32 Poems, Billie Holiday, Boogie Shoes, Colleen Hoover, Color Master, Gods of Guilt, HOT TOPIC, Kings of Leon, literary trends, Literature, Michael Connelly, Pebble Lake Review, playlists, Ploughshares, poetry, Robert Lee Brewer, Slammed, YA fiction
What’s trending in the literary world these days? Playlists! That’s right, playlists for everything from door-stopper novels to slim, short fiction collections.
You could..um..do your thing to Kings of Leon while reading Fifty Shades of Grey (full playlist here) or you could channel Billie Holiday while digesting The Bone Season (playlist).
Better yet, you could create your own playlists for favorite books and blog about it. Here’s one that Brenna Dixon did for The Color Master. More from her Ploughshares blog series found here.
Even self-published authors can get in on the action. Some are building their playlists right into the book. Like this one from Colleen Hoover’s popular ebook Slammed.
Best-selling authors can do it too. Here’s a list of music built-into Michael Connelly’s novels. [By the way, his newest book, The Gods of Guilt, releases in December.]
Personally, I’d like to see someone apply the trend to poetry. Take a magazine with an online presence, say Pebble Lake Review or 32 Poems, and have readers post songs that suit the mood of the poem or take off on a line or an image.
I think this would attract more takers (and be loads more fun) than Robert Lee Brewer’s challenge, where he asks readers of his collection to mash together bits from his own poems to form new ones.
Although, I do applaud his innovation. We are all looking for ways to expand poetry to a wider audience. [For more on this subject, see previous post.] So kudos. I just like the idea of this playlist thing better. It rides on the back of other cultural trends and incorporates more senses.
It is working wonders in the YA fiction space. [I’ll let you google the blogs.] The question is does it belong in adult fiction?
Tell me what you think:
Do playlists add or subtract from “literature”? Poetry?
As an author, are you embracing the playlist trend or bucking it?
Carolyn Moore said:
An admirable goal, certainly, “to expand poetry to a wider audience.” After a career of university teaching, however, I continue to wonder if this isn’t the proverbial cart before the horse. Some efforts have included dumbing poetry down to Poetry Lite to appeal to a wider audience when the better (yet more difficult) goal would be to help elevate the audience to reach more challenging poems. This does not mean I’m accusing the playlist concept of automatically dumbing down our reading experience. Don’t many of us already put on mood music now and then while reading? This works fine for me when I’m reading most prose. However, I find it interferes with receiving the rhythms of much poetry and even the cadences of well-constructed prose. Ice tea with sugar or without? It matters to the imbiber only, so I leave it to each reader to decide what enhances his or her reading experience .