I've got a reading this afternoon (at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, 1 p.m.), where I'll be sharing some Chestnut Ridge pieces along with an excerpt from my fairy tale poem "The White Bear," which I haven't read out for a while. Winter feels like a good time to resurrect poems about woodland cottages and enchanted animals.
Though I've got so many new poems, I've decided to let them lie for the moment. They don't feel quite ready for air . . . though most of them are finished on the page. Along with the "selling books" conundrum, which is always an issue at readings, I often find myself wrestling with the timing of performance. Is it the moment to read a particular piece of work? Some of this has to do with audience as well. What will engage a particular group of listeners most: the knowledge that they can reread on the page what they've just heard? or the pleasure of hearing something fresh and evanescent?
I've thought of organizing a reading only for work that has never been published.