Voice Alpha offers advice for the reading-lorn

By Harriet Staff

Voice Alpha describes itself as "a repository for thoughts, theories, suggestions, likes and dislikes and anything else related to the art and science of reading poetry aloud for an audience." After posts comparing how different readers can approach the same poem; the benefits and perils of things typically taken for granted at readings, such as host intros, microphones, or the lack thereof; eye contact; and what one can gain from open mics, they're ready to put their insights to the test on your poetry.

"Dear Voice Alpha" is an audio advice column, but it's the advice seeker who provides the audio. You can submit a recording of yourself reading a poem and get feedback and suggestions from Voice Alpha's contributors and, once the audio "question" and the contributors' "advice" is posted (yes, your reading will be posted), from commenters. They discourage reading your own poetry in order to avoid "author's blinders," helping the Voice Alpha crew to minimize conflicts and defensiveness with regard to meaning and intonation.

We encourage you to consider reading poems by other people so as to remove the potential for “author’s blinders.” Because copyright may be an issue, several generous poets have donated a poem for free use in this project and you may choose from a range of donated options here. You may also use any poem that is out-of-copyright or Creative Commons-licensed, or (if you must!) one of your own poems.

Originally Published: December 8th, 2010
Quick Tags