I'm doing a reading tomorrow night, which means I've spent the last couple days considering which poems to choose and which to leave behind. I'm one of three readers & we'll each have about 20 minutes, and there's time for chat and Q&A after the reading, so there's time to read a fairly wide range of work.
I'm NOT one of those writers who feels compelled to precede each poem with a little anecdote about how it came into being, what I like about it, or what I hope the reader/listener will hear. I usually just read the freakin poem, so there's time to get quite a few in.
But still 20 minutes is only 20 minutes.
I've printed out 2 or 3 times the number of poems I know will fit the time slot & now have to lay them out and begin the pick & choose process. It's like choosing between your children.
Worse yet: Once you've made your choice, then you have to decide on what order to read them in. Oy.