Posts Tagged With: poetry

Midsummer Night’s…GIVEAWAY!

UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER! LEE F. – I CHOSE YOUR SUGGESTED POEM, “WHEN YOU ARE OLD,” BY W.B. YEATS!!!

Ah the heady days of summer. Well, actually, it’s a bit dreary here in the Pacific Northwest today, but it has been absolutely gorgeous. The days are long up around these parts, and we’ve had an unprecedented run of sunshine and warmth. Berries have been plentiful, we’ve all gorged ourselves silly on local cherries and gotten a bit drunk on summer itself.

This seasonal intoxication fills me with a profound sense of gratitude and desire to reflect on the first half of 2013. Admittedly, this year started out  miserably with illness and the sudden death of some very dear people. But it has also brought me some amazing moments, including the culmination and successful launch of Going Public…in Shorts, which began as an idea for a modest li’l listener giveback and blossomed into a phenomenal collaboration of narrators, bloggers and listeners. The first half also brought with it several rewarding projects that have lingered with me including Is This Tomorrow, by Caroline Leavitt, and Survival Lessons, by Alice Hoffman, as well as the most amazing blueberry pie I have EVER had (hey, pie rates, people).

So what to do with all this reflection and gratitude? And how best to celebrate the release of the full Going Public…in Shorts compilation? Well host a giveaway of course! Oh, and make sure it involves something that feeds the soul and transforms any given moment into something beyond: POETRY!

Here’s the deal:

  • Comment below (or tweet or FB comment) with your favorite poem titles from work in the public domain (prior to 1923).
  • I’ll pick one from all the suggestions and record it for the August 9th Going Public offering
  • Comment by 11:59 p.m. next Wednesday, August 7th.
  • Tune in to Going Public next Friday, August 9th to see if your poem was chosen 🙂
  • Only open to US residents – sorry folks!

And the PRIZE?

Commenter who suggests the poem I pick will receive (drum roll please!):

gp_2400x2400 Magnificence B0824_CatchDay_D Me-Before-You.Cover_

So – what are your favorite bits of poetry? Share! Hoping we get a good poetry discussion going and that we all make a few new discoveries…

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Independence Day Edition!

Special Independence Day edition of Going Public, featuring a bit of love, respect and patriotism for and from both sides of the Atlantic.

Letters Across the Atlantic, a Patriotic Poetry Mash-up

Featuring: Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, by William Wordsworth and The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus
Read by Robin Sachs and Xe Sands

Xe writes…

Robin Sachs and I have one last trick up our sleeve, this one just a little something in celebration of our national pride and mutual respect.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch,

The City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning,

whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning.

silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;

an her name
Mother of Exiles.

All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome;

Never did sun more beautiful steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock or hill;

her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

“Keep, ancient lands, your stories pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
You huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And all that mighty heart is lying still!


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Audiobook Week 2012: My Audiobook Year

Welcome to Day #1 of Audiobook Week here at Going Public!

**UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY – WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED**

AudiobookWeek2012 picture

Monday through Thursday of this week, I (Xe) will be posting new Going Public content, blog posts, and a giveaway, in conjunction with the wonderful audiobook promotional effort of Jen at Devourer of Books. Need further info on Audiobook Week? Pop over to here and check out all the wonderful content flowing in from bloggers and listeners all over the cyberverse.

Just looking for the Going Public pieces & write-ups? Look for “Going Public #JIAM Audiopalooza” posts in the sidebar.

Monday’s discussion topics: Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

It’s the concept of discovery over the past year that I’d like to talk about today, after a smidge of introduction.

I am an audiobook narrator and voice artist, with a passion for first-person and literary fiction, and piercing poetry, so my Audiobook Week posts will be a mash-up of my perspective as a listener and narrator.

have been listening to audiobooks forever, it seems – LOL! My daughter and I began listening to audiobooks years back when we had a long daily commute. We quickly discovered favorites (the narration of Granny Nothing from AudioGO still pops into my mind, along with her hilarious little song) and developed a list of go-to narrators we came to love. We’ve since moved and our commute has ended, so the days of daily listening have sadly passed; however, in the intervening years, I’ve gone pro with my narration, and discovery has taken on a new dimension – especially this past year.

There were many enriching experiences over this past year, but today I’d like to highlight two in particular.  The first was a rediscovery and immersion into poetry, specifically the joy of reading poetry aloud – first, feeling it wash over me during the first read; then feeling it rise up out of a deep, inner place when recording it. Through W. W. Norton’s and Poetry Foundation’s Twitter & Tumblr feeds, and Twitter memes such as #TodaysPoem, my poetry landscape has expanded tremendously this past year, and my love for my college favorites (Lawrence, in particular) has re-emerged and deepened. However professionally produced audio productions of poetry are unfortunately rare.

And while this personal poetry renaissance was happening, I was fortunate to meet the wonderful Robin Sachs. True, I first became aware of Sachs as an actor (Hello. My name is Xe, and I’m a Buffy fangirl). But I actually met Robin as an audiobook narrator.

Putting on my listener hat for a momentIf you haven’t experienced one of Sachs’s narrations, make some room in your to-be-listened pile. Now. He’s an exceptional narrator with a depth and richness to his voice that is hard to match. I’ve listened to several of his narrations and he has made my list of go-to-narrators for the foreseeable future.

