Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Poetry Reading

It was really a thrill over the last couple weeks to get to do three readings with poets like Robert Hass, Ishmael Reed, Lyn Hejinian, Chana Bloch, Alan Williamson, and Brenda Hillman—all to celebrate the new anthology Zack edited, The Face of Poetry. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to read with a group like that again.

One thing I learned is that, while I’m reasonably nervous about reading my own work, I love reading other poets’ work. The readings’ format was that each poet read just one of their own poems and then a couple of their favorite poems by other poets in the anthology.

Well, I am just a total slut when it comes to reading other people’s work. I love it all. I could read all night long, everything from Lyn Hejinian to Billy Collins, John Ashbery to Sharon Olds, soup to nuts. (Actually I limited myself to Agha Shahid Ali’s “In Arabic,” Robert Hass’s “Interrupted Meditation,” and Mary Ruefle’s “Merengue.”) I’m not a great reader, but I think I do all right and I sure enjoy it. I only hope someday I’m as relaxed when it comes to reading my own work.

1 comment:

Diane K. Martin said...

Robert, you did great. I know you did at the reading I was at, and I'm sure you did at the other readings as well.

I love to read other poets aloud too, roll those words around in my mouth, make them mine.