What a thrill to read my work to an audience last night. I was nervous, oh yes I was. It's never easy to read in front of other people, on a mic. But my acting background certainly came in handy.
A successful poem reading is not just reading the words on the page, but also living it in front of the audience, performing it. It doesn't have to be super dramatic, in fact too dramatic can take away the heart of the poem. But reading slowly, pausing on important elements, changing voice intonations - all important elements.
Reading a poem is instant gratification. I watched the audience reaction as I read, hanging on the words of each line, being led to the end of the poem. I was taking them on a journey and they were there for the ride. Wow-what a rush! And the applause at the end was pure fluff for my ego (it's still in check I assure you).
I walked away from the bookstore last night on cloud nine. I can't wait to do it again.