Not going out

19 Mar

Due to the recent change in family circumstances I won’t be able to get out to poetry readings and events as I used to.  Even before this I used to feel that because of childcare restrictions I was never really able to attend as much as I would wish.  However I have no wish to lose touch with what is happening in the poetry community.  And so I turn to the internet for my salvation.

I have long held that that internet is my invention of the millennium.  I literally could not do the job I have as a researcher without it.  Yes it does have it’s draw backs, but particular in a country like Scotland where creative communities can be spread across vast distances, and populations live in what are termed remote and rural   areas, having an internet engage community means that there is a level of connection that would not be possible otherwise.  It’s just a pity that in some of the remote and rural areas broadband is not what it should be.

I have made two internet finds in the past week which I expect to be fully utilising when I am inevitably home bound.  This first is the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast.  I have not really ventured into the world of the podcast before, mainly for the reason that as I get older I become more and more like my mother.  Becoming more like my mother includes assuming that every new technology is “difficult” and “for young people”.  For this illogical reason I have always shunned podcasts.  I have been amazed to find that all they are tiny little radio like programs, which generally last about half an hour.  Fitting perfectly into the time it takes to have a nice pot of tea and a biscuit or a bath.  For a long time radio has been my preferred medium, I feel that nothing can match the intimacy of the human voice, especially when lying in the dark, in your bed at night.  Therefore special poetry related podcasts are just perfect.

My second discovery, which I expect to be very old hat for most of my readers has been the Poetry Archive.  Whatever your personal opinion is of Andrew Motion I think the poetry archive is a legacy to be proud of.  I have now spent a couple of evenings clicking round the archive and have discovered new poets and poems which I feel I would not have found otherwise.  There are some gaps in the archive, but it is a work in progress and I hope over time to see some of the poets I know, and works that I love included.

I would also like to share with readers this lovely reading of a Sheila K Cameron poem Two inches tall by Tom Conti – thanks the the SPL podcast for sharing this.  I think it may almost be perfect.

Are there any other poetry podcasts or sites I should be checking out?  Please share them with me.

10 Responses to “Not going out”

  1. Crafty Green poet March 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Sorry you can’t get out and about as much now, and sorry to hear about the circumstances causing this. A good poetry resource is Read Write Poem – If I’ve got the address wrong, a quick internet search should bring it up. Also Good Reads ( has a good poetry community, mostly discussion board centred,

  2. Andrew Philip March 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    If you love the SPL podcast, you’ll also love the StAnza podcast, which you’ll find at

    As for online communities, Poets on Fire is definitely worth joining and joining in:

  3. dori and auj March 20, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    We personally like visiting this one every once in a while:
    Hope you still enjoy your time luxuriating in the joys of poetry even when confined at home 🙂

  4. Sheila K Cameron March 20, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Thankyou for finding Two Inches Tall. I am obviously delighted that you did and that you liked the recording.
    Perhaps a previous podcast by the SPL would be of interest. This one has on it a song entitled Last Night I dreamed About Doris Lessing.

    Best wishes, Sheila (KC)

  5. S.Heatly March 20, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Would love to have listened to Tom Conti’s reading of the poem by Sheila K. Cameron but could not get either of the links to work

  6. alumpinthethroat March 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Firstly S.Heatly, my sincere apologies for the links not working, I have now corrected them and you should be able to click through to both the SPL podcast and Two Inches Tall.

    Secondly, thank you to everyone for your recommendations, I will enjoy checking them out and I’m sure they will warm me over the coming months.

  7. Nick Stone March 23, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    You could try us, we’re currently trying to make the site more dynamic, by which I mean change it more frequently, so it features more stuff generally, rather than the static nastiness it was, it’s also worth noting we’re 25 this year and various events will be organised one of which is aimed at poets under 35 which you can find here our site is here

  8. Princess Haiku March 23, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Hi Mairi,
    I found you on the “best poetry blog” list where I was happy to find myself. I haven’t really looked into podcasts and after reading this post will. I don’t get out as much as I want either and this would be a great way to find the world at home. I like your blog and glad that I found it.

  9. alumpinthethroat March 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Princess Haiku – thank you so much, I have now also had a chance to discover some great blogs through the list, and I’m happy to be adding yours to my Networked Blogs. I look forward to reading your postings in the future.

    Nick – thanks for the info, I shall definitely bee keeping in touch with the new Rialto site.

  10. Paul Badger March 24, 2010 at 2:38 am #


    I enjoyed the blog post – you could always listen to my poetry podcast on iTunes at-


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