About the project

What makes a great storyteller? It’s all in the delivery.

The goal of Project PoetSpeak is to bring text to life. By taking the time to voice and record their work, poets learn how to best deliver their poems – and listeners get to hear the work as the author intended, pauses, emphases and all.

To submit to PoetSpeak….

…..is remarkably easy. We require audio, and will also publish accompanying text and bio. Let us explain:

  1. First, the sound. Make a recording– use your iPhone, a digital recorder, a mic plugged into your computer. Then send that off to poetspeak(dot)com(at)gmail(dot)com. Please include your name.
  2. If you’d like, you can send the text poem, an explanation of the poem as you see it, or whatever comments you’d like to make.
  3. And one more thing: Write a short bio about yourself, attach a photo, and it’ll go on the Contributors page.

All rights remain with the poet.

Tips for recording:

  • Avoid the “P” zone, which makes that fluffy breathy sound into the mic. To find your “P” zone, put your hand two inches in front of your lips. Say “P.” You’ll feel your breath. To avoid this, move the mic to the right or the left. Keeping the mic close to — but not directly in front of — your face will make a nice clear recording.
  • Practice reading the poem several times before you record it. Figure out where you want the emphasis on words to be, and if you want to give pause to line breaks or not. Don’t be afraid to put some emotion into your poem. It’s your work, and it means something to you. Listeners can tell when you’re holding back.
  • Keep water nearby and drink often.
  • Avoid recording near windows, corners, walls, or in rooms with wood floors. A lot of extra sound tends to get picked up in those settings.
  • Take a listen to the authors we have tagged “expertly read” for inspiration. These poets really know how to bring a poem to life.

11 responses to “About the project

  1. I love this! Once it’s known and you have poets submitting their work, it would be so cool to have a “poem per day” option. I always enjoy Garrison Keillor’s daily poem, but it would be wonderful hearing different voices each day, reading their poem. I would be a subscriber! If only I could write poetry…

    • chelsea weightman

      This sounds nicee, and if I were to submit something it would be under my name?….why did you think of a website like this?

      • journalismjane

        Yes, submissions go under authors’ names.
        And I created this website so that authors can share their own work in their own voices– you can’t really find just that anywhere else.

  2. Pingback: Happily under construction « PoetSpeak

  3. Michelle Roberts

    Whilst looking for a job on Craigslist, on a whim under gigs found your very awesome site. The layout is great and best of all, you are including audio files an idea i was just chatting with a friend about. Le viola, here it is. instant gratification :o)

    Having been an in the closet poet (worried here that the literary police will find me, so far so good) I am recently out and willing to take the chance on being spotted.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the site, Michelle! We’re glad that you’ve come “out” as a poet and we’d love to give you a place to share your work.

  4. Do all rights remain with the poet?

    • Yes, of course. All rights remain with the poet. You’re invited to send along a copyright notice if you’d like to, like E.D. Faulkin did.
      If you’re posted, you can request that your poem be removed at any time– just send an email to poetspeak.com@gmail.com.

  5. I found this site on Craigslist, and it seems like a really neat idea! Plus using the internet to showcase original poetry, where all rights remain with the poet, is a great way to get our work out there! Count me in.

  6. Hey —

    This site is awesome. I plan on participating and scoping it out more, now that I’ve graduated and gained a bit of free time. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for lighting up my life (Tara),

  7. Thank you for this generous site. I’m looking forward to more of it. Peace,


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