Imagine a small tribe living on the edge of the savannah. A tribe with it’s requisite, antler festooned Poet-Philosopher-Shaman doing her shape shifting, neologising, bewilderment making best to entertain us. What he or she presents to the tribe on a daily basis is fruit of a kind of psycho-poetic labour. Maybe couched in a technically tricky and arcane form like a sestina, or terza rima, stuffed to the gills with near and slant rhymes, the individual quest is synthesized for collective consumption. So important is this work for those who gather to listen or read that the creator of these poems is rewarded with the highest accolades. For her cooking pot: the tastiest morsels from the hunt. For her feet: incredibly warm and cosy winter slippers made from aardwolf pelts. Fast-forward a million years, and we (the tribe) still need and thankfully have such people amongst us, such as Niall O’Sullivan, and his Mundane Comedy project (which alas, is no more, but all the work remains online). For me the Mundane Comedy was a 1o pm thing. Each night, just before going to bed, Niall’s daily posting about fatherhood, Herne Hill, fair trade houmous, Star Wars, monarchism, the London riots, or whatever he thought needed to be processed that day for himself and us would pop into my inbox, and suddenly I’d be made a few stanzas more savvy about the world and my place in it. [Read the poem before listening to the podcast + some more info about Poetry Unplugged which Niall hosts each Tuesday at the The Poetry Café in London]
As featured in…
"The title says it all. Read Me Something You Love invites literary lovers to select a piece of writing which excites them. Steve Wasserman, then trundles around to your home with his mobile recording studio in an attempt to translate the pleasure of the reading aloud experience to a wider audience.
“One of the joys of doing this is being open to the experience of how other people’s enthusiasms will wing their way into your life and get you all gee’d up about stories or poems you might never have glanced at twice,” says Wasserman.
Anyone can take part, just email your suggestions to Steve. The only real requirement is that your selection has proved spine-tingling to you in some way. Readings are limited to 20-25 minutes, so a short story, a well-chosen extract or a poem are perfect.
Time to start practicing in the mirror methinks."
"I don’t know about you, but seeing someone read a book on the Tube often gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that this potentially wasted part of the day is enriched by a good book. The rarity of book lovers gracing the seats of the Underground these days makes me feel both sad and like I’m in a secret club that is only acknowledged by a sideways glance at the books of fellow commuters.
So on discovering the Human Reading Being blog, part of the Read Me Something You Love project, I was terrified that I’d spot a terrible picture of myself reading something embarrassing and then overjoyed that this humble daily habit is being celebrated.
Read Me Something You Love involves Steve Wasserman asking authors and non-authors alike, to read a piece of literature they love before leading a discussion on the piece. If you love submerging yourself in the imagination of others, come and celebrate this dying pastime."
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