Lytton Smith sound poem featured in online journal

“Dear World Service,” a new sound poem by Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith, is included in the second issue of ythm, an audio journal of contemporary poetry. Written in response to Robyn Schiff’s “Death of a Salesman,” Smith’s poem is one of five audio-only poems in the issue. A podcast can be found via Soundcloud. The issue also features work by Katie Peterson, Michael Joseph Walsh, and Sheila McMullin.

Taking its name from Nathanial Mackey’s gloss of “ythm” as “anagrammatic myth” in his 1993 poetry collection School of Udhra, ythm is an argument that “the spoken voice is central to both the praxis and appreciation of contemporary poetry,” and central, in particular, to the American tradition.

ythm editor Sean Pears found Smith through the blog that Smith maintains for Geneseo students in Literature and Creative Writing, The Contemporary Poem. Responding in a comment to student Nicole Pero’s post about “breaking from sound” via Benjamin Franklin, which neatly synthesized themes from Geneseo’s Western Humanities courses and the Advanced Poetry Workshop, Smith suggested “isn’t sound a form itself?,” offering Karen Volkman’s sonnets from Nomina, published by Rochester-based BOA Editions, as an example.

Smith credits the English department’s transition to four-credit courses with creating the space in his classes to incorporate student blogging.

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