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Unread 06-18-2019, 03:23 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I read some poems out loud to actual human strangers for the first time tonight, at an open mic in Leek in 'Brewce's Bar'. There were four people there. It felt amazing.*

Just wanted to mark the occasion.

Cheers!

Edit: * Emphasis on the subjective felt. There were moments that did, when I could feel the words of my own poems sounding new to me. I rarely read them aloud to myself above a whisper, let alone to people. Not much about the event could be called objectively amazing, it was all a bit awkward haha.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 06-19-2019 at 06:28 AM.
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Unread 06-18-2019, 03:45 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Congrats, Mark! Not sure I could do that. Will you be going back?
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Unread 06-18-2019, 03:53 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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A watershed moment. Congratulations!

Cheers,
John
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Unread 06-18-2019, 03:55 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Oh, no, he's reciting his poetry to strangers now! Time for an intervention!

Seriously, congratulations, Mark. That's cool.
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Unread 06-18-2019, 07:18 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Mark,

That's freaking awesome. Congrats. It's an event worth noting! Some of us have never done that.
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Unread 06-18-2019, 10:44 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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There is something wonderful about the connection that poetry makes when read aloud by the author to an audience. Congratulations on getting your first taste of it. May you have many more.

Susan
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Unread 06-19-2019, 02:44 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Thanks folks. I suppose being a high school teacher helps with the nerves, in that I'm used to declaiming in front of tough crowds. I would go back, Matt, yes, if it happens again. It's only the second time they've done it. I spoke to the woman who organised it, who said there was a slightly better crowd last time. There really was only four people there. I might have to get proactive and help. There's really not a lot going on where I live, poetry-wise.

I'm curious how much engagement people have with poetry outside of the Sphere and submitting to journals. Do people read regularly? Where? Have you never read aloud, Matt?
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Unread 06-19-2019, 04:36 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I read locally from time to time. I used to do slams for some time in Indiana. Our local library wants to give me a book reading but I've not got round to it, though I did once read in Spanish at an event "Voces de Texas y de Nuevo Mexico." I almost never submit to journals.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 06-19-2019, 08:16 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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When I taught at a small public university in Minnesota, I gave regular readings there, and I also read my poems sometimes at the annual poetry conference I would attend. My efforts to find other venues, either by showing up at advertized open mics at nearby bars or other campuses or by volunteering (to professors elsewhere that I hadn't met or that I knew slightly or to bookstores) to give free readings did not usually pan out. Either the usual members of the group sponsoring the reading would hog the mic or the event would be almost entirely student musicians playing instruments and singing or the professors or bookstores would not respond to my offer. I did once get an invitation from a Classics club to read my Latin translations, in response to a letter sent to an English professor offering to read my poems or translations. That was a fun event. I think writing in form was part of my problem, because most places that sponsor poetry readings seem to have a deep allegiance to free verse and look down on formal poetry. At least that appears to be the case in Iowa City, where I have usually been based when I was not teaching.

Susan
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Unread 06-19-2019, 08:38 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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You should read aloud to yourself constantly, Mark.
Hell, I write aloud.

Nemo
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