Friday, November 20, 2009

John McDonald CD & a challenge

I've received a pleasant surprise. Scottish haiku poet, John McDonald, has self-produced a magnificent CD of his poems which arrived in my mailbox last Wednesday. As he does in his books, John first reads each haiku in Scots, then in English. There are three tracks on the CD, one for each of his books, over an hour's worth of John reading his wonderful poems with that superb accent.

With John's permission, here are a couple of clips from the CD:

John McDonald clip one

John McDonald clip two

The amazing thing about John's CD is that the recording was made with a handheld digital voice recorder. I think you'll agree that the quality is surprisingly good, very good, in fact. Inspired, I recorded myself reading three of my poems last night:

Curtis Dunlap clip

I purchased my digital voice recorder a few months ago from the local Wally World, the cost, a reasonable $35. It has a USB port, plugs directly into my computer. On its best quality setting, sound is recorded and formatted as a WAV file. I use Audacity, a free sound editing software program to trim, delete, or silence certain parts of my recordings.

Fellow poets, I humbly suggest and challenge you to find the time and means to record yourself reading your poems. Some of you may be thinking who would want to hear me read my poems? I can assure you, someone will read your words someday and wonder what it was like to hear the poet's voice…family, friends, other poets, future generations. Think about it. Our time on this world is limited. We are all just passing through. Not only is it important for us to preserve our poems through written word, but we should also preserve our poems through spoken word and, yes, have them archived at some location.

For those of you interested in receiving John's CD, copies can be obtained for the price of postage. Email John at for specifics.


Unknown said...

Curtis, these recordings from John and from you are awesome! And I love your challenge for all of us to do that. Some of your readers might be interested in a book-with-CD that was created in 2003 by 24 poets, each reading 5 or 6 of their haiku. It is SO COOL hearing their voices! I still have copies available at $16 postpaid if anyone is interested. I can provide a list of the participating poets and a mailing address to order it if contacted at akwilsons (at) gci (dot) com.

Norman Darlington said...

That's wonderful, Curtis! Thanks for putting the samples up.

Area 17 said...

I'm just making time in a mad day to hear some of John's CD.

I can't recommend this CD highly enough for so many reasons. You won't regret adding this to your haiku library.

I'll be catching up on Dunlap's recording soon, too! ;-)

renga weblink: 1000 Verse Renga

p.s. The book Billie is mentioning is well worth buying, it's a unique project that started via the internet and became a finely produced book and CD.


snowbird said...

John McDonald, Hearing your haiku I am reminded of a time when I was about 6 years old and received comic books from my pen pal in Scotland. How surprised I was that I didn't know what the words meant!
That was a long time at a different time in a golden age.
Thanks for your haiku & the memory.

Curtis Dunlap said...

I would enjoy seeing a flood of poets doing audio readings, making CDs. Video readings can also be done fairly inexpensively and uploaded to sites like YouTube.

Terri L. French said...

Curtis, you made me laugh out loud! I have never had moonshine from a saki cup. . .well, actually I have never had moonshine. Maybe I could try saki from a Mason jar!

Curtis Dunlap said...

I know a few haiku poets who sipped moonshine from a sake cup at HNA 2007. I was right there in the midst of them, refilling their sake cups. ;-)

DejahView said...

What a fantastic recording (by both poets)! This is a fantastic idea. The media age allows us to utilize so many facets of creativity. Curtis is right: we should all take advantage of audio and visual media!!

snowbird said...

Dejah, You do some pretty good stuff yourself. :-)

Ralf Bröker said...

John's Haiku lead into special moments. And his audio gives these great verse many extra-layers.

And yes: I would like to hear more poets.

Best wishes