Happy Fourth and a question on participation

Wishing you all a happy fourth. I have been lax in posting. I try to find things that will be of use to all of you and have not succeeded recently. Now I have a question, please feel free to repost it on Facebook, wherever, if you are curious as well.
How can I “let the reader in?”

My storytelling took a huge leap forward several years ago when I breathed easily enough on stage to take advantage of the lack of a fourth wall and let my audience in through participation. Now I am struggling with that same concept for my reading audience.
How do you do it?
What exactly does this mean? In fiction? In a poem? In an essay?
I want audiences to be touched and then to have their own imaginations fired, but in the last few months I have received a critique from several folks that my poem did not
“let the reader in”.
So, this is something to think about. I want to hear what you have to say.

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