What is the Performance Poetry Preservation Project?
P4 is a community based effort to collect, create, and preserve the world's largest archive of poetry in performance. The P4 Archive is designed to serve the needs of scholars, poets, venue organizers, and the general public, by ensuring that this vital art form is not lost to the whims of time, chance, changing technology, and media degradation.Why should we preserve performance poetry?
Performance poetry, and specifically the Poetry Slam movement, represents one of the world's most important living art forms. It can be argued that no other art form documents the changing social scene as well as the poetry slam. Issues of both local and national importance cross the poetry slam every day, and as a whole, the body of work represents an unparalleled window into who we are as a culture, and as a people. A well-preserved archive of the poetry slam world will be of immense value to scholars, poets, and the general public, as a truly living document of our changing world.Are the recordings we've made in the past, or are making today, at risk?
Yes! With the advent of digital recordings, our performance poetry legacy is more at risk than ever! Digital records are notoriously volatile. Changes in recording technology, media storage formats, software versions, hardware platforms, and storage devices (not to mention good old fashioned media degradation) are already threatening an entire generation of performance poetry recordings. Unless we act soon and aggressively, much of this critical material will be lost forever.I'm a poet, and I'm concerned about copyright. If I have recordings in the P4 repository, am I at risk?
Absolutely not. All recordings stored in the P4 Archives are protected by copyright, and remain the property of the poet and/or venue that created them, as articulated by law. P4 will preserve all recordings and make them available for scholarly use as part of Fair Use. Any public exposure of the recordings can only be made after permission is gained from you the copyright holder. You will control what can be shared, and what (if anything) can be streamed or downloaded through the P4 Archive.Who will use the recordings archived through P4? What purposes will the archive serve?
We hope that the archives will get wide use, both by scholars in a wide variety of humanities disciplines, as well as the general public who just want to explore and learn about the performance poetry art form.How do I get involved?
We're glad you asked! Just visit our Join Us
page. Whether you are a Poet, a Venue Organizer, want to donate, or volunteer, or just stay informed, that's the place to sign up!I am a slammaster or event organizer, and I'd love to begin capturing and preserving the performances that cross my stage! What is my first step?
Contact us! We'd love to work with you to help you, and provide a safe and secure archive for the recordings you make. We're eventually hoping to provide micro-grants to venues to help them with the equipment and training they need to get started. But in the meantime, the best way to proceed is just start recording! For more information, just drop us a line
...I have old recordings (in either digital or analog formats) that I want to preserve before the media deteriorates, and they are lost forever. How do I do that?
We're so glad you asked! Because we're collecting NOW! We'd love to accept donations from you to add to our ever growing archive of recordings, that will eventually be digitized into the P4 archives. Drop us a line
for more information.