Agreed re: introductions, but I do like a little banter between poems sometimes. Not a TON — we had somebody at NMSU recently who killed her work dead with talking — but sometimes it’s nice and charming and funny.
don’t we endure these pervasive frivolities everywhere? show me one forum or open plaza where we don’t say to ourselves “why so many dummies?”! it always comes to a choice: sit still and swallow it, or else stay at home. (yet it seems this silly “mean week” is an encouragement to get out your gong, or irascible laserpointer to shine in their eyes from inside your sleeve.) okay i’ll compromise: i have occasionally slipped people notes with sweet complaints, afterwards, an activism that won’t give me Agita like this ceaseless fistshaking.
worst thing i ever saw: a semi-lengthy introduction given for an introducer who then introduced (at length) two writers, only it was patently obvious the introducer wasn’t so fond of the second writer, so the introduction given for her was like two sentences, while the first writer being introduced was like five minutes and ridiculously effusive. “thanks for the introduction,” the second writer said through her teeth upon getting on stage. seriously, witnessing that whole thing i think turned me off public readings forever.
1st writer introduced = stuart dybeck. 2nd = zadie smith. introducer = howard norman. guy who gave introduction for introducer = some PEN/Faulkner administration guy.