Saturday, March 27, 2010

This Morning's Poetry Reading at BYU

This morning I had the opportunity to read some poetry at BYU's literary conference, 'Frame by Frame.' It was a good experience, and hopefully one you may be able to benefit from. Here are some tips for doing a reading.

Relax. Last night I was actually pretty nervous about this, but the conference was pretty chill and everyone was really nice. If you don't stress about it and let yourself relax, then you'll be more natural, likeable and memorable.

Prepare. Like I said, you don't need to stress overly much, but its good to prepare a little. For the life of me I could not decide what order in which to read my poems, but that turned out to be ok. I just went with the flow, and for some things that works best. But I had sort of thought a little bit about what to say about each piece, and that turned out to be important. In fact, I wish I had done more preparing in that regard. Just prepare enough for you to keep things flowing, easy and natural.

Keep perspective. Whatever happens, remember that the reception you get is just as subjective as submitting your pieces for publication, just on a more intimate level. In the case of this morning, everyone was very kind, but it was a very small group and nothing spectacular happened. Thats ok. Remember who your audience is and don't expect more or less then is reasonable. And if you get less then expected, remember its all subjective, don't let any of it get you down, and better luck next time. If you get more then expected, then fantastic.

Hope this helps! I would love to hear from you all and how your writing lives are going.

Sarah Allen


  1. Prepare but do not over-prepare is what I would add. As I have learned from doing the dreaded oral presentations during my university days, over-preparing just contributes to being nervous the night before. Yes, relax but how when you have that dreaded "next day" on your mind and the attribute of a good writer's imagination begins to foresee all sorts of disasters.

    My strategy evolved into modest preparation, relaxing by spending the evening watching a movie, going out for a ride on the bike, (physical exercise is important to counter stress) or listening to music. Before bedtime, the next day didn't matter in my mind.

    And when it came time to do it, I often "acted" it out as if I was in character for a movie. Intentional dissociation worked for me.

    But as you point out, prepare, relax and just go for it, are the key points. As to how we do that is tailored to our individuality.

    It takes a special courage when what you present are works of your innermost self and clearly you displayed that in an inspirational way for us, Sarah. Great to see that.

  2. Wow, great comments and great words of wisdom. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and wonderful advice!


I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

To have weekly posts delivered to your inbox, just sign up here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...