The Performance v Page Debate is a Red Herring

Wood Bee Poet

Redherring

I only made it to two sessions at Poetry in Aldeburgh last weekend, but I was extremely glad to have seen and heard what I did. The ones I saw were ‘The National Poetry Competition at 40’ and ‘A Cambridge Quartet of First Collections’, the first of which featured readings by Dom Bury, Yvonne Reddick, Philip Gross and Liz Berry; and the second Adam Crothers, Rebecca Watts, Alex Wong and Claudine Toutoungi. I was struck by how differently all the poets read their work and how I as a listener got caught up far more in the sound of their voices and the movement of their hands, the expressions on their faces, than on the actual content of their poems.

This is what I wrote up from my notes on the poets:

Dom Bury is of the Poet Voice school of reading, leaning towards the austere and liturgical, there is…

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