CFUV Speaks brings spoken word to UVic airwaves

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There’s one thing you need to know about CFUV’s spoken word department: no, it’s not poetry. Beginning this spring, and continuing strong through the next nine months, the on-campus radio station will be rolling out diverse and original spoken word content as part of their new project, CFUV Speaks.

“Within CFUV Speaks,” Max Collins, CFUV’s Spoken Word coordinator, says, “we will be launching five separate spoken word programs that will be broadcasted on our schedule. Those programs, each of which have eight episodes that are an hour long, will be aired a month after each other.

“So each program will span two months, and the five programs will overlap each other a little bit to provide at least two hours of original spoken word content at CFUV, made by students and community members from Victoria.”

Unlike news broadcasting, the goal of CFUV Speaks is to create timeless content that listeners can enjoy and find useful weeks, or years, down the road; hence the diverse and expansive topics of CFUV Speak programming.

The five shows will cover everything from intersectional feminism to campus culture, drawing in audiences with varying interests and familiarity with the station.

The first of the five programs, Full Circle, will focus on community affairs and life in Victoria. Taking Up Space will follow, focusing on issues of intersectional feminism, including race, gender identity, class, and ability (leading to conversations about where these intersect). The third program, All Access, will return to CFUV’s roots: music. It will include voices from around the Victoria music scene, including musicians, promoters, and fans, and will include how-to segments, covering everything from how to start a band to how to prepare for going on tour.

U in the Ring, CFUV’s longest-running and best-known program, looks at campus life — topics discussed will include issues that pertain to students and their time at UVic. The final program will be a variety program with what Collins calls a “satirical edge.”

The lack of music is a clear divergence from the radio station’s norm, but CFUV Speaks is also different in that everything is produced by a podcast production team, rather than having volunteers or staff work independently and bring a finished product into the station. The team includes interviewers, editors, script writers, audio technicians, and hosts — each of whom have a different, but equally important, role to play.

Max Collins is organizing CFUV’s new spoken word programming. Photo by Belle White, photo contributor

“The team itself involves interviewers who go out and get the story, talk to people about whatever we’re looking for,” says Collins. “Script writers take the piece and create a narration for it, and decide what exactly in the interview needs to be used for the topic. Then we have editors, who are the ones that lead production — they add music to the piece, they make it sound good, they take out parts that are not the best (by direction of the script writer). We also have audio technicians, who are the ones that will be on-air — they work the soundboard during either panel interviews, which involves a really big soundboard, or just during our live presentations. And we also have the host — we call the host the ‘salesperson’ — they’re the one who takes all of this really great content that we made and they show it to our audience in a way that is palatable and makes them want to listen to whatever is coming up.”

If you’re passionate about podcasting, or if it’s something you would like to learn more about, the doors of CFUV are wide open.

“We made this project for people who want to start podcasting and they want to make a really good, high-quality podcast series, but they don’t know where to start,” Collins adds. “This is really a place to hone your skills for the different parts of making a podcast without becoming burnt out.”

CFUV Speaks is also hiring work study students to be producers for certain programs; the station is hoping to fill the positions for All Access, U in the Ring, and the variety program.

Thus far, says Collins, the department has received a lot of positive attention regarding CFUV Speaks.

“I feel like it’s a super successful project that CFUV has taken on, and I think that it’s probably one of the biggest projects that we’ve taken on for quite some time. It’s probably the biggest project that the Spoken Word Department has taken on. It’s going really well.”

Of the five programs coming to UVic airwaves, Collins is particularly excited about All Access.

No matter which program you listen to, however, one of the coolest parts of CFUV’s programming, says Collins, is its community connection.

“You can be a part of it and you can hear your friends or your fellow students working on something. This is really high-quality stuff that we’re making. We’re trying to make it sound like something you would hear on NPR or Public Radio Exchange . . . And it’s you, it’s the community that’s making it. It’s not someone that you don’t know. It’s your friend or yourself or your professor.”

More information on CFUV’s spoken word programming can be found by visiting cfuv.uvic.ca or emailing spokenword@cfuv.ca To get involved with CFUV Speaks, email volunteer@cfuv.ca.

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