Engaging with Lytle Shaw's Narrowcast: Poetry Audio Research as a point of departure and persistent interlocutor, this essay argues that new digital methods of studying recordings of poets as speech share common ground with the speech science used in insidious practices of state‐sponsored surveillance. It extends Shaw's argument, which focuses on poetry audio in the 1960s, into the current moment to highlight how the work of digital humanists working with sound is liable to misappropriation. Machine listening, a practice used to parse thousands of hours of audio in condensed periods of time, is increasingly being used to study poetry recordings, and it fundamentally reorders traditional modes of reading/listening. Such practices also move the line between signal and noise, changing the threshold between audiotext and paratext. Poetry scholars interested in sound need to attune their ears to ways of listening that leverage machinic prostheses and to be aware of the dangers that come with such newfound abilities.

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