Podcast Directory

Librivox: Danse Russe by Williams, William Carlos show

Librivox: Danse Russe by Williams, William CarlosJoin Now to Follow

Williams spent his life as a doctor practicing pediatric medicine in northern New Jersey, a few miles west of New York City. During the work day, between seeing patients, he often dashed off poems on the backs of blank prescription pads that he kept in his pocket. This particular poem was written in just such a spontaneous way, after seeing the Russian Ballet perform in Manhattan. Each of the 16 readers in this collection took the challenge to make the same kind of leap - reading it spontaneously. (Summary by Alan Davis-Drake.)

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Librivox: Ghost Story Collection 001 by Various show

Librivox: Ghost Story Collection 001 by VariousJoin Now to Follow

A collection of ten pieces, read by various readers, about the unreal edges of this world in legend and story; tales of love, death and beyond. If just one story prickles the hair on the back of your neck, or prickles your eyelids with the touch of tears, we will have succeeded. (Summary by Peter Yearsley)

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Librivox: War Is Kind by Crane, Stephen show

Librivox: War Is Kind by Crane, StephenJoin Now to Follow

This weekly poem commemorated the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with “War is Kind” by Stephen Crane. The title takes on a gentle yet harrowing irony as this poem powerfully evokes the human costs of war, both the victims of the battlefield and those left behind. (Summary by LauraFox)

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Librivox: Practice of the Presence of God, The by Lawrence, Brother show

Librivox: Practice of the Presence of God, The by Lawrence, BrotherJoin Now to Follow

The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of letters and transcriptions of conversations, compiled by a disciple of Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk and head cook in his monastery's kitchens. He quickly gained an international reputation as a mystic and spiritual counselor. The Practice of the Presence records his last words of advice to his friends and disciples, as he suffered from an unnamed illness which would eventually take his life. (Description written by Kirsten Ferreri.)

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Librivox: Ballad of Reading Gaol, The (version 2) by Wilde, Oscar show

Librivox: Ballad of Reading Gaol, The (version 2) by Wilde, OscarJoin Now to Follow

In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to 2 years of hard labor for acts of ‘gross indecency’. During his time at Reading Gaol, he witnessed a rare hanging, and in the three years between his release and his untimely death in 1900, was inspired to write the following poem, a meditation on the death penalty and the importance of forgiveness, even for (and especially for) something as heinous as murdering one’s spouse; for even the murderer, Wilde argues, is human and suffers more so for being the cause of his own pain, for ‘having killed the thing he loved’; for everyone is the cause of someone else’s suffering and suffers at the hands of another. It is this that Jesus Christ could see; he could continue to see the beauty of our humanity, despite all that we may do to each other, and encouraged us to love each other just the same. “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” was published in 1898 and would gain Wilde greater recognition as a poet (in addition to being a great playwright); although his only other volume of poetry, one of his earliest works that he’d published, was also well-received. Sadly, ‘The Ballad’ would be his last. (Summary by Linda Leu).

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Librivox: Long Poems Collection 001 by Various show

Librivox: Long Poems Collection 001 by VariousJoin Now to Follow

Librivox's Long Poems Collection 001: a collection of 5 public-domain poems longer than 5 minutes in length. (Summary by Alan Davis-Drake)

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Librivox: Key of Gold: 23 Czech Folk Tales, The by Baudis, Joseph show

Librivox: Key of Gold: 23 Czech Folk Tales, The by Baudis, JosephJoin Now to Follow

Not your common fairy tales, this collection is a mixture of morals, quirkiness, and sarcasm. In it one finds ironic derivatives (if not roots) of well known fairy tales such as “The Brave Little Taylor” and “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as some more unusual settings to impart the popular fairy tale themes of justice and happily ever after. Most stories are told with wry humor and often shocking irreverence for the expected fairy tale turn out. This is NOT a book for children, but one for adults who love fairy tales, and enjoy making fun of them. DISCLAIMER: Story 09 contains some racially offensive material in its ending. Due to the LibriVox mission of reading, rather than rewriting, literature in the public domain, it has not been omitted from this anthology. (Summary by MariaSC)

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Librivox: Ballad of Reading Gaol, The by Wilde, Oscar show

Librivox: Ballad of Reading Gaol, The by Wilde, OscarJoin Now to Follow

Wilde’s meditation on capital punishment, the Ballad of Reading Gaol comes after he was convicted and imprisoned under charges of gross indecency. The charges stemmed from his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, the son of the Marquis of Queensberry. It relates the story of an execution of a man who murdered his wife which Wilde witnessed during his internment. Published in 1898, it was Wilde’s last published poem as he would die in 1900 from cerebral menengitis, caused by syphilis.(Summary by John Gonzalez)

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Librivox: Jazz Fantasia by Sandburg, Carl show

Librivox: Jazz Fantasia by Sandburg, CarlJoin Now to Follow

As our weekly poem of 30-July-2006, “Jazz Fantasia” was a special challenge because it isn’t just about jazz, it IS jazz. The rhythm is central, but not so clearly defined, so we had to play around and improvise. Every reading is unique! (Summary by LauraFox)

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Librivox: Importance of Being Earnest, The by Wilde, Oscar show

Librivox: Importance of Being Earnest, The by Wilde, OscarJoin Now to Follow

The Importance of Being Earnest is a classic comedy of manners in which two flippant young men, in order to impress their respected beloveds, pretend that their names are “Ernest,” which both young ladies believe confers magical qualities on the possessor. It was first performed for the public on February 14, 1895 at the St. James’ Theatre in London, and is regarded by many critics and scholars as being the wittiest play in the English language. (Summary from Wikipedia.org)

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