Social Poetry Project

I've been tasked with "...find[ing] a way to take poetry out of the classroom and put it somewhere it is less often seen." To this end, I've chosen to inject readings into the mid-point of my regular video game livestreams on Twitch.

The format is simple: after I return from the midpoint five-minute break, I read a poem that I've selected for that day. I choose a piece from a pool of my personal favorites. There is no preamble or explanation beyond introducing the title and author, and this is followed by as straight a reading as I can muster. The reading happens over a video game that has been left in an idle state prior to the aforementioned break; this can include a variety of background audio and visual elements. In every case, an effort is made to ensure that the final product is free for distribution through basic creative commons licensing.

I make no special mention of the poetry reading before or after. It isn't advertised as a feature of the broadcasts. It simply happens. The reading is later isolated from the recording of the live broadcast and edited for re-publishing on YouTube.

For the period of March 11 through 22, 2022, the live broadcasts containing poetry readings were heard by at least 33 unique viewers. While I have no way to measure individual reactions, as I eschew the live chat function, the Twitch channel did receive two new unique followers in that same period. Whether the decision to follow the channel was influenced by the poetic interludes, I leave to the reader's imagination.

I expect to continue this practice for at least the immediate future, as I feel it adds something unique to the broadcasts... and uniqueness is in very short supply in this particular sphere.