At last week's Paging Columbus (a local literary event series I run here in Ohio), I asked four poets to read their own work and poems they wish they had written. I couldn't help but share one, too...here's me reading Bob Hicok's "Bars Poetica."
It's refreshing to hear writers get passionate and swoony about other writers (it's important for us to promote other writers, too!), and I think it removes some pressure from a featured reader. When I read someone else's work, I feel far less self-conscious, especially initially--I can focus on bringing a poem I love to life, without getting hung up on the construction of the poem. This might not be true for everyone, but for many, I think.
I wrote a post for Voice Alpha last winter about poets performing other people's poems (Kristin LaTour also writes about it here). It helps to make poetry readings more appealing, I think--writers are sharing not only what they love, but another facet of who they are.
I think it would be great to host a reading by non-writers--people who love books, reading their favorite sections from them. Is this something you would attend? What poems do you love that you'd want to read for others?
(For more videos from Paging Columbus, visit my playlist here).