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Poetry is, by nature, a private artwork. There is no such thing as a have to share it with anybody if one doesn’t need to. However I’ve all the time wished to. All through my life I’ve discovered myself drawn to different poets. I joined studying golf equipment, faculty magazines, entered contests and took part in open mics- something to get me nearer to my lifeblood. This can be a want that continued into maturity, and by 2020 I had joined a number of native inventive workshops, open mics, and writing teams.

When the pandemic hit, I used to be not capable of take part with my poetic neighborhood in the identical manner. I needed to adapt to an enormous change in way of life.  I now needed to reimagine my idea of neighborhood, as a result of going with out one was greater than isolating; it was crushing. My focus needed to pivot from the tangible to the digital.

In September 2020 I started writing evaluations of poetry books on my web site, hannahrousselot.com. This undertaking was a technique to have interaction with modern poets’ work, sure; however greater than that, it was a manner for me to get to know my friends, to forge connections between myself and people a continent away. Throughout the pandemic, I used to be privileged sufficient to seek out myself with an unimaginable period of time on my palms. I don’t have any youngsters and now that I used to be caught at house, I started brainstorming methods I might fill my days. I began to marvel: how can I have interaction with poetry authentically if I can not see poets in individual? What does it imply to foster a poetic neighborhood over the web?

Asking these questions and pondering their solutions is how I got here up with the idea for my podcast, Poetry Aloud. On Poetry Aloud, I function one modern poet and their work. I electronic mail backwards and forwards with the poet to ask them what’s their favourite poem they’ve written and why. Then I choose certainly one of my favourite poems from their work and skim each on air, with my very own ideas and dialogue following every poem. I shut out the podcast by studying certainly one of my very own poems.

Once I first began this undertaking, I had no thought how a lot it will resonate with each myself and others. There’s a energy to studying poems out loud, particularly these written by others. It offers them a texture, a taste that lingers on the tongue and  breathes a complete new dimension into them. Earlier than I document my podcast, I select which poem I’m going to learn from the featured poet’s assortment. Then I spotlight or circle the pictures that talk to me and write a few phrases within the margins concerning the total emotions or themes the poems talk to me. With no different preamble, I document. Typically whereas recording I discover myself misplaced within the poet’s phrases, concepts and connections forming after studying the poem aloud that didn’t exist whereas studying it inside my very own thoughts. That is by design; I don’t learn the poems aloud till I’m recording in order that the listener can obtain my real response to the poem itself.

The outcomes had been unimaginable. Not solely was I assembly new, astoundingly proficient poets however I used to be additionally forging a real and private relationship with present poetry from throughout the nation. Now I’ve connections with poets who’re keen to affix a digital poetic studying or evaluate one another’s work. I’ve a poetic neighborhood irrespective of the place I dwell, one which I constructed by way of collaborating in Fb teams, offering evaluations, and Poetry Aloud. That is one thing that may nurture me lengthy after the pandemic ends. That is fixed, sturdy, and loving. I’m desirous to see what the long run holds for me.

Poetry Aloud is a podcast that contains a completely different modern poet each episode. I learn two poems from their printed assortment: one that’s the poet’s favourite and one that’s my favourite. After every poem, I present some perception on how each the poet and myself select this poem and why they spoke to us so deeply. On the finish of the podcast, I learn certainly one of my very own printed poems.

Hear wherever you take heed to your podcasts!


Hannah Rousselot (she/her) is a queer French-American poet, author, and educator. Her work revolves round her experiences with psychological sickness, love, loss, and her connection to the world. Her poetry has appeared in lots of publications, together with Parentheses Journal, The McNeese Evaluation, The Blue Nib, and The Broadkill Evaluation. She has printed two lengthy phrases, Fragments of You (Kelsay Press) and Ocean Currents (forthcoming from Ending Line Press). You may observe her work on fb.com/hmrpoetry or @hannahrousselot.

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