The poetry reading has, for decades, been an unavoidable aspect of the professional poet’s life. And the institutionalization of creative writing, government sponsorship of the arts, access to audio and video recording technologies, and the digitization of audio recordings, have accelerated the number of poetry readings and provided scholars with greater access to recordings of them. This situation presents profound opportunities for sound studies research, which have been answered by groundbreaking work.
However, among poetry scholars, even those who study poetry recordings, the methods of linguistics, and the computational approaches of the digital humanities, are often missing in the study of recorded poetry readings. Our research addresses that gap, and also offers ways to test the rich intuitions of traditional poetry scholarship about poetry reading styles and their evolution.
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