Reviewed:  9-1-2021                        ...internationally performing and leading American poet...  

" there is 
nothing between
 breath and truth
set free..."
ray mcniece





Ray McNiece, poet, performer, educator - poems, poetry education, performer, and more...(photo)

Ray McNiece


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"Follow your bliss, 
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Frequently Asked Questions, and answers, Ray McNiece





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Hi, these are questions I'm asked a lot, and my take on a number of things related to poetry, etc.                                            
Ray...Click to email RayHave a question? Email your question to ray...(click at right)

Frequently Asked Questions...  ???   ...and Answers

"Hey, ray..."

Q:  Do you answer your own emails? 
Ray:  Yes, always, but sometimes there's a delay when I'm on the road performing or when I'm sometimes flooded with emails. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Write me.  EMAIL RAY

Q: When and where do you write? Ray working...
 Ray:  I try to write everyday, even if it's just notes jotted in my notebook, kinda' primin' the pump.  But when I can I'll go up to the coffee shop here in Willoughby and write from 11 to 3....then take a walk.

Q: What do you do when you're not writing or performing?  
Ray:  I go down to a sacred place down at the river and just be, swim, listen to the rapids, talk to the hawks.  I do watch baseball games.  It's my one frivolous distraction.  I love the psychological drama...the way it unfolds slowly and then everything turns suddenly

Q: How do you make a living as a poet?  
Ray:  Versatility.  I'm also an actor, singer, and educator.  My bread and butter is doing educational theatre and writing workshops. But I also performing in adult theatre and fronting a band, Tongue-in-Groove.  I also take on specific writing projects.  I'm just finished working on an adaptation of The Tibetan book of the Dead for Cleveland Public Theatre, "Blue Sky Transmission", and it opens in New York in December, 2002.

Q:  What is performance poetry? 
Ray:  Performance poetry combines acting, singing, dance and stand-up comedy in a lively mix that takes poetry from the page to the stage.  The poem becomes a mini-play really, with all the dynamics and nuances of theatre. It's more than the slam -- which has become a three-minute form, much in the same way the sonnet evolved. Though not as rigid structurally, slam poems have become formulaic.  Performance poetry has more room to stretch and explore.

Q:  Where do you see Poetry going in the 21st Century?  
Ray:  Everywhere.  It's having a resurgence of late and will continue popping up on the mass culture radar as long as it's perceived to be hip.  Teaching it as something that had a lot of rules and had a hidden meaning did it a great disservice.  Now it is more popular, what with the Def poetry Jam and beer commercial haikus which will water it down some.  But poetry is at the heart of who we are, so advertising can't do it too much harm.

Q:  What about internet publishing?
:  I haven't explored that as of yet, but I'm open for suggestions.  Email me. EMAIL RAY

Q:  Who are your favorite poets?  
:  Well, I start with Shakespeare, he had such an understanding of human nature and expressed it in a way that still rings beautifully true. I learned much from Yeats and Neruda, and closer to home the Ohio Poets  Mary Oliver and especially James Wright.  Also T'ang Dynasty lyric poets, Li Po, Wang Wei, Po-Chu-I. Lately I've been reading 20th century Russian Poets.

   Do you have a question for Ray? Hit the "contact ray" button at the top or bottom of the page. Ask. Or click here > EMAIL RAY

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Ray McNiece


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1020 East 176th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44119 USA







Ray McNiece, poet, performer, educator


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