Fonograf Editions captures poets on vinyl sans shaky, tremulous, high-toned voices

There’s a fascinating piece at The Paris Review called Wax Poetic: Fonograf Editions brings poets to vinyl – Carson Vaughan – May 15, 2017. It tells the history of the recording company that puts out vinyl records of poets reading their work. 

“’Every time I heard a poet whose work I liked, I would be deeply disappointed and appalled by their voice,’ [Eileen] Myles said, referring to their limited exposure to spoken-word records. ‘Gertrude Stein would sound like Margaret Rutherford in Groucho Marx movies. It was always about class. Everything you hated about poetry would be there in those recordings. The caste of poetry being firmly defended by shaky, tremulous, high-toned voices.’”

But the recording of Myles by Fonograf Editions


“captures everything: the mulligans, the false starts, the mispronunciations, the pages dropping to the floor, the sips of water. The last track on the album is nothing more than trees creaking in the wind, recorded on Myles’s phone during an outing with friends in Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains. ‘I’m gonna catch up,’ Myles says, just before the player stops. ‘I have to pee.’ In a word, it’s sloppy—with purpose.”


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