Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Follow BestAmPo on Twitter

« Happy Birthday, Robert Lowell (by Laura Orem) | Main | Happy Birthday, Richard Wilbur, 90 years old today! »

March 01, 2011


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference poetry out loud: stage vs page [by Nic Sebastian]:


Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf, whom I'll feature in my Monday Muse column next week, has made it his mission to unit poetry and music. He performs his poetry with jazz musicians.

I'm not so sure that the issue of page vs stage is one of snobbery so much as humility. I'd hate the idea of presenting myself to an audience as some sort of celebrity or Poet with a capital P.

You need to have a fairly large ego to perform and it is difficult to hang on to your humility alongside that withut it appearing false.

For me, it isn't about not having the skill to read poetry out loud, either. I've learned to do that, and certainly enjoy recording readings whether of my own poems or those of someone else's.

The other thing is that some poems have a small, intimate voice that would sound ridiculous in a big room. If you happen to write that way you are less likely to want to read publicly.

Having said all of that, I once gave a reading to a fairly small room full of sympathetic listeners (art lovers rather than primarily poetry lovers, it has to be said) and enjoyed it, as they seemed to. The thought of Open Mics or Poetry Slams seems rather daunting to me: competitive, like a wrestling match!

"you need to have a fairly large ego to perform"

Philip - what do you mean by performing? I'm saying that just standing up to read your poems for an audience, whatever the size of the audience or the room, is performing. Are you saying something different? Best, Nic

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Follow BestAmPo on Twitter


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Shop Indie Bookstores

This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



A creative communications, branding, and resources consultancy founded by Victoria C. Rowan


Reach a Wide International Audience

Advertise on the Best American Poetry Blog