Interesting article. Pretty obvious which side of the debate Burning Eye is on of course!
Being a performance poet means fantastic live exposure: one can interact with the audience, contextualise poems through between-poem chat, adapt the set for the setting, etc. However, as great as this physical exposure and audience engagement is, performance poetry as a genre also carries with it the drawback that it is ultimately ephemeral. The audience may love your work, but at the end of the night, they have nothing to take home with them: no book, no tangible product to which they can refer later if they want to revisit the poetry. This is a drawback for the poet as well, since by not producing their work through print media they lose out on an important way of making money and marketing themselves.
Realising this limitation, many contemporary performance poets are no longer restricting their work to the stage. Increasingly, performance poets are publishing their work in print while continuing to identify as performance poets. Andrea Gibson…
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