Last night I had a fantastic time (that middle seat was mine) reading with John Hartness and Sam Morton as part of Carolina Writer’s Night which was held at Story Slam! Charlotte. This is a terrific venue where most events are a $10 cover charge but there are drinks for sale and a cozy atmosphere where you can support the arts. I think I am going to pitch a few events from there. Definitely check out their website if you are in the Charlotte area. They also rent artists space and you couldn’t get a better location in the midst of NoDa. A great bakery and used bookstore are way too close, I’d never get anything done!
The whole experience made we want to get involved again with performing. I think that is why I love to film events, to take pictures, to record the moments not just in words but in other mediums. I hope to find more ways to get involved as I am out promoting Paper House and out supporting the work of others.
Whether or not to “perform” your poetry is always an interesting debate. Feel free to continue that discussion here. My thought is that poetry came from an oral tradition and while I don’t feel the need to rhyme or write in metrics, I think you should consider the way your words will sound read as well as the way they look on paper. That being said, the “poet’s voice” drives me crazy. You know what I mean, I hope! That affected voice that raises up at the end of each line. Anyone got a vid example? Want to call anyone out? I know, I’m evil!
Of course spoken word and poetry slams are different from what I am addressing here. I rarely memorize my poems, preferring to have the chance to pull out whatever piece I want to instead of having a few available to me at an event but I still love listening to specifically performance poets. I argue, however, that even if you aren’t a spoken word artist or a slammer you can still perform your poem, you can still give it the energy that shows the emotion behind the poem. Give your audience something more than just a da dum da dum da dum and tell them a little bit about the poem or you.
These opinions, of course, are just mine. Let me now what you think about poetry as performance.