Voice Alpha

on reading poetry aloud for an audience

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audio contest – “You decide your entry fee!”

At the Missouri Review:


Poets are encouraged to enter an original poem or collection of poems as a single audio file for this category.

Judging will be based on the following criteria: literary merit, technical proficiency, and how the author uses audio media to further the literary strength of his or her piece.

Time: 15 minutes or less.
First Prize: $1,000

You can listen to last year’s winner, Laurel Bastian, read the winning entry here. (She starts reading at about 1 min 38 secs in). Excellent reading.


‘how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing’

Couldn’t resist this one. Beyond the fact that it seems to be some sort of ecstatic religious aubade, no idea what this poem is saying. And I find the reading overly-dramatic, not to say histrionic. But am still caught by the reader’s near-ecstatic enthusiasm for the words. See what you think.

The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins, read by Hugh Schwartzberg (poem text)


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