Through the winter, WCAI-FM held monthly meet-ups at pubs throughout our listening area. After requests from poets asking for a voice on our air, we started a program called “Poetry Sunday,” which features a different local poet reading a poem on-air during the local cutaway for Weekend Edition Sunday. The poems, along with a photo of the poet and a brief bio, also go onto our website. Twice a year we do a call-out, on-air and through our eNews, for submissions.
Poets email their submissions and call our “poetry hotline” to leave a voice recording of their poem. Broadcast-worthy entries are selected by a panel of published local poets (the panel changes over time), judging both the printed and the voice version. Those whose poems are selected are then asked to come to the station to record them for broadcast, or we record them remotely.
The result? Each week we broadcast the work of a different local poet in a 2-3 minute segment. Listener voices get on our air. It’s brief, but we get tremendous response. We also feature a link to the poem at the bottom of our weekly eNews.