So last month, I saw a post in the Kent Poetry Facebook group, a producer, Lenny Bunn, looking for poets to record a compilation album. At first, I tagged Neanderthal Bard to get him to take part but then I thought “why the hell not?” and put my own name foward.
I travelled up with Mark Hollihan, one of my absolute favourite poets, to the farm where Lenny’s Studio lives. When we arrived, we crossed paths with Setareh, a poet I haven’t know that long but whose work I thoroughly enjoy. She had a copy of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest with her. DFW has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration, especially as my own novel begins to take shape.
I was expecting the whole day to be a bit regimented, a changing of poets, a set number of takes and everything timetabled but Lenny isn’t like that. Mark and myself hung out for about an hour, chatting about the project, poetry, music in general before I headed in to the booth. I took a few dry runs of my poems. I chose to do the untitled film poem, I don’t have a title for it but I usually intorduce it with an ever changing pop culture title but for the sake of this project, I chose “Roll Credits” so it didn’t date the piece. I also brought a newer poem, “Ode to an Icon”, about the real life Jack Daniels.
I took two run throughs of each, to make sure there weren’t any weird sounds coming from in my mouth and that my timing was in
After my turn, Mark stepped up to the mic. Mark has one of the best cadences of any poet I know, and his flow is impecable. As a writer, I often envy Mark’s style. As soon as Mark started reading, Lenny turned to me and said “he’s got the best voice”, and I agree. It’s always nice to just zone in, being still and quiet while Mark does his thing.
Afterwards, we spent more time chatting about music and the poetry scene with Lenny, until the next batch of poets arrived and we left them to do their thing.
The poets who also put their names down represent some of my favourite people and poets from all over Kent. To be listed on an album with them is a privilege I enjoy greatly.
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