Introducing the ‘Laureate Listening Project’

24 Jul
Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo. Photo by Jesse Michener

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo. Photo by Jesse Michener

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo has partnered with the City of Tacoma and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to launch the Laureate Listening Project, an interactive audio anthology website where recorded oral poetry from members of the region will be mapped to provide a permanent record of the lives, ideas, concerns, and celebrations of a diverse community through the vehicle of poetry.

Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage audio map.

Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage audio map.

Are you curious about what an ‘interactive audio anthology website’ looks like? Here’s an example of a similar audio mapping website that highlights endangered languages around the world.

Smiraldo will work with various nonprofit and cultural organizations to encourage people from of all backgrounds to share their poetry about places and spaces in Tacoma and around the world. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, will be edited and placed on a Google map website so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site. Some recordings will be accompanied by soundscapes and music created by composers and sound artists.

Individuals who are interested in sharing their short spoken works can contact Smiraldo at vanillasoul@clear.net for further information and to schedule a recording session.

Smiraldo is also leading a team of poets as an artist in residence for the Race and Pedagogy National Conference at the University of Puget Sound this September. Poets and other artists will function as creative journalists to document ideas, challenges and solutions to address the topic of education in a dynamic and changing America. He plans to include audio pieces collected from conference participants in the Laureate Listening Project.

Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma. The Tacoma Poet Laureate position is appointed and administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. Information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program is available on the Tacoma Arts Commission website.

PrintThe Greater Tacoma Community Foundation was created to help build a stronger future for the Pierce County region. For over 33 years, the Community Foundation has partnered with generous individuals, families, community leaders, nonprofit organizations and others to strengthen the community through powerful and rewarding giving. Building a thriving, engaged, and caring community is central to its mission. In 2013, the Spark Grants program was launched to provide $1,500 micro-grants to support everyday people who want to spark positive change in their neighborhood. More information is available at gtcf.org/sparkgrants.

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