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Best Close Talking A Poetry podcasts we could find (updated April 2020)
Best Close Talking A Poetry podcasts we could find
Updated April 2020
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Connor and Jack discuss a poem that may resonate during this intense, isolated time: "Dedications" by Adrienne Rich, an excerpt from her sequence An Atlas of the Difficult World. They talk about Rich's radical politics, ethical loneliness, Mavis Staples, and how poems can be their own virtual medium of connection.You can read more of and about Adri…
 
This week, we revisit an oldie but goodie: Connor and Jack's discussion of Emily Dickinson's short, beautiful poem, "To Make a Prairie."To find the poem, go here: www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/make-prairie-1755For more on Emily Dickinson, go here: www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/emily-dickinsonFind us on facebook at: facebook.com/closetalkingFind us on t…
 
Connor and Jack explore the poem "Warming" by dg nanouk okpik. They discuss the poem's interplay between intense specificity and figurative language, climate change as context, and the fact that ice worms are really actually real.More about okpik here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/dg-okpikWarmingBy: dg nanouk okpikShe and I make a bladder…
 
Connor and Jack discuss the ekphrastic poem, Decoy Gang War Victim by Carmen Gimenez Smith. They discuss the nature of acting and direction, the history of the photo from which the poem grew, the hard-to-pin-down voice of the poem's speaker, and much more.EDIT: This episode was originally posted with an inaccurate title for the poem, "Decoy War Gan…
 
Connor and Jack look at a poem by the great, late Lucille Clifton. They discuss the human capacity for violence, roaches in the big apple, dual voicings of memory, and the poem's incredible last sentence.More on Clifton here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lucille-cliftonCheck out her Collected Poems here: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12…
 
Connor and Jack look at a poem with a long title (too long to fit in the title of this podcast!). They discuss climate change, neoliberalism, the dark heart of the human character, and the way the poem builds to its conclusion.Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalkingFind us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalkingFind us on Instagram: @clos…
 
Connor and Jack scour the gently unsettling poem "Gesture with Both Hands Tied" by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. They discuss the poem's challenging lack of a stable speaker, negations of contradictions of negations, and a hypothetical play involving a character mostly not getting up from their chair.You can find Marcelo Hernandez Castillo's work her…
 
Connor and Jack dive into a funny poem with serious depths, Kathy Fagan's Ontology and the Platypus. They discuss the evolutionary wonder that is the platypus, taking humor seriously, Yeats' wild theories about history, and much more!You can find Kathy Fagan's latest book, Sycamore, here: https://milkweed.org/book/sycamoreFind us on Facebook at: fa…
 
Connor and Jack delve into the poem "Clear Night" by the titan Charles Wright. They discuss the poem's intensity of emotion, the English Renaissance poet John Donne, Connor's hypothetical moody high school journals, and Star Wars Ring Theory.Learn more about Wright here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/charles-wrightFind us on Facebook at: f…
 
Connor and Jack had so much to say about Toni Morrison's "Someone Leans Near" that it didn't all fit in one show! In this week's extra episode, they discuss the ending of the poem in depth as well as the idea of endings, especially those that subvert expectations. They also contemplate Morrison's incalculable contribution to literary life and her v…
 
Connor and Jack explore the poem "Tenebris" by the great Harlem Renaissance writer Angelina Weld Grimké. They discuss the poem's powerful meanings on white supremacy during Jim Crowe, the poem's haunting final question, and the relationship between audience and ambiguity.Learn more about Grimké here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Angelina-We…
 
This last week, the world mourned the passing of literary titan Toni Morrison. Morrison famously said, "I don't like to have someone call my books 'poetic' because it has the connotation of luxuriating richness. I wanted to restore the language black people spoke to its original power." Morrison did, however, write 5 poems. Connor and Jack Discuss …
 
REBROADCAST in honor of Joy Harjo's appointment as US Poet Laureate!Connor and Jack discuss Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise. Along the way Jack recommends a documentary, Connor gives his current hot take on form in poetry, and both think about the origins of blues, jazz, and rock and roll.Check out Joy Harjo's latest book here: http://joyharjo.com…
 
Connor and Jack dig into The Condoleezza Suite [Excerpt] Concerto No. 7 Condoleezza {working out} at the Watergate by the incredible Nikky Finney. They discuss signs and signifiers, the legacy of the George W. Bush administration, the fallacies of respectability politics and much more.Learn more about Nikky Finney: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/…
 
Connor and Jack explore Jenny Xie's poem "Private Property" from her National Book Award finalist collection, Eye Level. They cram into the poem's crammed subway car—probably the 4 uptown—and think through how it engages with bodies, beautiful "r" sounds, and of course, late capitalism.Learn more about Xie here: http://www.jennymxie.com/Order her b…
 
