Month: July 2015

REEL WRITING No. 4: Talking Letters

Virginia Marshall: Okay, we’re going to start over. Hey, Melanie. Melanie Wang: Do you want me to say my name again? VM: Sure, yeah. MW: Melanie Wang. VM: Great. Um. So, last summer, what were we doing? This story will hopefully take you to a few different places. It will use audio from files and cassette tapes that people mailed or emailed to each other. So you might be thrown around a bit. This episode is about writing and recording letters and poems. I’m Virginia Marshall and you’re listening to Reel Writing: Poems and Prose off and on the tape real. Now, here’s my friend Melanie to tell you about our version of letter writing. MW: So last summer, I was in Chicago and you were in Boston. And we sent each other recordings back and forth the whole summer. Hi Melanie, it’s Ginger. Hi Ginger. MW: Each recording started with whoever was sending it talking about where they were— I am sitting in a conference room in Knox Hall at Columbia University. Right now, …

REEL WRITING No. 3: Recalling the Stacks

You’re listening to the third episode of Reel Writing: Poems and prose off and on the tape reel, brought to you by Houghton Library and the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University. This is Virginia Marshall. Today, we’re going underground. Emilie Hardman: This is the first atlas of Siberia. It’s just lying there and kind of by luck it survives. Down in the buzzing, climate-controlled basement of Houghton Library live thousands upon thousands of books. EH: There’s one where they look like kangaroos… I’ve never been able to—there they are. Don’t they look… I mean, how would he have found a kangaroo to—and why? In my mind those are the kangaroos of Siberia. I don’t want to compare it to a dungeon of scholarship, but the metaphor is somewhat appealing. I could never call it a “dusty old library” because—though some books are old enough to be written on papyrus—they are far from dusty.  EH: This is our little backpack vacuum. We have to vacuum the stacks.  That’s Emilie Hardman, the Houghton research librarian who …