I searched on the Internet about poem recitation, and what came up was poetry recitation or poem recital.

Which is more grammatically correct?

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A recital is a performance of a selection of pieces, usually music, however the term poetry recital is used.

Some artistic events might have both poetry and pieces of music. In such an event person might recite a poem. Note that strictly "recite" implies that the poem has been memorised, the performance is from memory.

These days it seems that when a poet delivers their poems to an audience they may not do so from memory, and so perhaps that is why the term

Poetry Reading

seems most common.

I would not use Poem Recital unless the intention is to say that single poem is being delivered. The cases I've seen for using this term are to describe such single performances on YouTube.

Another way of saying that is to use the noun recitation: they gave a recitation. There is something rather artificial about the word recitation. Back in the early 20th century in the UK there were Music Halls, where a combination of singing, dancing, comedy, ventriloquism and other light entertainment was given. One such item might be a monologue, often of a poem by Marriot Edgar. The artist might introduce the item using a fake upper class accent:

H'and now H'I shall given a short reeeciiitashun entitled "Albert and t'Lion"

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  • Those are almost but not quite interchangeable. Very roughly, "poem recital" is more likely to mean a specific instance and "poetry recitation" the general process… and that's roughly. – Robbie Goodwin Apr 2 '18 at 19:37
  • I would understand "poem recital" to be the recital of exactly one poem or otherwise, something spoken by an non-native speaker. – George White Oct 24 '18 at 21:30
  • To recite a poem, to do a poetry reading. – Lambie Feb 13 at 4:08

For British English, both the Oxford Dictionary and the Cambridge Dictionary agree that recitation involves saying something that you have memorised, whereas a recital can be either music or poetry, and need not necessarily have memorised.

- saying a piece of writing aloud from memory - Cambridge
- an act of saying a piece of poetry or literature that you have learned to an audience - Oxford

- a performance of music or poetry, usually given by one person or a small group of people: - Cambridge
- a public performance of music or poetry, usually given by one person or a small group - Oxford

For American English, Merriam Webster does not make any particular distinction between the meanings for speaking, but a recital may also be music or dance.

- the act or an instance of reading or repeating aloud especially publicly

- the act or process or an instance of reciting (to repeat from memory or read aloud publicly) ...

Poem recital does not sound natural at all: poetry recital would be my preferred way of describing it.

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  • Many more times than not, AmE or BrE is exactly the same thing. To recite a poem to do a poetry reading. – Lambie Feb 13 at 4:07

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