The Contemporary Poetry Reading

Peter Middleton

in Close Listening

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109924
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855261 | DOI:
The Contemporary Poetry Reading

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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Many poetry readings since the Beat poets read at the Six Gallery have radiated a belief in poetry's revolutionary cultural power. Poets certainly become uneasy when they do occasionally reflect on poetry readings. Performance degrades cognitive apprehension of poems because the educated inward ear can do more with the rhythms, vowels, syncopations, and stresses of any poem than the amateur human voice can do. Current performance writers stress the importance of the unique location in history, space, and interaction for the significance of the poem, a condition that is paramount in performance. Poetry readings are often justified as opportunities to hear the poem uttered by the reader who understands its sounding best. Authorship and intersubjectivity collaborate with the implicit allegorisation of poetry's potential and actual place in everyday life.

Keywords: contemporary poetry reading; cultural power; performance; current performance writers; authorship; intersubjectivity

Chapter.  19592 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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