Emeritus Professor Sean Street shares poetry with ABC Australia

Posted on Saturday, March 15 2014

BU’s Emeritus Professor of Radio Sean Street shared some of his favourite poetry pieces about sound and radio for ABC Australia programme Poetica.

Sean read some of the poetry from a collection he published called Radio Waves: Poems Celebrating the Wireless, and spoke about the history of radio and poetry.

“Before there was print, there was poetry,” he said. “Poetry was a spoken form before it was a print form.

“So I think radio has the potential to reclaim the aurality for poetry and give it back to the ear.”

He added that radio is an ideal media for poetry “because it’s coming at you out of darkness, it’s coming at you where you’re concentrating on pure sound.

“We move beyond words into a world where the sounds become the poem.”

The programme featured a number of readings of poems about radio from Sean’s book – including one he had written himself called Shipping Forecast, Donegal.

“I very quickly discovered, when I started researching for Radio Waves, how many British poets had written poems about the shipping forecast,” said Sean.

“It’s perhaps because, weather forecasts in particular or marine forecasts in particular which cite specific places and gives you a series of numbers, is what I call the cold poetry of information.”

Listen to the full Poetica programme