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Comments since July 26, 2007

Established

January 3, 2006

Text Box: Visit my other interests at Big Pond Rumour.

* The Press
* The Zine
*Online Writers Community

George Young was an intense fellow who believed he had his finger on the pulse of what was about to happen in poetry when I first met him in Peterborough in 1982. Barely surviving in his own right, taking odd jobs to support both his family and his love of poetry, he worked hard to promote writers in his community by whatever means possible. He believed, and in some cases he struggled to convince the authors, that poetry needed to be heard aloud.

 

George put every extra cent he could spare into his plan to record poets reading their own work aloud so that he could release their ‘spoken words’ as audio recordings. He believed these recording would be as popular—or more popular—than the audio books which had just started to come available in the major book chains.

 

It took time to bring his plan to fruition, and by that time he had moved to Ottawa. So, when I was invited to read at the A-Space Gallery in Ottawa on November 24th, 1985 he had already made arrangements to record the reading. What resulted was two audio cassette tapes. The first was Tape FIVE (1986) Twice Lightning Series, Gallery 101 Productions, Ottawa, Canada. My work appeared on side one and Scott Moodie and Darryl Tenenbaum shared the other side. It included four of my poems from To A Young Horse (1979) and The Body Labyrinth (1984). The second was BLACK MOTHS (1986) Scorched Earth Series, Public Energies, Ottawa, Canada. It offered a series of new poems included in my third book on both sides of the cassette.

 

If I recall, I received just three copies of each tape, then George began to promote them for community radio. It was not long before I received his report that a student radio station for an Ottawa University had presented several of his tapes in their shows. He had managed to start a virtual library of young Canadian poets on tape. He had been right, they were popular. It even surprised him, George said, but for three weeks straight both Richard Harrison and I remained in the ‘Top Ten’ requested artists for that student radio station.

 

In January 2006, I was searching for something else and came across these tapes again. I showed them to my partner, Shawn, and we listened to them. I told him the story of their creation and we both felt it was a shame to let them pass forgotten into history.

 

Now you can enjoy them too! We cleaned up the audio tracks of the 30-year-old audio cassette tapes produced by George Young and through our brand new Canadian Poetry Press, Big Pond Rumour, we have released them both on one CD. Oh, if anyone happens to know where George is… please tell him I’ve been looking for him.

 Sharon Berg: the re-published audio recordings

 

Available from Big Pond Rumour (2006)

The Tale of Two LOST Audio Tapes

                       © 2005 Sharon Berg      Web Design by Sharon Berg          Last update: July 27, 2007

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