I participated in the bi-annual Literary Lesbians Reading event in Portland, Oregon yesterday afternoon. Portland was having a rare day of heavy wet snow, but we had a good turnout anyway. I was happy to see many of my Portland friends and new acquaintances, and I loved reading my poetry aloud.
Reading one’s work aloud requires practice. Lots of practice. I choose carefully what I will read, at least a few weeks ahead of the event. I time the reading, print out the pages in large print so I can easily read it in public, then practice every day or so, checking the time to make sure I don’t go over the amount allotted to me. I had hoped to practice with the microphone before the event, but we didn’t have time during the set up. But I only had to be reminded once to bring the mic closer to my mouth.
I enjoy talking with people after readings, especially when they tell me they were moved by my words. I’m only human. And after all, it’s why I write. I want people to be moved in some way by my words. I want to entertain them, help them remember their own stories, to recognize themselves in my words.
Thank you, Portland Lesbian Writers Guild for allowing me to continue to be a member even though I moved to Southern California. You are my home group, and always will be.
Dear Readers, for those of you who write, do you enjoy reading your work aloud? For readers, do you go out and support your authors when they do public readings? If not, why not? If so, what do you like about it?