Sunday, September 13, 2009

Poetry and Prose Readings

Thinking about the two readings I was at last week I wondered about novelists reading in public. You can argue that a poem is meant to be heard rather than/as well as being read on the page so poetry readings create their own justification.

But what about the modern novel written surely to be read on the page by a solitary reader? Still in the case of a launch of a new novel, as with Noelle Harrison, there has to be a reading from the novel. Her dramatised reading was very effective and gave a real flavour of the different voices in the book.

Friday's Auster and Hustvedt reading was not dramatic in the same sense but here we have to chance to hear writers not often seen in Ireland. Also the work read has not yet been published so that was an added bonus.

Anyway there a lovely quote about poets reading in the latest issue of Iota magazine. In an interview poet Christopher James says: The one thing I'm not into is declaiming or excessive formality . . . Robert Frost sounds like a dying king at the end of a dynasty - lighten up, you feel like saying - it's only a bit of snow!

You can find an audio file of Frost reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening here.

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