Well, we at ‘Open Mic Night’ (I’ve ...heard that term floating around lately), and the people over at Brick Books, have come up with two different solutions to this one hurdle that’s very common at poetry readings like ours.
Our’s is to post a batch of our featured poet’s poems on the internet (here and on our Facebook page) before the reading so everyone can read at least some of the poet’s poems as many times as they want to. And deeply.
Brick books has a totally different solution, but one just about as good. Podcasts. Put your headphones on and listen to Canada’s major poets read some of their poems, over and over and over...as many times as it takes. You can even stop them mid-stride and tell them to reread that bit. Anything -- run it through a voice analyzer. It’s like learning a language from a CD. Replay it till you get it: Brick Books Podcasts
Here’s a fantasy of mine, just to take it to the limit. Tell me what you think: We bring a projector to the reading and have each poem, exactly as it was written, on a big screen behind the poet. You read the poem and at the same time hear the poet read it as it was intended to be read.