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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)

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3 Comments

  1. Reply
    The Gunboat Diplomats January 1, 2018

    Hi, Ari.

    Yes, I think you should take submissions. And, by sheer coincidence, we are submitting a song for the next EAT song compilation.

    We’re The Gunboat Diplomats an independent song shop in Jacksonville Beach, Florida that records original music with a vintage vibe in a variety of genres. We’ve just completed the first two songs for our new record called “Manifest Destiny” (https://gunboatdiplomats.bandcamp.com/album/manifest-destiny), one of which is a folk/singer-songwriter tune called “Beneath A Solemn Sky.” We’re fellow Bandcampers, and the song can be streamed and downloaded for free here:

    Beneath A Solemn Sky – 3:37 – Folk/singer-songwriter – ISRC: ushm91757464
    https://gunboatdiplomats.bandcamp.com/track/beneath-a-solemn-sky

    I’m a UNF alumni from way back when, probably around the time of the Taft administration. I spotted your EAT Song 1 compilation on Facebook and really liked it, particularly The Devil Always Comes, Burn It Down, El Dorado and Clear Lake, February 3rd, 1959.

    Anyway, good job on the first compilation. And I hope you enjoyed our little song. Cheers!

    G. Smith

    • Reply
      Eat January 3, 2018

      Hey G,

      Just listened to, and downloaded the song. Okay, you’re on. I’ll email you.

  2. Reply
    Joel Peckham February 19, 2022

    Hey Mark,

    I’m kind of amazed by what you are doing here and have been going through your poetry catalogue over at bandcamp–mostly because I recently published work by Laura Minor in the anthology that I edited, Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose (New Rivers). Anyway, I see that you don’t accept submissions, but I do want to put my work on your radar. I’m a musician and poet and I’m currently working on an album of poems backed by music. But I’d like to think that what I do is a little different from what you see often in this regard–not poems backed by loose jazz accompaniment, but Poetry as rock and pop. Poems backed by music with guitars and drums and choruses. Actual song structures. Sometimes that means responding to work by someone else, sometimes it means backing up poems with my original compositions. As you know, it’s very hard to find outlets for such things, which is why I’m reaching out. I’ve published seven books of poetry and nonfiction, most recently Bone Music (SFAU) and Body Memory (New Rivers). Individual poems and essays have appeared recently in or are forthcoming Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, The Sugar House Review, Cave Wall, The Beloit Poetry Journal, and The Sun.

    Here’s a link to a sample of what I’m doing. I am playing all the instruments (except for the drums which are sampled) and the vocals are all mine. As is the poem.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acXuVBv0PY4

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