I’ve made the claim before that poetry is for everyone, especially radio lovers and I stand by that! I wanted to dig a little deeper and see what poets were doing with audio, whether it be podcasts, broadcast programs or archival audio recordings. There’s so much amazing poetry to listen to on the web, here are some of my favorites.
Studs Terkel in Conversation with American Poets
“Poetry doesn’t deal in ideas, it deals in the experience of ideas.” – John Ciardi, in his interview with Studs Terkel.
The News by Wendy Xu via WFMT and the Poetry Foundation
“We repeat a process of hoping our bodies
to the future though for now mine
eats cucumbers in bed. I had a dream
about a crystal blue pool.
I felt stupid when I saw the ocean.”
Imagination is the seed of empathy – a centrally important function – and both the gift and burden of the writer, argues Kwame Dawes in The Gift from WBEZ.
What is Poetry?
One of my all-time favorite pieces on PRX is this Carl Sandburg remix produced by Barrett Golding called “What is Poetry?”
State of the Re:Union Poetry Month Special
Host Al Letson tells his personal stories of how poetry influenced his life and features some incredible slam poets from around the country.
Woodberry Poetry Room Recordings
The Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard contains a landmark collection of poetry readings that have taken place at Harvard. You can listen online to many of them. Here are a few of my favorites:
- John Berryman, 1962, The Dream Songs
- Ezra Pound, 1939, The Cantos
- Amiri Baraka, 2013, Somebody Blew Up America
- Alice Notley, 2013, I Went Down There
- Steve Roggenbuck’s “Make Something Beautiful Before You Are Dead.” Start at 10:24.
- Allen Ginsberg’s “Father Death Blues.”
- The Afrosonics Project
Harmony Holiday compiles an archive of rare audio clips featuring African American voices. Listen here.
- The Poetry Foundation podcasts:
Lots of wonderful offerings from the Poetry Foundation including their Poem of the Day, Poetry Lectures and Chicago Poetry Tour.
- The New Yorker Poetry Podcast:
Check out Andrea Cohen reading her beautiful and short poem “Lit.”
- Voicemail Poems podcast:
- Poetry and club jams unite. Listen to the Pretty LIT podcast and read my interview with the producer, B.J. Love.
Got a favorite poem recording, poetry radio program or podcast I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.