Event Report – Alan Halsey and Geraldine Monk

Event Report On November 20, 2008, English poets Geraldine Monk and Alan Halsey read to an audience of about 60 people in the Soderberg Auditorium for the sixth and penultimate event of the Fall 2008 schedule. Steve Evans introduced the poets, who each read for about a half an hour. Halsey led off the event, and read from his book The Text of Shelley’s Death. Monk followed and read from her books Selected Poems and Ghost and Other Sonnets. Afterward, both Monk and Halsey took questions from audience members.

Documentation An mp3 recording was made using an Audio-technical condenser Lo-Z AT835b microphone attached to a Marantz PMD660 Portable Solid State Recorder. The event was also recorded on digital video tape. Click images below to enlarge. For more photos, visit the NWS flickr page.


Set List

Introduction by Steve Evans

Alan Halsey

four excerpts from the book The Text of Shelley’s Death

Geraldine Monk

the Monologues from Selected Poems, in the section titled Out Thoughts
1- Chattox
2- Demdike
3- Alice
4- Mouldheels
5- Squintin Lizzie

the Replies from Selected Poems, in the section titled Out Thoughts
6- Anne Whittle
7- Elizabeth Southern
8- Alice Nutter
9- Katherine Hewit
10- Elizabeth Device

two sonnets from Ghost and Other Sonnets
11- 1 “It started with a tryst and a twist…”
12- 2 “Light a night light…”

Questions & Comments

1- Do you [Monk and Halsey] like performing together like this?
2- Do you ever influence each other’s set lists when you do a reading?
3- [for Monk] How does your performance play into your writing? Do you write in the voice you read in?
4- [In The Text of Shelley’s Death] one is made to feel almost sorry for Shelley, since he seems to be something of a contestible territory, whereas in the witch monologues [in Selected Poems], there is a sense of irreverance and livliness.
5- Do you each write from historical sources often?
6- [for Halsey] How do the other mediums of art you work in affect your poetry writing?
7- [for Monk] Do your line breaks come organically as you’re writing, or do you impose them on the poem later on?

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