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October 11, 2021

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So much this.

Oh yes, indeed! I have given and attended many readings, in the 55+ years I've had poems published, and I've come to the same conclusions. Not everyone's brain is wired the same way. My memory is eidetic, that is, photographic, primarily visual. If I see a poem first, I'm more likely to remember it. However, a poem that's written to be read in print can also be read aloud to good effect, if it has music in it--rhythm, assonance and/or rhyme, alliteration--and if the person reading it knows how to perform so as to bring out those qualities, all of which reinforce the imagery and action in the poem. Performing is a different talent. I've gone to readings by prize-winning poets whose monotone and lack of projection made the poems impossible to hear, let alone understand or like. And the listeners! When The Widows' Handbook anthology came out in 2014, I gave a reading with one of our contributors at a community center in south Florida, to an audience of six (6) attentive people: two widows, two friends of mine, and two local residents interested in poetry. We read for them as if we had ten times as many people in the room. They loved it, they applauded, and two of them bought copies of the anthology. On the way out, we noticed a huge room behind a picture window on the other side of the corridor. In it were approximately 100 people...playing cards.

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