John Robert Lee

I was fortunate to be at a [virtual] reading that you gave for Bright Hill Press a few months ago. I was so mesmerized by the delivery of your poems. Tell us about your performance background and how you think poetry should be heard.

I was involved in theatre for many years as an actor and director. I also worked in media, radio, and television for many years. So I bring to the reading/presentation of my poems that background of experience in drama and media. I often say to friends that I think poetry should be “presented” rather than “performed.” I say this with full respect for those who do “performance poetry,” and there are writers for whom that genre works well. When I read, even my own work, I try to follow the line, its rhythms, its sounds, its inner voice. I try not to impose myself on the line, to “perform” it in a way that may over-dramatize what is there.

Read the full interview with John Robert Lee in The Blue Mountain Review, September 2022