I assumed my local library would be scant on contemporary poetry; a catacomb of the canon. Shame on me! In addition to stocking some great contemporary poets, my quaint local library had an amazing video series produced by the Lannan Foundation featuring dozens of great contemporary poets reading thier work at length. I checked out the Denise Levertov video and am making my way through it now. So far it is excellent: cuts straight to a quality recording of the poet reading before a live audience.
I find there’s nothing so effective for learning to read well than watching an accomplished poet read their own work. Levertov, for example, is composed, confident. She takes her time with her work, treats it with the dignity it deserves. Why shouldn’t she? She is at the end of an admirable and prolific career. Yet why shouldn’t we all read our work with the same conviction and delight? Watching this video has been great. I look forward to others in the series.