Thoughts

Daydream Playlist (English Major Mix)

When I was at Mary Wash, my English department held a weekly poetry reading during the semester.  The series was simply called Thursday Poems & was an excuse for us lit & linguistic majors to get together & soak in some beautiful words.  Sometimes it was well-attended, sometimes the crowd was spare.  It might even seem to you, dear Reader, that it was a silly, over-serious kind of thing you do in college.  But to me, it was time to take a break & re-familiarize myself with the subtle play a piece of creative writing does to our ears.  Not unlike taking a few minutes to sit quietly & remember the rhythm of one’s breath.

I miss Thursday Poems & thankfully I have a few supplements & replacements.  I’ve been fortunate enough to go to readings & conferences where people share parts of their work.  I instruct my writing group to read a portion of their draft aloud before we move to critique it.  And there are some really great podcasts, like Selected Shorts and The New Yorker Fiction Podcast that focus on reading & enjoying a performance of the written word.  So I thought I’d simply collect a list of readings & post it here–a sort of personal playlist of actual & imagined performances that I return to in my daydreams:

Sweet Reads Are Made Of These

(ok, I’m seriously corny)

Side A – The Actual Words (I’ve actually heard)

Side B – Daydream Believer (Readings I wish existed)

  • John Hodgman reads Jorge Luis Borges’s “Death and the Compass.” (Hodgman is a fantastic reader as evidenced by the Coraline link above & he’s obsessed w. Borges.)
  • Julianne Moore reads from Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. (I love what Moore does with her voice & her interior monologue in Vanya on 42nd Street proves she’s more than up to the task of performing Agnes Magnusdottir.)
  • Neko Case reads from Darcy Steinke’s Sister Golden Hair.  (Virginia girls have to stick together & Case’s reading, I imagine, would lend a knowing, looking-back maturity  to Jessie’s coming-of-age story.)
  • Steven Ogg reads from Jim Thompson’s Savage Night.  (Go watch any Let’s Play of GTAV & tell me that Trevor isn’t a character from one of Thompson’s books.)
  • Brad Dourif reads from Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood. (This is something I’ve wanted since finding out Dourif once played Hazel Motes.  I want this reading to become a real life thing so badly.)
  • Tom Amandes reads either David Foster Wallace’s “The Soul is Not a Smithy” or Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.”  (A bedtime story told by an actor whose typecast as straight-edge & suburban–when in reality both are more than meets the eye.)
  • Mary Kay Place reads from Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn.  (Honestly, I just think Place’s accent is perfectly suited for the no-nonsense, tough stories about living in the desert.)
  • Lenny Von Dohlen reads either “The Fisherman and his Soul” or “The Snow Queen”.  (This last is really just an excuse to resurrect the character of Harold Smith from Twin Peaks.  I loved Harold’s boyishness, vulnerability & cryptic illnesses.  So I thought that since he grew up in books, not Boston, that I would try to find a story equal to explaining his perspective.)
Advertisements