June 18, 2010
Yes, it's a challenge sometimes but of great benefit to me as a poet, to see how and what my written word communicates to a live audience. Their thoughtful feedback helps me to smooth out the rough spots, focus on a subject, cut away the superfluous extras.
While this is not a traditional "reading" (with--usually--polite applause but no clear idea what the audience thinks), our setup is always constructive, supportive, conducive to making progress as a writer. Can't believe how long I went with no one truly listening.
A great pleasure to be part of this group, to help set up meetings and meet new poets. For over forty years I've been looking for just this type of poetic outlet.
Realizing that poetry is communication--but I've always kept it to myself--this is a galvanizing way to come out of my shell, to share, hear, debate, LOVE a poem in its entirety. Like a play or song, a poem is ALWAYS "in progress"; I knew that already but never felt poetry be truly alive before.