Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Problem With Having Every Live Reading Recorded

The problem with having every live reading recorded these days, either in audio or video, is that if you read a new poem, which you have not yet submitted to a journal or a competition, it can get released on the web before the end of the week -   thus invalidating the requirement that the poem be previously unpublished. Most organisers of readings allow you to object to your segment being broadcast/posted, but to object sometimes seems curmudgeonly. It has long been a tradition that a poet could try out new poems on a live audience before submitting them for publication, but this is now becoming increasingly more difficult to do. At the Munster Literature Centre we video record events for archival reasons and if anything ends up on the web it is months or years afterwards.
I now NEVER read a poem to a live audience unless it has already been published.


  1. Very useful advice, applies to stories too, thanks!

  2. If you change three words in each poem, then the meaning is preserved (depending upon the import of the three changed words, I suppose) and that poem would remain unpublished. Although I would have to admit that a very similar poem would have been "published". Have I solved the whole problem?