Applauding between Poems

Angela Topping

When I first started giving readings of my work, in the late 80s, poets were asked to read for 45 minutes, in most cases, if they were headlining, with a Q&A session to follow. People listened attentively, the poet made a few comments sometimes between poems, things that were interesting, things that were not in the poem itself.
These days it’s much more likely to be given a headline slot of up to 30 minutes, and sometimes, when reading with other poets, ten minutes may be all that is given. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes for poetry events which include a lot more variety, especially when the readers are professional in sticking to their time slots. There is also a proliferation of open mic spots and even whole events dedicated to open mics. Again, no bad things, especially with so many people writing these days, who all need…

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