EAT began at the University of North Florida in 2007. That year, with a staff of students and alums, we released EAT 1 on CD. It was our first collection of word, sound, and song, containing work by our own students and faculty. EAT 2 came in 2008, following the model of EAT 1, except for including two poem readings by well-loved Irish poet, Eavan Boland. Credits for both albums are available in the album notes on this site.
The idea languished for a while. Not only were CDs becoming a thing of the past, the cost was prohibitive. The original model lost steam.
In 2012, I started again. Instead of advising others, I edit and produce the albums myself. I find editing and curation to be creative pursuits I enjoy. Occasionally, I bring on student assistants. There have also been collaborative projects with editors of literary journals I admire.
No more CDs. You can find EAT albums on Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Bandcamp, and a host of other sites for streaming and download. You can also listen for free on the EAT website.
EAT Poems is a particular focus. It’s a collection of digital audio chapbooks of poets reading their own work. There are a good number of poets from Northeast Florida, because that’s where I live. We have great poets here, and I want to support them by sharing them with everyone. But I also want to support poets anywhere, so I do that, too. I don’t take submissions. It’s all by invitation. And while the poems are always the heart of the matter, I don’t invite the poems—I invite the poet. That has made all the difference. EAT Poems
~Mark Ari (www.arifiles.com)