Reading Poetry Out? A Question

I’m scheduled to read some of my poetry–in public–next month. Since I have never done so before, and since I have attended relatively few poetry readings, I’m curious about what would be the best approach. My current plan, the one that feels natural to me right now, anyway, is just to stand up, thank the folks for letting me share some poems, read some poems, and then sit down. I’ve also thought about perhaps reading a poem or two by other writers between some of mine. But I don’t know. I wonder too about how to read the poems out. I don’t want to read like Pound, but I also do not want to be glacial or monotonic. Thoughts?

6 responses

  1. People love to hear where you put stress, where you pause, where you deadpan, where your eye twinkles — all the things that they have to provide on their own if they have only the printed page. I really like your idea of reading an others poem — they come to hear you, but also to hear poetry, and may smile to hear one of your favorites read aloud (for them) for the first time. How ‘theatrical’ to get is a little like asking how theatrical to get lecturing for undergraduates or for a congregation hearing a sermon, or speaking at a colleague’s retirement party. You may get a clue from those who precede you at the mike.
    Kelly, record it! It would be great to hear!

  2. I prefer that people read like they usually speak and avoid the dreaded poetry-reading voice. I like the idea of mixing in a few “cover’ poems into your set.

  3. you should read them how they sound.

    but if you read them like pound (and there is proof) i will send you five american dollars.

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