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Performance Poetry

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Performance Poetry

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  1. Performance Poetry Dr Rose Lucas

  2. Performance poetry, as the name would suggest, involves a focus on the physical and embodied presentation of poetry - rather than relying on the words on a page. What is Performance Poetry?

  3. Written (or purely textual) poetry, is closely related to the notion of the body and of performance. • Its ‘stage directions’ (i.e. techniques of punctuation, line breaks, layout, rhyme and rhythm etc ) all give clues as to how it might be read aloud. • Reading aloud – and finding space for breath and heart beat – are already crucial aspects of any poetic experience. What is Performance Poetry?

  4. While a reader of poetry may have to consciously remember to read the poem aloud in order to fully engage with it, performance poetry ‘skips that step’ and takes us straight to an embodied reading of a particular poem. What is Performance Poetry?

  5. As an audience, we are focused not on a page but on the person of the performer. • We are ‘reading’ their performance just as much as we are interpreting their words. Reading performance poetry

  6. The cues we are looking for are not textual; instead, they relate to: • Voice: timbre, speed of delivery, inflections • Pauses: how the voice makes space between words, sections • Body language: gestures, movement, eye contact Reading performance poetry

  7. ‘Bubbe and Zeyde’ Michael Rosen

  8. Performance poetry is often also referred to as ‘slam’ and has connections to rap, to a street culture that is sometimes racially inflected. • It has also been used as a means of connecting with young people in general because of its emphasis on the person (performaing the ‘self’), vernacular language, and almost hip-hop/rap rhythms : Slam poetry

  9. • Because of its connections to street culture, performance poetry can often be highly political, raising issues and grass root awareness, again particularly among young people. Slam Poetry

  10. Slam competitions • Energising poetry through the physicality of performance • Perhaps also reinforcing certain anxieties about written culture through the exclusion of text? Australian performance poetry

  11. ‘Yiayia’ • ‘May your pen grace the page’ • Luca Lesson