But in addition to discovering his work, I’ve been blessed to discover the joy of working with Robin on several projects as well, including two we prepared specifically for the Going Public push in celebration of #JIAM2012. Given the right material, we’ve found that our voices combine to create something that I have to admit is kind of phenomenal.

Take a listen – here’s what we came up with for today (for full background, see this post):

“New Year’s Night” and “Mystery,” by D. H. Lawrence  (read by Robin Sachs & Xe Sands)

(and if you cannot see the player above, please go directly to the SoundCloud page for “New Year’s Night / Mystery”)

Listener hat firmly strapped back on...And in addition to Sachs, I’ve discovered three other narrators who have blown me away with their delivery: Bianca Amato, Dan Stevens, and Bahni Turpin. I’ll offer this caveat though – I haven’t been able to listen to a whole narration by the latter two, but simply cannot wait to remedy that. But Amato? Bliss to listen to.

How about you? What have audiobook discoveries have you made this year? And which of them surprised you most? While you are pondering, let’s chat GIVEAWAY, shall we?

The Triple-threat Giveaway: 1 Audio + 1 Print Book + 1 Custom Piece

Leave a comment on any of my Audiobook Week posts before 8PM PST on Friday, 6/29, and you will be entered to win a gift package including:

  • 1 Audiobook of mine, from either Tantor (Mp3 CDs or digital download) or Iambik (download only)
  • 1 Print book of your choice from the ARCs below**
  • I’ll narrate the poem or short story of your choice (some restrictions on length/content)

…and for each post you comment on, you get your name added into the hat another time. Comment on all five posts, and you’ll have five chances to win! Regrettably, if you are outside the US, I can only offer item #3.

If you’ve got a Twitter handle, please list it in your comment so I can more easily notify you.

Winner will be announced here, and via my and Going Public’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. Winner will have until 5PM PST on Saturday, 6/30 to make their print and audiobook selections (more time can be taken for the custom recorded piece 🙂 ) Please be sure to check one of those sources after the close of the drawing.

**print ARCs to choose from:

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Going Public JIAM Audiopalooza – June 25th!

That’s right, it’s the last week of June, folks…the last week of June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM)…which means it’s *finally* time for the…

GOING PUBLIC JIAM AUDIOPALOOZA!

Monday through Friday this week, I (Xe) will be posting a new Going Public piece. I’m also participating in Audiobook Week, so if you’re looking for those posts, please look for “Audiobook Week” in Recent Posts in the sidebar.

So without further ado…let the audiopalooza commence!

New Year’s Night and Mystery, by D. H. Lawrence – a poetry mash-up
Read by Robins Sachs and Xe Sands

(and if you cannot see the player above, please go directly to the SoundCloud page for “New Year’s Night / Mystery”)

Several weeks back, I decided to offer a fresh Going Public piece every day of Audiobook Week, in celebration of JIAM. But what to do? How could I present something a little “beyond” as part of the effort?

I threw this question to reviewer extraordinaire (and dear friend) Kelli of The Oddiophile, who immediately came back with the most wonderful idea: more dual narration – which she followed up with the idea of poetry pairings, with alternating narration.

And like THAT! the flame was lit, the call went out to the ever gracious and phenomenal Robin Sachs, and a plan was hatched.

Last August, Robin and I worked together on The Answers, by Stephen Dunn. Since then, I’ve been looking for just the right project for a second collaboration and was thrilled that he was willing to join me for this very special week of Going Public. But what to choose – what to CHOOSE? Well, that’s simple really, isn’t it? Sachs’s voice offers such depth, sensuality and power, and together…well…how could we not do Lawrence?

Oh David Herbert…such a love/hate/love relationship I have with you, just like, well, a lover I suppose – there is no middle, no even path with Lawrence. He inspires such heights and depths – rage, passion, disgust, longing. There is nothing that escapes his mark of sensuality and morbidity, usually tied inextricably together. But really, isn’t that life itself – the sensual and the morbid, sex and death and sacrifice and grief pressed against each other until all the lines blur?

This first mash-up, featuring the poems New Year’s Night and Mystery, merging sensual with sacrificial imagery, meshed so perfectly together that the result was almost startling.

And I guarantee that you will never hear “falcon” quite the same way again…


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June 22, 2012

In prep for the audiopalooza happening next week, it’s a short and sweet (and nourishing!) offering from Amy Lowell, and a bit of horror  and nourishment of a different sort from Steven Savile this week…

A Decade, by Amy Lowell
Read by Xe Sands

Xe writes…

Perhaps the shortest piece I’ve done, but you just can’t judge significance by length. Lowell packs such intent and meaning into a very simple bit of phrasing. It’s compact, but it conveys everything…and a bit more.

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.

…and I am left wondering at the end if morning bread, although admittedly less “sexy” than red wine and honey, isn’t perhaps the more sensual and ultimately fulfilling of the two?

And So Yearns the Sparrow, by Steven Savile
Read by Ian Stuart, Shared by David Niall Wilson

David  writes…

This short story was written by International best-seller Steven Savile, and narrated by Ian Stuart, who also did the commercial recording of Steven’s collection The Forgetting Wood. This is offered free to listeners under the creative commons license.

Licensed under a Creative Commons License 3.0.
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