poetry audios on her website, and she even sings one of them. It's in the process of being redesigned and three new pages are being added with even more audios, as I write this. The children's author is CJ Heck ... me. Please visit!
Barking Spiders Poetry for Children