You Need To Read Poetry! is a raucous cavalcade of 20th/21st Century American Poetry. Featuring over 40 poets, including Langston Hughes, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Anne Sexton, Nikki Giovanni, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski, Gregory Corso, Thom Gunn, Gil Scott-Heron, e.e. cummings, Anne Waldman, Billy Collins, Gary Soto, David Meltzer, and many others, you’ll experience the worlds of these poems in a theatrical context; intense, funny and real. 

Performers Under Stress developed this highly visual, occasionally interactive piece through a unique physical theatre workshop-into-rehearsal process, forging an evening of joyous, high-energy, intensely kinetic performance. 

Poems/Poets performed:

Introduction To Poetry by Billy Collins

I am drunk with love of thee by Rumi

excerpts from Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, St

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

The Fall by Russell Edson

excerpts from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens, In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

Brass Spittoons by Langston Hughes

Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes

Harlem [Dream Deferred] by Langston Hughes

excerpt from HOWL by Allen Ginsberg

excerpt from I AM WAITING by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Monday in B-Flat by Imamu Amiri Baraka

No Knock by Gil Scott-Heron

Seduction by Nikki Giovanni

Ka `Ba by Imamu Amiri Baraka

Jamesian by Thom Gunn

That Day by Nikki Giovanni

i like my body when it is with your... by e.e. cummings

Buying the Whore by Anne Sexton

Grammerotics by Nick Carbo

Speech Impediments by Nick Carbo

Now That I Am Forever with Child by Audre Lorde

“Good Writing Makes Me Cry” by Lorna Dee Cervantes

The Twins by Charles Bukowski

As If These Toes by Jennifer Futernick

The Hug by Thom Gunn

Sonnet 13 by John Berryman

The J Car by Thom Gunn

San Francisco Scene by Jack Kerouac

Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames] by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Poets Hitchhiking on the Highway by Gregory Corso

How the Sestina (Yawn) Works BY ANNE WALDMAN

L. Beethoven, Half-Back by Charles Bukowski

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow by Robert Duncan



Breakdown of Scenes:

Act I (around an hour)

Scene i: let me see your shadow

Scene ii Love Poems

Scene iii: Beats and Beyond

Act II (around an hour)

Scene i: Oakland Poetry Slam or Poetry Readings

Scene ii: Stories from the Men

Scene iii: Stories from the Women


Chorus 1: Shaye Angelo Acevedo

Chorus 2: Gloria McDonald

Chorus 3: Melvign Badiola/Rotimi Agbabiaka

Chorus 4: Valerie Fachman

Chorus 5: Carina Lastimosa Salazar

Chorus 6: Geo Epsilanty

Chorus 7: Gino Rose

Chorus 8: Nazelah Jamison


Letter to Logan from Milltown by Richard Hugo

I Thought of Ships, of Armies Hanging On by Charles Bukowski

Evolved People by Gary Soto

Philosophy Lesson by Philip Levine

The Journey by Mary Oliver

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The More Loving One by W.H. Auden

Skin by Lucia Perillo

She Never Really Loved You by Nazelah Jamison

Joy Road and Livernois by Marge Piercy

Cigarettes by B.H. Fairchild