8. Tuning In Again
Kelli Russell Agodon's “What TO DO When Giving a Poetry Reading” is valuable especially for its consideration of the audience.
Point #7 is a great point, on the importance of choosing works best suited to aural presentation or providing copies if the audience would benefit from being able to see as well as hear.
We also thought point #9, asking yourself what you hoped the audience would take away from the evening, was a particularly good way to consider the audience's needs.
An answer may be an abstract idea or something as concrete as a copy of a poem to hand around, as Ann recently did at a post-Valentine's reading with a copy of e.e. cummings' [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in].
Point #13’s metaphor of poetry as the bridge for connecting with the audience is useful too.
Kelli also wrote “What Not TO DO When Giving a Reading." In addition to her suggestions, the comments added by her readers offer additional wisdom.