So now what? Now that we’ve captured the inspiration, honed the idea, clarified the expression, work-shopped the poem with fellow poets and integrated their feedback, we’re done, right? Ready to present it in public, right?
Ann Teplick, Matt Quarterman and I agreed, after such hard work, we wanted to explore presenting poetry more before we ventured in front of an audience again. Some of us had prior experience and training as performers. Others of us didn't and aimed to be better prepared.
The purpose of our exploration is not performance but how, as poets, we might better present and embody the poems we read in keeping with the point Robert Pinsky makes in Democracy, Culture and The Voice of Poetry. “The reader is not merely the reader of the poem but the actual, living medium for the poem. ...it is the embodiment of the poem, not ... any performance, that is essential.”
We hope to explore insights into a poem’s presentation by considering the audience, mechanics of voice, examples of others' presentations and feedback on our own practice.