Voice Alpha

on reading poetry aloud for an audience


“Stop using ‘Poet Voice'”

Maybe the poet is the great Louise Glück or the former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. Maybe the poet is a close friend. Whoever it is, that person has just slipped into Poet Voice, ruining everybody’s evening and their own poetry because now the audience has to spend a lot of intellectual and emotional energy trying to understand the words of the poem through a thick cloud of oratorical perfume.

Full article by Rich Smith here.

Lol. Don’t disagree with what he is saying, but my pet peeve remains the end of line note. Which sometimes, but not always, comes along with other characteristics described in the article.

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audio contest – “You decide your entry fee!”

At the Missouri Review:


Poets are encouraged to enter an original poem or collection of poems as a single audio file for this category.

Judging will be based on the following criteria: literary merit, technical proficiency, and how the author uses audio media to further the literary strength of his or her piece.

Time: 15 minutes or less.
First Prize: $1,000

You can listen to last year’s winner, Laurel Bastian, read the winning entry here. (She starts reading at about 1 min 38 secs in). Excellent reading.


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