Best Poetry podcasts (updated May 23, 2015). News and techniques from the poetry world.
Each day, The Writer's Almanac features Garrison Keillor recounting the highlights of this day in history and reading a short poem or two. The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.
The Poetry Translation Centre is dedicated to translating contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each week we bring you a new poem podcast from one of the world's greatest living poets, in both the original language and in English translation. To find out more about our work, please visit www.poetrytranslation.org. The Poetry Translation Centre is funded by Arts Council England.
Readings and conversation with The New Yorker's poetry editor, Paul Muldoon.
Producer Curtis Fox explores the diverse world of contemporary American poetry with readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. Nothing is off limits, and nobody is taken too seriously.
Reading & discussion of poetry by poets.
The editors go inside the pages of Poetry, talking to poets and critics, debating the issues, and sharing their poem selections with listeners.
The Poetry Channel is where you'll find the finest contemporary poets, poems and poetry. Regular broadcast-quality programmes will bring you the very best of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival's rich audio archive plus newly recorded, specially commissioned interviews with national and international poets.
Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.
Interviews with poets, live readings, and recordings from the infamous tickle trunk. Broadcast each Wednesday on 100.5 CFRO from Vancouver, Canada.
Years ago I had an old pea jacket Slightly scruffy but not unclean was my overall look and I lacked the easy assurance that comes with money because I had very little It was okay, not having money I wasn’t starving or lacking anything I needed though by contemporary standards I should have been envious or angry I wasn’t All I cared about was my wife and friends and family Books writing perception great art and gigantic metaphysical questions floating in on good humor Society could take care of itself more or less (It turned out less) and I was happy enough and eager I think what I mean is I was young so that no matter what anyone might think of my jacket I liked it it fit well and was warm in the New York winter collar turned up and hands snug in pockets It came from a secondhand clothing store at the corner of Bowery and Bleecker maybe it had belonged to a drunken sailor What do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning? Put him in bed with the captain’s daughter! There was a label...
The rain that came down last night in sheets of shaken foil while thunder trundled over the Bay and crooked spears of lightning splintered trees is rising now up stalks, lengthening leaves that wave their new bright banners tender as petals, seventeen shades of green pushing into sun. The soil feels sweet in my hands as I push little marigolds in. Bumblebees stir in the sour cherry blossoms floating like pieces of moon down to the red tulips beneath the smooth barked tree where a red squirrel chatters at my rescued tabby who eyes him like a plate of lunch.
This week's poem is 'Cat Lying in Wait' by Shakila Azizzada from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila herself. If you enjoyed this recording and would like to find out more about Shakila and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website at www.poetrytranslation.org.
At my daughter’s Catholic school there is a blessing of the animals at which the children line up with their fat hamsters and gauzy goldfish, their dogs so old they can barely climb the hill. They bring their cats with bald patches and their lizards sleeping in cages under a fake sun. In the line to the priest there are snakes with white eyes and birds without songs. There are ant farms and worms and rats with long, exposed tails. The children wait hours for their animals to be blessed: for the priest’s hand to hover over the weight they carry. They bring shoe boxes full of turtles, hairy spiders, frogs with dry skin. I like watching my daughter among the other children: her dog small in her arms, her gaze protective. Children believe in the power of animals, tucked into their feathers and shells; they believe in blessings: the sprinkle of holy water, each tiny unexplained life.
Ada Limón joins Paul Muldoon to read and discuss Jennifer L. Knox’s “Pimp My Ride” and her own poem “State Bird.”
A conflicted poem about a war protest.
A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music. Then the music was polished until it became the memory of a night in Venice when tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty home of a heart in trouble. Then suddenly there was sun and the music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the memory of what happened after Venice would begin, and what happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would also begin.
It was as if while I was driving down a one-lane dirt road with tall pines on both sides the landscape had a syntax similar to that of our language and as I moved along a long sentence was being spoken on the right and another on the left and I thought Maybe the landscape can understand what I say too. Ahead was a farmhouse with children playing near the road so I slowed down and waved to them. They were young enough to smile and wave back.
In the first half of the Poetry Show for May 17, 2015, host Dennis Morton returned to the latest issue of the fine literary magazine Ploughshares. This issue of Ploughshares is especially interesting to Poetry Show listeners for two reasons: 1) it is given over entirely to poetry, and 2) Neil Astley is the guest editor. This week’s new batch of readings from Ploughshares continues where we left off on the Poetry Show two weeks ago, and includes poems by Barbara Hamby, Tracey Herd, Tony Hoagland, Major Jackson and Pascal Petit. Closing out the first half are a few poems from Caging the Robin, a new book by Tom Crawford. For the second half of the show, we listen to selections from a CD called The Scar Saloon, by Sholeh Wolpé (2006). The Iran-born poet interleaved her spoken words with traditional and contemporary music by some very talented Iranian instrumentalists to create this multi-media CD. Some of our local listeners may have seen and heard Sholeh Wolpé at last week’s Poetry Santa...
No more than a week and the leaves have all come out on the ash trees now they are more than half open on the ancient walnuts standing alone in the field reaching up through the mute amazement of age they have uncurled on the oaks from hands small as the eyelids of birds and the morning light shines through them and waits while the hawthorn gleams white against the green in the shadow in a moment the river has disappeared down in the valley the curve of sky gliding slowly from before not seeming to move it will not be seen again now a while from this place on the ridge but over it the summer will flow and not seem to be moving
With love so sudden and so sweet, Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower And stole my heart away complete. My face turned pale as deadly pale. My legs refused to walk away, And when she looked, what could I ail? My life and all seemed turned to clay. And then my blood rushed to my face And took my eyesight quite away, The trees and bushes round the place Seemed midnight at noonday. I could not see a single thing, Words from my eyes did start – They spoke as chords do from the string, And blood burnt round my heart. Are flowers the winter’s choice? Is love’s bed always snow? She seemed to hear my silent voice, Not love’s appeals to know. I never saw so sweet a face As that I stood before. My heart has left its dwelling-place And can return no more
I remember the lakes of my Michigan childhood. Here they are called ponds. Lakes belonged to summer, two-week vacations that my father was granted by Westinghouse when we rented some cabin. Never mind the dishes with spiderweb cracks, the crooked aluminum sauce pans, the crusted black frying pans. Never mind the mattresses shaped like the letter V. Old jangling springs. Moldy bathrooms. Low ceilings that leaked. The lakes were mysteries of sand and filmy weeds and minnows flickering through my fingers. I rowed into freedom. Alone on the water that freckled into small ripples, that raised its hackles in storms, that lay glassy at twilight reflecting the sunset then sucking up the dark, I was unobserved as the quiet doe coming with her fauns to drink on the opposite shore. I let the row- boat drift as the current pleased, lying faceup like a photographer’s plate the rising moon turned to a ghost. And though the voices called me back to the rented space we shared I was sure I left my real...
When from our better selves we have too long Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop, Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, How gracious, how benign is Solitude! —Hermit Deep in the bosom of the Wilderness; Votary (in vast Cathedral, where no foot Is treading and no other face is seen) Kneeling at prayer; or Watchman on the top Of Lighthouse beaten by Atlantic Waves.
This week’s poem is by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi from Sudan. The poem is read first in English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Arabic by Saddiq. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
On account of my knees I thought a camel would be appropriate: I could be helped on and eventually off again. Have you ever got on a camel? They go down for you on their own padded knees and close their eyes while they wait for you to be set in place, like priests waiting for all the communicants to be done, in some high church. Then they rise, tipping you, heaving beneath you but you don’t fall, you are suddenly feet up in the air, carried forward on the long sway of their stride. They will carry you across deserts, across days and datelines until you arrive one far-off day in the city of Tamanrasset where you have been waiting all your life to go.
Local poet and educator Adela Najarro paid a visit to the Poetry Show on May 10, 2015. She has not one but two new books out, and will be reading from both on Tuesday, at the monthly event sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. A bilingual heritage informs Adela’s poetry, along with an interest in the history and politics both of her parents’ native Nicaragua and the United States. Adela now lives in Santa Cruz and teaches creative writing, literature and composition at Cabrillo College. The book title Split Geography (Mouthfeel Press) refers to that mix of ethnic and cultural influences, a duality that Adela feels strongly in her life and expresses in her poetry. Adela read a number of poems inspired by various times and places and events, followed by discussions with host Dennis Morton. Fellow poet and Cabrillo College instructor David Sullivan says: “Split Geography covers vast tracts of land and multiple countries in language that heals as it explores both internal and external rifts. The...
This week’s poem is by Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf from Somalia/Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by Clare Pollard and then in Somali by Caasha. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org. Like us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/poetrytranslation Follow us on Twitter: @PoetryTranslate Please note that we will now be releasing the PTC Poetry Podcast earlier in the week on Thursday mornings rather than on Sunday afternoons.
The poet reads and discusses her work.
This week's poem is by Reza Mohammadi from Afghanistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Nick Laird and then in Dari by Reza Mohammadi. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Reza Mohammadi and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
The first half of this week’s Poetry Show spotlights the latest issue of Ploughshares (issue 126, spring 2015), the quarterly literary magazine published by Emerson College in Boston, Mass. Guest editor for this issue is Neil Astley, well known to regular Poetry Show listeners as the founder of Bloodaxe Books and editor of the Staying Alive trilogy: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004) and Being Human (2011). Poetry Show host Dennis Morton presents readings of selections from this self-described “trans-atlantic” poetry anthology. A number of the poets included have been guests on the Poetry Show. Just going back to the beginning of our podcast archive in May, 2007, that group includes Gwyneth Lewis and Eva Salzman (twice – here and here). An additional pair of poets selected for this special Ploughshares issue have been heard on the show courtesy of our UK correspondent Gwynne Harries. We’ve aired Gwynne’s recorded conversations with Gillian Clarke and Vicki Feaver. In the second half...
The editors discuss new poems, with readings by Thomas Lux, Karen Solie, and Frank Bidart.
A panoramic view of Aberdeen, Scotland Dorothy Taylor and her son Bryce traveled all the way from Scotland to join host Dennis Morton on the Poetry Show for April 26, 2015. Natives of Aberdeen, Dorothy and Bryce have been in California to visit their daughter and sister, respectively - Lesley-Anne Taylor, who has often hosted Poetry Show hours in past years and is well known to regular Poetry Show listeners. Dorothy shared a variety of Scots poetry, both in English and in the northeastern dialect known as Doric. Most impressive to Americans is that these works were recited flawlessly, dramatically and entirely from memory. One humorous poem in the Doric, titled A Nod’s as guid’s as a Wink, by Ian Middleton, required some translation afterward into American English. You can listen to Middleton’s own version of this poem and others on Spotify. Scotland is known for music as well as poetry, and Bryce contributed a fine rendition of a song by Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland whose...
This week's poem is by Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye' from Somaliland. The poem is read first in English translation by W N Herbert and then in Somali by Gaarriye himself. If you enjoy this recording and would like to find out more about Gaarriye and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
Helen Mort – winner of the 2014 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize – talks with Dean Parkin about putting together her winning book, ‘Division Street’, the stories and themes behind the poems, and the benefits and similarities between poetry and running and climbing. (16 minutes) Download podcast
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Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi Joan Zimmerman and two other members of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS) were guests of host Dennis Morton on the Poetry Show for April 19, 2015. Joining Joan were Alison Woolpert, current YTHS president, and Carol Steele YTHS newsletter editor. The occasion for this visit is the 40th birthday of YTHS. To commemorate the event, our three guests read past winning entries in the organization’s annual haiku contest. After we heard the first ten winners, Dennis read a number of haiku poems by the YTHS founder, Kiyoshi Tokutomi. Next we heard excerpts from a history of the YTHS, written by Kiyoko Tokutomi, wife of Kiyoshi. We learned that Kiyoshi was actually born locally – in Watsonville - and met Kiyoko in 1948 while teaching English in Japan (more history of the Tokutomis here). Among many other activities, YTHS publishes semi-annual haiku anthologies. The 2013 anthology was titled Above the Clouds. The group also publishes GEPPO, a bimonthly study-work journal...
An in-depth look at the characters and legacies of this bestselling collection.
This week's poem is by Farzaneh Khojandi from Tajikistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Jo Shapcott and then in Tajik by Farzaneh. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Farzenah Khojandi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
Robert Pinsky reads and discusses with host Paul Muldoon a poem by Elizabeth Bishop and a poem of his own.
This week’s Poetry Show guest poets were Curt Anderson and Marjorie Simon. The two will also be the featured readers at this month’s Poetry Santa Cruz reading - Tuesday, April 14, at Bookshop Santa Cruz. In a preview of that reading, Curt and Marjorie joined host Dennis Morton to read and discuss their poetry and a variety of other subjects. Marjorie Simon is best known locally as co-editor of Kayak Magazine, with her late partner George Hitchcock (not to be confused with Alfred). As a poet, she has two published collections: The Long Distance Oatmeal Eater (Jazz Press, 1985) and Adam & Eve, etc. (with George Fuller, Jazz Press, 1981). On this occasion, one of the poems she shared with Poetry Show listeners was an unpublished work written after George’s death in 2010. Curt Anderson’s first published poetry collection is titled The Occasionist, published by Hip Pocket Press. Curt traces his evolution into a poet back to grad school days at San Francisco State, where he pivoted from English...
This week's poem is 'When Winter Comes' by Azita Ghahreman from Iran. The poem is read first in English translation by Maura Dooley and then in Farsi by Azita herself. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Azita and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website at www.poetrytranslation.org.
Poet Laureate Charles Wright on writing and reading poems.
Jericho Brown was a first-time guest on the Poetry Show for April 5, 2015. Host Dennis Morton sat down for an interview with the young poet, whose new published collection is titled The New Testament (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). The wide-ranging conversation encompassed much more than poetry, and was interspersed with Mr. Brown’s engaging reading of poems from the new book. Listeners who persevere all the way to the end of the podcast will be rewarded with a song from Jericho and Dennis. From the publisher: In The New Testament, Jericho Brown continues his tender examination of race, masculinity, and sexuality. These poems bear witness to survival in the face of brutality, while also elegizing two brothers haunted by shame, two lovers hounded by death, and an America wounded by war and numbered by religion. Brown summons myth, fable, and fairy tale not to merely revise the Bible–more so to write the kind of lyric poetry we find at the source of redemption–for the profane and for the sacred...
Listen to Bill Berkson read “The One God” from his new collection “Expect Delays.” More from Berkson and his conversation with Art Beat in January. The One God Once heaven was just a boy and a girl And a path to the beach. That was before the rooms were gutted and you learned How to exhibit bereavement Would earn your weight in brimming Moon lagers. Literally, “the bee’s knees.” The shoulders of Roland de Smoke Cuddle two abreast on a tray. While air lasts, cities also die, old gasbags With quilted manners, prepuce because the English Taste in pictures slackened. Then again, despite the poison crumbs, The two just walk on tiptoes out of doors, Pressing along the keen incline. What will happen, what to say If and when the first door opens, the wings Flutter in turn as nights subside? “The One God” from “Expect Delays” by Bill Berkson, courtesy of Coffee House Press. The post Poet Bill Berkson reads ‘The One God’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
This week's poem is by Corsino Fortes from Cape Verde. The poem is read first in English translation by Sean O'Brien and then in Portugese by Corsino Fortes. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Corsino Fortes and all the other poets we've translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
Quaraysh Ali Lansana describes how his life and poems have been shaped by hip hop, plus the editors discuss poems by Jamila Woods, Tara Betts, and Kristiana Rae Cólon.
Sarah Rose Nordgren reads “The Performance” from her debut collection, “Best Bones.” When she wrote the poem, she was thinking about self-inflicted violence and women. “One of the things I was thinking about in a number of the poems in the book was this sort of inward direction,” Nordgren told Art Beat in December. “This is a massive generalization, but this sort of inward-directed violence that seems to be more female as opposed to an outwardly-directed violence that’s more masculine. ‘The Performance’ is definitely about the self inflicted female violence.” The Performance It’s not right that she should do this to her body as she speaks, but it’s the only way we can understand her. We who weren’t raised on sand and cherry-pits. Whose stepfathers held their tempers. The South is a mean place we forget about. The windows boarded up all over town. She says, dogs chased her down the tar- soaked road like devils. Each dog with three heads, three tails. She says, we might’ve mocked her story...
Local poet and Japanese poetry form enthusiast Joan Zimmerman joined host Dennis Morton on the KUSP Poetry Show for March 29, 2015, to read from and discuss the latest issue of Rattle magazine, which is devoted to Japanese poetry forms. (Note: sorry about the abbreviated post. Changing travel plans leave little time. This will be fleshed out later with images, links, etc.)
This week’s poem is by 'Gaarriye' from Somalia. The poem is read first in English translation by Martin Orwin and then in Somali by 'Gaarriye'. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about 'Gaarriye' and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
Contemporary poems about parents, including Ireland's new favorite poem
Special guest Jack Bowers joined host Dennis Morton for a special show spotlighting poetry that has emerged from arts programs in correctional institutions. Jack heads the Prison Arts Project at the William James Association, and has long been involved with prison arts projects all over California, including state programs such as ARTS-IN-CORRECTIONS. Locally, that involvement led to the establishment of poetry workshops at the Santa Cruz County Jail, which Dennis has been leading for nearly three years. We hear several examples of the remarkable poetry produced in those workshops and in other programs around the state. Jack Bowers is also well known locally as a jazz composer and pianist. At halftime, we hear a song called Soledad Morning, part of his Soledad Suite, inspired by work at the state prison in Soledad and performed last year at Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Another movement from that suite can be heard on this YouTube video. Poetry Show listeners also know of Dennis’ work at the County...
This week's poem is by Farzaneh Khojandi from Tajikistan. The poem is read first in English translation by Jo Shapcott and then in Tajik by Farzaneh. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Farzenah Khojandi and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org .
Major Jackson reads and discusses with host Paul Muldoon a poem by Derek Walcott and poem of his own.
The Poetry Show had a full studio last night, as host Dennis Morton was joined by six of the participants in a recently-completed poetry workshop, sponsored by Catamaran Literary Reader as part of the new Writers Cove endeavor. There are currently five different workshops on a variety of writing styles, including poetry (2), memoir, science and nature, and YA novels. Santa Cruz is already full of writing talent, and Catamaran aims to mine more of that local treasure and bring learning opportunities to the rest of us. It’s not often we have an excuse to post a picture of Dennis but, as leader of the poetry workshop, his inclusion this time is merited. In addition to hosting the KUSP Poetry Show for umpteen years, Dennis is on the board of Poetry Santa Cruz, and is involved in many other local poetry-related activities. And yes, that’s Dennis in younger days, posing front and center and sporting a stylish cravat for the Writers Cove promotional image.
Listen to Thomas Dooley read “Aunt Peggy” from his debut collection, “Trespass.” When Dooley was writing this poem, he was preoccupied with understanding forgiveness. “What is a therapeutic response to something? It’s such a personal thing,” Dooley told Art Beat in December. The poem is “trying to figure out, how does one go on when something has happened? And maybe a way to go on is to not go on with a certain person. Maybe that is how you can save your life.” Aunt Peggy Afternoon sun on metals, hubcaps flash on Second Avenue, I’ve been seesawing my feet on the edge of the curb for almost an hour on the phone with my mother, It just doesn’t make sense, the subject always comes up, I mean she’s had years of therapy, she says years with such exhalation her breath gets reedy, I pick threads from my scarf, Why can’t Peggy forgive your father? The city is bright, winter is quiet, a pause on motion, Mom, look at all she’s been through, Pop then Dad, I mean, good god, her voice tenders, But Tom...
This week’s poem is by Victor Terán from Mexico. The poem is read first in English translation by David Shook and then in Zapotec by David. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about David Shook and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.
Thomas Lux talks about his childhood in 1950s in America during an ‘Age of Science’ and being engaged by language as a teenager, the development of his writing process and the importance of being aware of every syllable. Download podcast
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Togara Muzanenhamo on living on a commercial family farm in Zimbabwe, finding poetry among the maize, soya beans and cattle and doing the mechanical work of writing and his ideal schedule. Download podcast
By firstname.lastname@example.org (The Poetry Trust)
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What does snow have to do with race?
Rowan Ricardo Philips reads and discusses with host Paul Muldoon a poem by Nick Laird and poem of his own.
This week’s poem is by Coral Bracho from Mexico. The poem is read first in English translation by Katherine Pierpoint and then in Spanish by Coral. If you enjoy this poem and would like to find out more about Coral Bracho and all the other poets we’ve translated, please visit our website www.poetrytranslation.org.