Adventures in Reading


Poetry Gone Wrong
March 1, 2008, 4:24 pm
Filed under: fiction

Those of you familiar with my blog will already know that I am an avid supporter of attending poetry, fiction etc. readings. They are fun, informative, and allow for a certain aspect of reading it’s all to easy to miss out on. However, the other evening I had my first disappointment after spending a miserable evening – on the night of the beautiful eclipse – at the most dreadful readings I have ever attended.

A poet and a fiction writer were reading and I was looking forward to the evening. It was one night in a series, all of the rest which I have enjoyed, and I sat in my chair with anticipation. The poet… well I am not sure what to make of her. She read so fast, without enunciating, without stress, and without performance to such a degree that I never realized she had reached the end of her poems. The poems were short and her reading gave no impression of style or texture. I am holding out on a final opinion after reading her chapbook and hoping it was just a poor reading.

The fiction reader! Egad! He held the room hostage for nearly an hour. Most readings last roughly 30 to 45 minutes in my experience, but he just kept going and going… I was very tempted to stand up and leave. To make it worse, the chapter he read from a novel he’s written was completely unexciting. The novel’s plot is not a new invention and has been done repeatedly in both novel and film, and the selected chapter did not suggest any growth.

Overall it was a terrible night and I am leaving the writer’s names off my blog out of my embarrassment for them. This was one reading I am glad I did not drag anyone else along to witness!

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