The first article generated some interesting discussion around the idea of collaboration and the ‘poetry reading’ as a way of connecting with audiences and breaking down the publication barrier. This brought to mind a quote by Les Murray:
“The public reading is the real hope of poetry at the moment. Far more people will come to a reading than will buy a poetry book. Gathering warm bodies for a public reading doesn’t automatically translate into more people heading to a bookstore or poring over poems on their own time. And of course, if a poem is ill-presented—as so many so often are, since a majority of poets either act as if they’re encountering their own poems for the first time, or else histrionically wring every atom of significance from them—potential book-buyers can be driven away from poems that work wonderfully on the page.”
taken from the article, The Peril of the Poetry Reading by David Groff (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5913)
This, as Groff points out, is at once a double edged sword, as on one hand, Murray praises the poetry reading as the real hope of poetry and on the other, outlines the risks associated with a poor reading.
In the coming weeks I will be talking with several poets who have had success both on and off the page about poetry and the spoken word and whether there is a line that separates them.
Until then, let’s consider this… if conversation is what humanises the world, is it not the responsibility of the poet to bring poetry back to the public sphere in its spoken form to increase the visibility and audibility of all manner of dissenting ideas about poetry?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.