My name is Emily Oliver. I'm in my first year of the Creative Writing MFA Program at Cornell University up here in beautiful Ithaca, New York. I'm in the poetry track. For the past couple years, I've co-run Knox Writers' House, a 'map of voices' digital audio archive of contemporary writing, with poet Monica Berlin.
Basically, I've been traveling around the country stopping in different cities and towns to record the poets, essayist and fiction writers I find there with my Snowball USB microphone. In addition to his or her original work, I ask each writer I record to read a 'best-loved' poem or piece of prose and then I interview them about place. Its gotten to be around 400 writers (I didn’t really do much else for 3 years) from poet laureate, New York Times best-sellers types to unpublished backwoods geniuses.
I also run a compagion blog called Knox Writers’ House Contributor’s Pick of the Week, where I ask a contributing writer to choose a recording from the website and discuss what drew them to that piece. This is how we are establishing our podcast and the blog serves as a repository for another writers’ thoughts on the story or poem.
In terms of my writing, I’m working on expanding a chapbook length series of ‘poems of introduction’ I wrote in honor of different cities I visit while traveling for KWH record project. I think my actual thesis will deal with how estrangement from the physical environment (like land) complicates our experience of collective memory.
I'm really excited to be part of this community. Everyone's work is really inspiring and cool. In addition to audio archiving, I have experience with grant writing, blogging, structuring long-term projects, ‘getting in touch with professionals in the field’ emails, that I would hope someone can find useful. If anyone had questions about contemporary poetry, I might be able to lend a hand.
I am very interested in doing sound instillation art with recorded poetry and would love to collaborate. I like to work with Ed folks to make KWH recordings a better teaching tool.
I also want to learn how to make smart phone apps and to general sharpen my computer and website making skills.
I’m hoping to find HASTAC folks interested in these types of projects so don’t be shy!
This is the KWH map icon.