One thing that poets are expected to do is participate in readings of their work.
Poets who have books out will give solo readings in bookstores. Famous poets read on college campuses or at public events. There are open mics and group reading opportunities in most US cities on a regular basis.
I have read at Binghamton Poetry Project events and at the open mic at RiverRead Books in Binghamton in the past few years.
But, for various reasons, not in the last year or so…
Tonight, Sappho’s Circle, a women’s poetry group convened by former head of the Binghamton Poetry Project and newly minted PhD Heather Dorn will be offering a reading as part of Binghamton’s First Friday events. We are reading poems that came out of our work with the group, either written from prompts or workshopped in Sappho’s Circle.
We will be reading at 6:30 in our home base, the Annex of the Bundy Museum, followed by an opportunity to discuss our group and answer questions from the audience (she says, hoping that we will have an audience). We want to thank the Bundy for sponsoring our group and hope to attract some new members, as well.
I will be reading two or three poems, which I have printed out in large, easy-to-read type. I have been practicing so that I don’t stumble over my own words – or at least not too often.
It is not at all a high pressure situation, but I am feeling a bit uneasy because it has been so long since I have read in public.
Is poetry reading like riding a bicycle?