This month, Tyler Chadwick‘s masterfully constructed anthology—unquestionably the finest poetry anthology in, like, ever.*
Besides his stellar work as editor, you have the complicated but beautiful book design by Elizabeth Beeton, the now iconic cover painting by Casey Jex Smith, the lovely cover design by Lynsey Jepson, and the insightful essays from Susan Elizabeth Howe and Ángel Chaparro Sáinz.
And although the book has been widely acclaimed (see a few of the reviews here) and a featured text in college courses, the publisher has still not made enough money to pay off the initial outlay. Which is fine. It was published because it was important, not because anyone was looking to retire to Tokyo.
On the occasion of this anniversary, Tyler is hosting an online poetry slam.
1. All readers are welcome. You don’t have to be a poet or affiliated with Mormonism to participate.
2. Pick a poem written by a Mormon poet. The poem can be on any topic and of any length, but it must have been written by a poet (living or dead) who maintains/maintained some affiliation with Mormonism. If you’re not sure where to start, you can find lists of Mormon poets here, here, and here.
3. Record yourself reading/performing the poem. At the beginning of your performance, state the title of the poem you’re performing, the poet’s name, and “Read by [your name].” For instance, if I were performing Clinton F. Larson’s poem “To a Dying Girl,” I would begin: “‘To a Dying Girl’ by Clinton F. Larson. Read by Tyler Chadwick.” Be sure your recording is clear and in an easy-to-work-with audio format (i.e., .mp3, .wav, .m4a, etc.). If you don’t have access to audio recording software on your computer or your phone, here are three easy-to-use online resources: recordmp3.org, vocaroo.com, and SoundCloud.com.
Remember: your performance will be judged by an online audience of peers, so perform well. If you want to participate but are anxious about reading your poem aloud, check out these resources provided by the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest.
4. Submit your audio file or a link to your audio file (if you recorded it online) via this email address:
Format the subject line as follows: [Your full name] reading “[Poem title]” by [Poet’s full name]. So, again, if I were submitting the performance referenced above, my subject line would be: Tyler Chadwick reading “To a Dying Girl” by Clinton F. Larson.
**The submission deadline is midnight, November 15, 2013.**
You have about a week left. Dally not.
Already a number of recordings have been done; those posted on SoundCloud are being compiled here.
And, while you’re waiting, here are a couple of qualifying pieces I recorded which not only qualify for the slam, but should also get you into the holiday spirit:
*Full disclosure: My Peculiar Pages published Fire in the Pasture and it was I who approached Tyler to edit the volume. That does not, however, in any way, change the fact that the book is absolutely astonishing. Read the AML Award citation.
[EDIT: At Sainz's request, I've changed the link from his dissertation (which he is currently rewriting to correct some editing issues and for other fora) to his research group.// Also corrected is the new deadline.]