Poetry and Prose Interpretation

Poetry and Prose are the two binder events most associated with speech. As such, they are most often associated with the little black binder (also known as the “interper’s binder”) that contains the literature to be performed. In Texas, the events are non-TFA qualifying events but are usually featured as either supplemental for students knocked out of their main events or as additional areas of competition at local tournaments that do not allow TFA State qualification points. Additionally, both events often have novice divisions for first year competitors, as a beginning for would-be interpers.

Poetry Interpretation is a 7-minute maximum event that is performed out of the black binder. Usually, there are two types of poetry performances: single poems or collections. Single poems are a full performance taken from one poem or from one book of an author’s poetry. Collections of poetry are usually centered around a specific theme, with multiple smaller poems or cuttings of poems functioning as different viewpoints. The performer must include an introduction that sets the tone, themes, or arguments of what they are about to share. The introduction should also include all titles and authors of every poem included.

Prose Interpretation is also a 7-minute maximum performance event taken from the black binder. Prose selections may be taken from novels, memoirs, shorts stories, essays, or other prosaic works. Although proses are usually first-person narration, second- and third-person are not forbidden (just less common). The performer’s role is to tell a story, recounting the work told with attention to the emotion expressly written and implied by the author. The performance must also include an introduction that tells the title and author of the story, as well as sets the tones, themes, or arguments of the following performance.

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