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Guidelines for Sharing Poems at Community Readings

  • The poem you choose should be by a published poet of note, not your own poem, nor a poem by a relative or a best friend, etc.
  • Please limit your time to two minutes total for sharing both your connection to the poem and the reading of the poem itself. This is critical. We only have one hour and need to ensure that every reader can participate.
  • Begin by stating your name and where you reside in Miami-Dade County. Next, briefly share your connection to the poem you've chosen. This should be a personal story as to why the poem means so much to you, how it may have changed your life in some way, etc. Not an analysis of the poem. Please speak informally; do not read from formally prepared notes—just speak candidly and from the heart. This is the best way to engage the audience. Finally, read the poem you chose.
  • If you choose a long poem, read only an excerpt so that you can keep to the two-minute time limit.
  • If you choose a poem written in another language, please read an English translation. However, you may read the poem (or an excerpt of it) in both languages as long as you keep to the allotted two minutes.