performative poetry

Let me preface this post with a quick advertisement:

Tomorrow from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM there’s going to be an open mic focused on female artistic expression at Cricket’s. Truthfully, I don’t know a whole lot about it but I’ll be performing around 9:00 PM. If you’re free, consider swinging by and supporting some talented women!

Alright, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

My experience with performing my poetry is admittedly limited. I do have experience with public speaking more generally, but there’s something far more personal about reading your own writing. In anticipation of performing at the open mic, though, I’ve been taking a look at my poems through an unfamiliar lens, given I have to reconsider my poems with regard to their performability.¬†

Should I present poems which are focused on sound, given they are being read aloud? These is my inclination, but I’m sort of reluctant given my sound-centric poems tend to make far less “sense” than those that are more content-oriented, and I have a weird and (probably irrational) fear of presenting my audience with poems with inaccessible meanings. Perhaps this is more so the case given the setting of my performance; does a poem that¬†seems like it’s about womanhood and sounds good belong in this open mic any less than a poem wherein sound is secondary to the fact that it’s about womanhood? Are some poems more fit for performance than others in general?

I don’t have a conclusive answer to any of these questions, but hopefully I will by tomorrow night. I guess stop by Cricket’s if you have any interest in finding out!

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