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.


Current Spin:


In the spirit of lists and listing. Plus the Canadian radio station I listen to in the morning has been playing this non-stop.

Oliver de la Paz