What goes into a reading set list.
I have forty minutes to read poetry.
FORTY. That seems like a lot of time to me, and that time doesn't include a Q & A. Q & A's often add up to 20 minutes to a reading--and by the end of a reading I'm feeling a little bad for the audience, so I don't want to keep 'em too long.
So what to pick? My new book isn't here, so I've got copies of my other books and that's it. My thought--to read a little bit of everything, but I want to be fair to the older work and I'm not sure I'm up to reading those pieces because, tonally, I'm in a different place. Additionally, I've considered my audience and I think my newer stuff is more in line with their concerns.
A sample of all my work? Mostly new stuff? This is a problem, but really, a good problem . . . a new problem, but a good problem.
I remember hearing Gerald Stern read and he basically read a "best of" set list, which worked for Gerald Stern. I don't have a "best of." No, I don't.
If you could hear any poet read, and they were to read an "encore" poem, what would that poem be? I think I'd like to hear Brigit Pegan Kelly read "Song" as her encore.
Oliver, slow down when you read.
In the spirit of lists and listing. Plus the Canadian radio station I listen to in the morning has been playing this non-stop.