Monday, August 13

More thoughts on the slam

The slam won't leave me. I keep thinking about the poems I loved and the poems I didn't.

Almost all the poets did what they do well, but some of them could have done poetry in a different way.

Here are some thoughts that came to me this afternoon.

Good thinking equals good writing. Writers need to wrestle with questions and some questions are more important than others. Most important - How will this piece of work make my audience feel? Angry? Sad? Empowered? Amused? Moved? Awed? Frustrated? Inspired?

I've been thinking a lot about how I heard so much angry poetry in Austin. Isn't anger one of Kubler-Ross' stages of grief, but not the only one.

Moreover, the question of how the audience feels is much more important than how the writer/performer feels. The writer should remain in control. I felt a bit uncomfortable after watching some poets crying after they finished their poems. Maybe making me uncomfortable was part of their goal, but I wonder if their poems reached their completion or if the writers had more work to do.

Of course, I've got work to do on me and on my poems first. Then I'll worry about other people's poems. One of my goals through the end of the year will be to read one book of poems a week. That will help with my goal of writing more.

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