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December 19, 2012

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Hi Tomas,

I wish more MFA programs would give craft lessons on how to give readings. Fiction writers have their own set of issues. But poets have the whole s-l-o-w-n-e-s-s issue,amount of patter, as well as "degree of singsonginess" as I've come to call it.
We had one great afternoon while I was at Bennington, during which Don Hall and Liam Rector gave pointers-- competing pointers-- for giving a poetry reading. My favorite takeaway? Always read UNDER your time allowance.

Did you get any education in grad school about pacing and vocalization at readings?

I'll bet a trench coat would look fantastic on you.

Hey Leslie,

Nope, from what I can remember we received no pointers re: how to read. I do remember having the sense when I was a kid that I was a pretty good "vocalizer" of whatever we were reading in class. When I was really young I liked to read out loud because I loved the sounds of words, so I think that helped a lot.

I like that pointer about reading under. Better to leave them wanting more than wanting to run!

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