Reading Poetry Aloud

I have – on Sunday – to read a poem. Out loud. In front of people.

Even worse: It’s one of mine.

I entered, on a whim, a poetry contest held by the local library system. I happened to have two sitting about – a rare enough thing – so why not?

And then I placed.

I don’t know yet where – anywhere from first to honorable mention. They’ll tell us on Sunday, during the awards ceremony. We’re also asked to read our poem aloud.

Except… well, mine sounds silly read aloud. At least as a poem. It started out as a paragraph of prose, an arty slice-of-life sample fictionalized. There’s an implied story and arc, but it’s not explicit. I didn’t have the skill (or will) to expand this one paragraph more, so I turned it into a poem for the contest.

And here’s my problem.

It has dialogue. Dialogue from completely different characters, *emoting* dialogue… female dialogue.

I’ve heard people complain about men doing women’s voices before. Trust me, they do a better job than I.

I don’t know if there’s a “right” way to read poetry. I’m not much of a poetry person – other than my own teenage emo angsty stuff.

Ah, well. I think I’m going to let this one return to its roots. I’ll read it as text, as prose, and we’ll see what happens.

Any tips on reading poetry out loud? Anyone?

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