How does one prepare for a poetry reading?

It’s less than two hours before the event and I find myself pacing the house with loose leaf pages of poems wondering if I’ve chosen the correct poems for tonight. I’ve been preparing for tonight’s reading all week. Reading poems I’ve written (and avoiding making additional edits). Selecting the poems I plan to bring to tonight’s reading at The Altamont Theater. I’ll read at the Asheville Wordfest event Voices of the City alongside Katherine Soniat, DeWayne Barton, Ronald Reginald King, Ekua Adisa and Roberto Hess. But I can’t help wonder, what do these fine poets do before a poetry reading? What rituals do they observe the day before an event like tonight?

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6 responses to “How does one prepare for a poetry reading?

  1. I’ve never read live, but it’s something I’d like to explore further. Advice from a fellow novice:
    Use a clipboard or some kind of sturdy board for your manuscript – tremors can happen, and will distract. Blast it out nice and loud – don’t mumble. Good luck!!

    • Thank! It was an enjoyable reading once I got beyond the initial nervousness.

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