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Performance Poets: Home

Resources for the course Poetry as Performance, Theater 1008.

Performance Poetry from Oxford

Book cover of the Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

"Performance Poetry,   a genre which grew from a number of sources, including music-hall and burlesque, jazz poetry, and the Beat movement.

In true Performance Poetry, poems are learned (or, very rarely, improvised) rather than read from a book. Because of this, some fine performers of their written work, such as the Liverpool Poets, are not strictly performance poets. Most performance poetry is transient, existing at the time of performance and then in memories of that performance. Attempts to capture the performance, whether on record or in book-form, seldom do justice to the work."

Ian McMillan  "Performance Poetry"   The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Ian Hamilton. Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Temple University.  22 March 2012  <>

Logo for Oxford Reference Online


photo of Langston HughesAllen GinsbergSonia SanchezPoet Benjamin Zephania

Langston Hughes,  Allen Ginsberg, Sonia Sanchez, Benjamin Zephania

Welcome to the Research Guide for Poetry as Performance.  Here you will find resources in support of the course, Theater 1008.  This guide is not meant to be comprehensive, but to provide a starting place of recommended resources for your research.  You will find much that will help with your studies, but do not limit your use of this guide to classroom work only.  Explore these resources for your personal enjoyment and enrichment as well!    Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about research or comments about the guide.

Best wishes,

Anne Harlow

Reference Librarian

Anne Harlow
Paley Library Room 318

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