Howlin’ for Audio Essays

So two things are going on right now: The audio essay re-mediating project and the movie Howl.

I am an avid listener of NPR, so I know what an audio essay is supposed to sound like along with the various forms of information that can be delivered through the audio medium i.e. news, humor, personal stories, and live audio. Since being assigned the re-purposing essay I have been listening to a lot more of NPR, I am beginning to try and internalize the style of the audio essay. What is interesting to me, is how accurate the readings are about writing and producing essays (I should hope so, they were written by NPR after all). Certain sentences about “writing like you speak” are starting to make sense and all the cues about background noise giving the listener perspective and context are all things that I am starting to think about and wondering, “hmm, how would I incorporate something like that into my essay?”

The second thing that I have been thinking about is the movie Howl. The movie is all about Allen Ginsberg and his inspiration and influence for writing the extremely controversial book “Howl and other poems” The movie (if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do) is an extremely interesting movie. It’s offbeat, has some animation incorporated and has the poem read aloud throughout the movie. In a sense, it is the most entertaining and best produced analysis of a poem that I have ever seen. After watching the movie, all I wanted to do was sit down and write a poem. I don’t even like enjoy poetry, but this movie made me believe that I do. The movie is a thrill and I highly suggest it. The best line of the movie in my opinion came during an interview portion with Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco) and the question dealt with “how he writes” and this was his response:

“The act of writing becomes like a meditation exercise. If you walk down the street, in New York, for a few blocks you get this gargantuan feeling of buildings and if you walk all day you’ll be on the verge of tears. But you have to walk all day to get that sensation. What I mean is, if you write all day you’ll get into it, into your body, into your feelings, into your consciousness…..I don’t write enough in that way.”

That line really stuck with me and I think is a great quote for this course in general and the clip is below.


Howl Clip

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