Poet Voice and Why it Grates

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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3 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    I hate Poet Voice (I didn’t even know it had a name, I just thought of it as pretentious reading). It’s like listening to Siri or Alexa read a story.Report

    • I knew nothing of poet voice, but it sure seemed to have similar issues with “dull preacher voice”, “Powerpoint presentation voice”, and “staff meeting with no particular purpose” voice.

      In seriousness though, I think there is something to the arts, especially something that can be unapproachable to start with like the more academic poetry discussed here, almost making it a criteria to be unrelatable as a point of honor.Report

  2. That’s very interesting, though I haven’t read the whole thing yet (just what you linked to). Perhaps what that article describes is of a part to why I strongly dislike “NPR voice.” It’s not exactly the same thing as “poet voice,” but it’s similar, at least to me.

    However, I used to belong to a poetry scene in Cherryplatte and (very briefly) here in Big City. To me, there was much more variation than what the article describes. That’s possibly because these scenes were not primarily academic venues but more like (for lack of a better word) “amateur” venues.* The scenes I was involved with also existed alongside slammers, who use voice very differently from how the academic poets use it.

    *Some actually had work published, but most (not all) were self-published. The vast majority of the participants had a non-academic job. But I don’t mean “amateur” pejoratively. From my experience, these scenes were quite innovative and a good number of their members were very talented.Report