Connor and Jack discuss Kamala Surayya's haunting poem, My Grandmother's House. Memory and nostalgia, the use of houses in poetry and song, and even a reference to Mad Men: this episode has it all. Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalkingFind us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalkingFind us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetryYou can always …
 
Connor and Jack discuss the poignant, quiet poem "Child Holding Potato" by Rick Barot. They consider, in Barot's own words, the "limits of art to console," time's relentless march, and the power of stressed syllables. Jack may or may not muse about the one and only Bruce, and Connor may or may not rant about the state of iambic pentameter education…
 
Connor and Jack reach back to 1937 and discuss this unsettling, icy gem from Russian poet and essayist Osip Mandelstam. They talk embedded metaphors (embedaphors), possible political readings, and the value of treating a poem like this one as an experience rather than a puzzle.Learn more about Mandelstam, here: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/o…
 
In this thrilling conclusion to haiku week Connor and Jack explore haiku that deal with more than nature and the natural world. They also look at forms like the haibun that incorporate the haiku but expand beyond it.Episode 1: https://soundcloud.com/close-talking/episode-062-renga-haiku-week-ep-1Episode 2: https://soundcloud.com/close-talking/episo…
 
Translation is such a huge topic in haiku we decided it needed two episodes! Connor and Jack continue their discussion of Basho's famous haiku and add context about its origins.You can find the book that Connor mentions here: www.ndbooks.com/book/on-haiku/Episode 1: https://soundcloud.com/close-talking/episode-062-renga-haiku-week-ep-1Episode 2: ht…
 
Most classic haiku come to English speakers through translation. Connor and Jack use one of Basho's most famous haiku as a way into the thorny question of what translation means to the form.You can find the book that Connor mentions here: www.ndbooks.com/book/on-haiku/Episode 1: https://soundcloud.com/close-talking/episode-062-renga-haiku-week-ep-1…
 
Do haiku need to be 3 lines? How does lineation work in haiku anyway? Connor and Jack dig into these questions with reference to works by Hashimoto Takako, Mayuzumi Madoka, and Basho.You can find the book that Connor mentions here: www.ndbooks.com/book/on-haiku/Episode 1: https://soundcloud.com/close-talking/episode-062-renga-haiku-week-ep-1Episode…
 
Since Connor and Jack decided during episode 2 of haiku week that the 5-7-5 syllable rule does not define what makes a haiku, they explore the question: how do you know you are writing/reading a haiku? In the third episode of haiku week, they discuss the concept of the break or turn in a haiku.You can find the book that Connor mentions here: https:…
 
If you've heard of haiku, you've probably heard about the rule of 5-7-5: the numbers of syllables that are "supposed" to be in each line of the poem. Connor and Jack go after the 5-7-5 rule the way Tormund Giantsbane went after the knighting conventions of Westeros in Game of Thrones. For more on haiku, syllables, and Ser Brienne of Tarth, check th…
 
Connor and Jack close out National Poetry Month 2019 in style with a special week-long series on haiku! To start off, a look at the history of the form. They discuss renga, the linked verse game from which the contemporary haiku evolved, and even try their hands at writing one.Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalkingFind us on Twitter at: …
 
Connor and Jack explore the poem “Medical History” by Nicole Sealey. They consider medical histories as a form, think through the link between racism and black health disparities, try to figure out what makes the ending so startling and incredible, and meander embarrassingly into the world of sportsball.Read the poem below.Check out her debut colle…
 
Connor and Jack explore this poem by Paige Lewis, author of the forthcoming (and hotly anticipated) collection Space Struck, which will publish in October 2019. They explore some of the poem's "zinger" lines, and entangle themselves in its intoxicating web of religion, labor history, medicine, and (insidious?) miracles.Read the poem below.Preorder …
 
W. S. Merwin's recent passing got Connor and Jack thinking about his work. In this episode they explore the elegantly structured, gut-punchingly powerful "For the Anniversary of My Death" from Merwin's collection "The Lice." Jack brings up the concept of the presence of absence and Connor finds new levels of sonic resonance in the poem's final line…
 
A day late but it's here! Connor and Jack explore the haunting poem, “Stammer,” by Cynthia Cruz. They delight in the incredible sounds of the poem, think about what makes this poem difficult, and consider how this poem shows one way of engaging with the traumatic or inexpressible. Read the poem below.More on Cynthia Cruz, here: https://www.poetryfo…
 
Connor and Jack take a detour into American gothic territory with Ted Kooser's eerie "Abandoned Farmhouse." They hone in on what makes the poem so creepy, how the specific and the unnamed work together to heighten its unsettling atmosphere, and end up reflecting on how it almost sounds like a horrific children's book.Read the poem below.More on Ted…
 
