Diving For Pearls

Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck


Ingrid Bruck is an editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. Her column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 

Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor



July 2021

podcasts and videos for writers

Podcasts and videos of art forms are becoming increasingly popular with the public. The best ones I found are the product of cross disciplinary collaboration, they are what happens when you cross pollinate art forms and create performance art.


In ancient times, stories of a culture were transmitted by the recitations of the storyteller. Or the shanachie. Later, it was the book. And newspaper. Now social media and technology makes many stories available online. 


Collaborative art often pairs writing with one (or more) other art form. The writer can join ranks with an artist, thespian, musician, dancer… All art forms are candidates for shared author work: drawing, painting, music, dance, theater, photography, film, sculpture, ceramics, architecture, cooking and more.


Much collaborative art begins with the words in a book. Spoken word art takes the written word and expands its reach through recording, film, visual art and performance. The words get reinterpreted in the process of interpretation. The performance can be by a writer. By an actor. By a musician. By a dancer. By an artist. By a public speaker, that person of distinction or authority in the community. 


Each collaboration between art partners changes the art, the result is a new hybrid that expands the meaning of the art. The conjoining of arts has in a multiplier effect. Joint art uses the strengths of each discipline, it’s a fusion that enriches and evolves each art. Written words spoken or recorded becomes spoken word art. And words mixed with artistic image transform. 


There’s a large market for writing combining art forms in new and interesting ways. Performance art, concert and theater are popular forms of public entertainment that has an audience. Many enjoy spoken poetry, open mic, standup comedy, slam and improv theater.

And there’s lots of it being produced. In the last few decades, the cross-cultural marriage of art forms has gone mainstream. 


Writers commonly use technology and social media to popularize their work. Below are some links to spoken art that may be of interest to writers:


Podcasts.  Podcasts are a broadcast of the recoded voice. More sophisticated podcasts add video to voice. Voice recordings have been distributed in many ways: vinyl record, Books-on-tape, CD, and, more recently, download or live stream. Many podcasts of books and written art form (such as haiku variants) are available online. Podcasts provide an alternative to reading and are a source of entertainment. 


Some good podcasts to inspire a writer’s imagination


7 Podcasts To Binge In A Day”, NYT,  By Emma Dibdin. March 30, 202.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/arts/podcasts-binge.html. This NYT article contains a list and links to seven fiction podcasts: Wind of Change, Dirty John, The Mystery Show, Passenger List, Dolly Parton’s America, ‘Escaping Nxism’, Bag Man, “An Unsettling Secret”.  Each award winning podcasts is starter story in an episode. Listening to these fiction podcasts might fuel your writer’s imagination.


Poetry Pea - great podcast for haiku lovers.  






Recall this Book" podcast - From Erika Dreifus - Finds for Writers, June 25, 2021. Dreifus recommends this podcast for a “free-ranging discussion of books from the past that cast a sideways light on today’s world.”


Videos. Videos combine sound plus photo for online viewing. The stories and events come from books, open mics, virtual concerts and more. The reinterpreted work can become spoken art. Or a poetry concert. A live word performance on a video makes a piece of literature come alive in a new way.  


Some videos of interest to writers


The Academy of American Poets provides a free collection of poetry videos featuring modern American poetry. Includes short recordings in the voices of modern American poets reading their own poems & recordings of featured poets reading in The Laney Lecture Series.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMbWrLV3xwKly6vqhnl0IXg/videos   

The Laney Series Lecture by Terrance Hayes, 2019; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMbWrLV3xwKly6vqhnl0IXg/videos

Failed Haiku Videos – Michael Rehling, a haiku innovator and online haiku journal editor, presents videos on haiga, senryu, critique. Check out their YouTube videos and a stellar haiga series that joins visual art and haiku: 




Spoken Word/ Dance & Music Concert/ International Writing Program / Department of Dance. Art and Justice Series. University of Iowa is an educational leader in cross curricular collaboration. Writers Group & University of Iowa Department of Dance. They go beyond the recorded word, with multi-level interpretations of literature cross curricular boundaries. You can find the spoken word joined with visual art, with dance, with choral and instrumental music. 


This is how they founders describe this particular collaboration. “As we strive toward ideals of justice and equity, diversity, and radical inclusion, we find ourselves in a precarious moment, pulled simultaneously by hope and trepidation, seeking possibility while recognizing the threats that stand in our way. This duality is reflected in the prompt given to writers and dance-makers for their collaboration: when I close my eyes, I see the future / when I see the future, I close my eyes.


As a contribution to this Art and Social Justice series, the longstanding collaboration between the International Writing Program and the UI Department of Dance will result in a virtual concert of works. Brief moments of live commentary and audience talk-back will frame the virtual viewing of these premieres. The performance prompt was inspired by the title of an exhibition featuring the Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin’s multimedia work.”


I highly recommend two poetry videos of virtual readings recorded during Covid by The Academy of American Poets


shelter in poems: A Virtual Reading



gather in poems: A Virtual Reading



My favorite video this past year is a video of a joint concert performed by students and professors at the University of Iowa in the International Writing Program / Department of Dance


Spoken Word/ Dance & Music Concert/ International Writing Program / Department of Dance.



YouTube Videos are a great place to experience collaborative writing. It’s a good starting point for finding collaborative work. Enjoy browsing. May you find many writer treasures.

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