This week the Voice Alpha gang is challenging itself to read a list poem – How To Make A Raft by Elisa Albo, a poem donated by the poet to Voice Alpha‘s list of poems for which the authors have given advance recording permission for Dear Voice Alpha, the VA reading advice program. Feel free to add your observations on the readings. If you would like to send in a reading of How To Make A Raft for Voice Alpha critique, email the MP3 to nic_sebastian at hotmail dot com.
I like the conversational style. I might have also liked a bit more variety in the reading of the lists, to let me know what the reader thinks is important. I like the warm way that Dave says “Your dog.” I like that the list of possessions to be sold or given away is read through with a bit of a rush–since to me, it’s the least important of these lists.
I had a hard time with the hard accent on the first syllable of “aspirin” – it threw me out of the warm conversational tone. And although I love the friendly tone, by the end there was not enough vocal variety for me to stay with the lists. I really like the speed (like in Dick’s reading) of the list to sell/give away.
I like the warm, casual, almost lazy tone of the first part – ‘a back door, a compass’ and ‘Aspirin, some honey’ struck me as particularly nice. The “take” list in S3 slowed a little too much for my liking, but I appreciated the effort to introduce differences in tone & pacing in this long list poem. Not an easy read!
I agree about the warmth of the reading, which for me provided supportive and personalised advice where urgency has tended to inform the other readings. The slight speed-up of the delivery of the list of items to be dumped reflected, for me, a sense of their absolute disposability at a time of such crisis. It’s the only moment in the reading in which any urgency seeps in – which, intentionally or not, lends an interesting counterpoint to the overall tone of the reading.