vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.
Recordings on voca often offer opportunities to hear a poet’s newest work, sometimes years before publication in book form. In this fall 2015 reading, Srikanth Reddy reads from a manuscript entitled Underworld Lit, which will be published by Wave Books in August 2020. Reddy demonstrates a masterful understanding of form and parody: in this track, you’ll hear a course description for “HUM 101: Introduction to the Underworld,” and Reddy pushes the boundaries of that familiar form to their humorous limits. The absurd is juxtaposed against the expected, revealing the expected as absurd: HUM 101, you’ll find, requires that students complete “an oral lamentation” while also promising to develop “communication skills that are crucial for success in today’s global marketplace.” Consider writing a poem in the form of a course description of your own.