Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day Six - Live Poetry Readings


It wasn't until college that I went to my first proper live poetry reading. By graduate school I was seeking them out and going to two, sometimes three, possibly even four readings of poetry and fiction in a week. (Austin has a reputation for being the live music capital of the world, but I would contend that Boston deserves the moniker of live poetry reading capital of the world!) Live poetry readings come in all shapes and sizes, from interactive poetry slams with hooting and hollering to live readings in a library with a stark, reverential silence after the poet clicks her tongue over the final word. Why should you attend poetry readings? Well, if you've never attended one before then you are missing out on a fresh experience worth crossing off your bucket list. Live readings are in the same family as concerts; just as you attend a concert to be amongst a group of like-minded fans waiting to hear the music performed live by the musicians who created it, the audience at a live poetry reading hears the poet deliver his or her words exactly as they positioned themselves in his or her brain before being transferred to the page. I always find that live readings make my creative juices simmer then boil over; I'm left scurrying home with plenty of my own ideas to write about. If you are skeptical about live poetry and thinking that it might be a collection of beret wearing, finger snapping, goateed beatniks...well it might, but more likely you'll encounter folks like you'll find on Poetry Everywhere's fantastic Youtube channel (

And here's video of part of a live reading just to give you a little taste:

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