I was looking up information on T.S. Eliot and found this archival recording of him reading “The Naming of Cats”. I instantly fell in love. Though I’d read the poem before, the way I’d read it was very different from the author reading it aloud. And it was wonderful to hear T.S. Eliot’s voice, his accent, the cadence, and the richness of his tone. It was then that I wondered, were there other archival recordings of famous poets reading their works aloud?
Much to my delight, I discovered that NLS had teamed up with Random House Audio to provide our patrons with some of Random House’s Voice of the Poet series. There are eight individual poets you can listen to through NLS’s selection of this series’ titles. The poets featured include e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, and Sylvia Plath. There is also one collected volume available that’s entitled American Wits, which has Ogden Nash, Phyllis McGinley, and Dorothy Parker all reading from their own works. Think poetry isn’t for you? I still encourage you to give one of the Voice of the Poet titles a try. There’s nothing quite like the narration of a poem by its writer, and I bet once you hear one you’ll be hooked.