Connor and Jack talk about the poem "And" by Rae Armantrout. Connor asks, "Why is this a poem?" Jack expounds upon Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and both burrow deep into the strange roots and meanings of words.Read the poem below.More on Rae Armantrout, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/rae-armantroutFind us on facebook at: facebo…
 
EXTRA EPISODE! This is a short outtake from our conversation on Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese." Jack discusses some connections he sees between Oliver and Kierkegaard, and Connor comments on the philosophical depth of Oliver's poetic project.Read the poem below.?More on Mary Oliver, here: www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mary-oliverFind us on facebook at…
 
In the wake of Mary Oliver's recent passing, Connor and Jack delve into one of her most popular poems, "Wild Geese." Connor is dazzled by the way the poem moves, and Jack can't help bringing Tom Petty into the conversation.Read the poem below.?More on Mary Oliver, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mary-oliverFind us on facebook at: faceb…
 
In the first episode of 2019, Connor and Jack discuss Natasha Trethewey’s “Letter.” Jack calls Connor out for his poetical preferences, Connor waxes abstractly about associative logic, both explore how things as small as a letter can reveal our most profound grief. A Dybek umbrella descends.Read the poem below.?More on Natasha Trethewey, here: http…
 
In this episode, Connor and Jack discuss Mary Karr's "Carnegie Hall Rush Seats." In the course of the conversation they also talk about big-R Romanticism, Calvinism, the Netflix program Chef's Table, and the quasi-mystical process behind the crafting of the world's finest classical instruments. Connor sticks up for the midwest, Jack's poetic prefer…
 
Content Warning: SuicidalityConnor and Jack discuss a poem by this year's National Book Award winner for Poetry: Justin Phillip Reed. The poem, "How to Keep it Down / Throw It off / Defer Until Asleep," is from that award-winning collection, Indecency, published by Coffee House Press. We talk about the effects of the poem's shifting POV, the inters…
 
It has been two years since Connor and Jack launched Close Talking! After 50 episodes, they decided to commemorate the occasion by looking back on an episode they particularly enjoyed on Monica Youn's "Ersatz Ignatz"To read the poem, go here or below: www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53591/ersatz-ignatzFor more on Youn: www.poetryfoundation.org/poets…
 
For the 50th episode of Close Talking, Connor and Jack dive into a classic: Ozymandias. They discuss Percy Bysshe Shelley's many accomplishments, the poem's history, and how the poem has been deployed in popular culture. Jack can't help bringing up Roger Federer, and Connor offers a curated tour of poems about urns, sculptures, and other objects.Re…
 
In this special spooky Halloween episode, we talk about Anna Journey's terrifying and haunting poem "Mercy." We consider serial killers and Brett Kavanaugh, squirrel meat and patriarchal violence, and the ghoulish openness of the grotesque. Content Warning: Sexual Violence.Read the poem below.More on Journey: http://annajourney.com/Check out Journe…
 
In this episode, Connor and Jack explore an the poem “Emplumada,” by Lorna Dee Cervantes. They discuss the poem’s ending, its ambiguity and beauty; how the poem might fit into a three-act structure; the poem’s negotiation with an oppressive history; the poem’s tonal distance between quiet and intensity; and, finally, hummingbirds and their possible…
 
Connor and Jack delve into Fatimah Asghar's incredible poem, "If They Should Come for Us." They discuss the lack of punctuation, the use of the ampersand, the historical connections in the title, brave line breaks, The Dark Knight, the blending of the political and the personal, and much more.This show starts with a short discussion of a listener r…
 
In this larger episode, Connor and Jack explore an excerpt of Layli Long Soldier’s sequence “Whereas Statements,” which responds to the Congressional Resolution of Apology to Native Americans that US President Barack Obama signed on Saturday, December 19, 2009. They discuss how Long Soldier interrogates and writes against the language of the Apolog…
 
Many poems were shared online in the wake of Aretha Franklin's recent passing. Connor and Jack explore the emotional and poetic depths of this poem by Ada Limon, written ten years ago, which simultaneously celebrates Franklin and her music, shows the immediate impact hearing that music for the first time can have on an unsuspecting young listener, …
 
Connor and Jack go on a mid-summer romp in the blackberry patch for a discussion of Seamus Heaney's "Blackberry-Picking." Along the way they discuss the poem's accessibility to a variety of audiences, Heaney's ability to create sonically perfect moments, and the meaning of the word "crepuscular." They also take time to marvel at Heaney's overall ma…
 
Connor and Jack delve into Ross Gay's powerhouse poem "Pulled Over in Short Hills, NJ 8:00am. Jack breaks down how he arrived at his choice of this poem and the two discuss police violence, the inescapability of race in the United States, the ending of the film Inception, and the Green Book, a travel guide used by black families during the Jim Crow…
 
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