Call for Participants
On February 22, 2021, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti died at age 101. As a public intellectual of enormous influence, Ferlinghetti’s impact on freedom of expression, avant garde poetry, critical literacy, and the politics of dissent cannot be overstated. He founded the iconic City Lights Bookstore and Press in the 1950s which continues to embody his resplendent radicalism. Ferlinghetti was a prolific writer, editor, and translator. To honor his life and legacy and to celebrate what he loved most-the spoken word-the College of Arts & Letters and Cline Library have launched The Ferlinghetti Project, a public collection of community members reading from his work and the work he edited, published, and inspired. For more information on Ferlinghetti’s life and work and to get access to his extensive body of poetry, go to Cline Library’s Lawrence Ferlinghetti site. The Ferlinghetti Project will go live in April to coincide with National Poetry Month. Questions? Contact project coordinators Gioia.Woods@nau.edu, John.Doherty@nau.edu, Kevin.Ketchner@nau.edu View the first entries in the Ferlinghetti Project on our YouTube playlist.
Submitting Your Own Video
The project coordinators invite participants to record a reading of their choice or share a reflection utilizing the Cline Library’s One Button Studio, or go selfie-style with your phones or laptop during the month of March. Visit the One Button Studio website to learn more, view our space tutorial video, and to reserve your two-hour time slot. You can manually upload a video for this project by filling out this Google Doc (file size limit 100mb) or by emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (file size limited to 25mb). Again, we ask that you limit these readings/reflections to Ferlinghetti’s work and the work he edited, published, and inspired.
Some Tips for Recording
- Don’t make your files too large (or too small). No need to send us 4k-resolution video. It’ll make your file too big to upload. As is so often true in life, go with moderation, not the highest setting but not the lowest. If you want to get technical, we recommend 1920×1080 or 1280×720 (and 30 FPS).
- Use moderation for lighting too. Don’t record your video in the deep, dark recesses of your unlit bedroom with the shades drawn, but also don’t stand in direct sunlight on a clear-skied Flagstaff afternoon. If you want to record outside, maybe wait for early evening or morning. If you’re inside, pull back the curtains and turn on some lamps that have a shade (yes, lamps plural. Multiple light sources will minimize shadows).
- Quiet is your friend. We agree that a bustling coffee shop would be an awesome place to set this video. However, all of that bustle means a lot of background noise, which means we might not be able to hear YOUR lovely words. Consider picking a place where you wouldn’t have to raise your voice to talk to a friend who’s a couple of feet away and doesn’t have much echo. If you’re outside, ask yourself, “Is it windy?”
- Got a mic? Your phone/computer’s onboard microphone sounds pretty good for most purposes, but you can probably do better. Do you have a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone (that includes the ones with the little box on the chord)? How about some airpods? Getting the microphone closer to your mouth will mean less echo and background noise, but don’t hold that mic right next to your mouth. We don’t want to hear you breathing our your plosive consonants.
- Watch and listen before submitting. This video of you could live online for a long time or not at all. Consider watching and listening to it before you hit submit to make sure nothing went wrong while you were recording or you don’t want a second take.
- Want some examples? You can start with this video of the project’s coordinator, Prof. Gioia Woods, reading Ferlinghetti’s poem “Dog”
Or this video of Flagstaff community member Shawn Skabelund reading Ferlinghetti’s “I am Waiting”
Where’s this going to end up?
We hope to post videos and audio throughout April. If we use your video, expect it to pop up across the following: