Thank you all, for your advice. I did read some newer poems which, I think, the audience liked.
It was good to see my students and my colleagues at the reading last night. I was REALLY nervous before the reading and I felt a little unprepared.
I noticed some things which bothered me:
I don't know my own book. Yes, I wrote it and I lived with it for many years, but I don't know it. It's still a strange thing to me, and I'm sure that'll all change with more readings.
I felt that I read too fast and consequently, I fumbled my words in places.
I also felt that tonally, I need more variety. It's a really dark book. I mean, it's dark . . . especially when you look at it compared to NAMES ABOVE HOUSES. So . . . I'm trying to think of ways to add tonal variety. I don't want to force something into the "set list" that certainly doesn't belong, though.
I have time to tweak my performance. Next reading's on the 23rd at The Hugo House: Roots and Writers and another with Aimee Nezhukumatathil at Open Books.
1 day ago