The Poetry Reading

Martin Glaz Serup


What is a poetry reading, how does the performed poem differ from the poem published on the page, and first and foremost: how do we read it? This article understands the poetry reading as an independent form of expression, which neither ranks above nor below the written poem, but can be placed alongside it. Contrary to the printed poem, the audience often only has access to the performed poem once – while it is being performed – and is subsequently forced to rely on the memory of the specific reading and situation. Similarly, the body, the voice, the place, the time – and, in the case of recorded readings, also the remediation – are vital to how the poetry reading creates meaning. The article methodologically investigates: How do we approach the poetry reading from an analytical and a theoretical perspective, and includes readings of three poetry readings by Vanessa Place, Pia Juul and Jacques Roubaud.

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ISSN: 1904-500X

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