“Voracious Auditor,” Grieving Sermon, 19 September 1689, (Joshua Moodey, minister; Jer 5:3-4)

Description: “Voracious Auditor,” Grieving Sermon, 9 pages. Joshua Moodey (minister) on Jer 5:3-4 Source: [Anonymous,“Voracious auditor”]. Sermons: manuscript, 1689. MS Am 974. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Status: Primary transcription complete. Needs review. . Click here to view side-by-side transcription: Side-by-side … Continue reading

Battle-Pieces audiobook project


Hugo Ball, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 1916. He has nothing to do with Melville’s Civil War poetry. He just kind of became the class mascot after we spent an entire session on the recitation of “Gadji Beri Bimba.”

In fall 2012, students in my American Poetry class recorded an audio book of Herman Melville’s civil war poems for LibriVox.org, a wonderful organization that provides free audio books of works in the public domain. Here is just a little information about our project.

The class divided into three recording teams, and each student had at least one designated role in the process. Roles included directors, primary readers, historical dramaturgs, and sound technicians. A single project manager helped to coordinate the work of all three teams.

Each team read through Battle-Pieces and decided which poems they would like to record. Sometimes an individual reader would feel a strong connection and want to read a particular poem. Jon Brien, for example, was eager to kick off the the whole collection with his reading of “The Portent.”

In some cases, an entire team would have a concept for the poem, as in this interpretation of “Donelson,” the only poem in the collection to make use of multiple voices. Their choice works well to convey the many points of view which make up this poem.

In quite a few cases, more than one team wanted a particular poem. We decided to audition competing claimants, and the class as a whole decided which interpretations and which voices best suited some of the most popular poems. Jason DeMartini eventually won the most hotly contested poem in the collection, “The House-top,” but the competition was fierce from Laura Mathew and My Bui (who was kicking it old school, reciting from memory!). We even recorded the “The Battle for Battle-Pieces,” our very own competition reality show:


you gotta fight
for your right
to recite

Back to main LibriVox page.

Artifact Day!

Late last week this arrived in the afternoon mail:


It’s a wonderful feeling to finally hold the Thing Itself in your hand, especially when it is such a pretty little thing. (Though I cannot take credit. The cover photo was a lucky accident with a cheap digital camera in the reading room of the American Antiquarian Society. John Hubbard, a designer whose hand I would like to shake, transformed those pixels into this lovely piece of cover art.)

This, finally, was “Artifact Day.”

The arrival of Artifact Day also reminded me that I needed to hurry up and get more material finalized on this new site of mine. Most pressingly, I was reminded that I needed to get my Sermon Notebooks Online components posted, at least in some kind of Beta format. I’ve long realized that one cannot publish a book emphasizing the importance of reading sermon notebooks in order to understand sermon literature unless one is also willing to try making these quirky and rather inaccessible artifacts more accessible. If you are interested, I hope you will poke around in the Sermon Notebooks Online pages as they develop (and I hope they will be continually in a state of development and expansion). I especially hope you will let me know if you have questions, suggestions, or requests for the site.

Happy Artifact Day, everyone!