184 episodes

Short and unhurried, Poetry Unbound is an immersive exploration of a single poem, hosted by Pádraig Ó Tuama.

Pádraig Ó Tuama greets you at the doorways of brilliant poems and walks you through — each one has wisdom to offer and questions to ask you.

Already a listener? There’s also a book (Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World), a Substack newsletter with a vibrant conversation in the comments, and occasional gatherings.

Poetry Unbound On Being Studios

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 286 Ratings

Short and unhurried, Poetry Unbound is an immersive exploration of a single poem, hosted by Pádraig Ó Tuama.

Pádraig Ó Tuama greets you at the doorways of brilliant poems and walks you through — each one has wisdom to offer and questions to ask you.

Already a listener? There’s also a book (Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World), a Substack newsletter with a vibrant conversation in the comments, and occasional gatherings.

    Closing: Poems as Teachers (ft. Kai Cheng Thom) | Ep 7

    Closing: Poems as Teachers (ft. Kai Cheng Thom) | Ep 7

    In this concluding episode of "Poems as Teachers," our special miniseries on conflict and the human condition, host Pádraig Ó Tuama says the poems discussed in this offering are a different kind of teacher: “not as teachers that give us rules to follow — more so teachers that share something of their own intuition.” And for a final reflection, he offers Kai Cheng Thom’s “trauma is not sacred,” which speaks directly, fiercely, and lovingly to the pain, scars, and violence that we humans carry and inflict upon one another.

    • 12 min
    Yehuda Amichai — Poems as Teachers | Ep 6

    Yehuda Amichai — Poems as Teachers | Ep 6

    Being right may feel good, but what human price do we pay for this feeling of rightness? Yehuda Amichai’s poem “The Place Where We Are Right,” translated by Stephen Mitchell, asks us to answer this question, consider how doubt and love might expand and enrich our perspective, and reflect upon the buried and not-so-buried ruins of past conflicts, arguments, and wounds that still call for our attention.

    • 14 min
    Jericho Brown — Poems as Teachers | Ep 5

    Jericho Brown — Poems as Teachers | Ep 5

    In “Hebrews 13” by Jericho Brown, a narrator says: “my lover and my brother both knocked at my door.” The heat is turned on, scalding coffee is offered and hastily swallowed, and silence is the soundtrack. What an exquisitely awkward triangle it is, and what a human, beautiful, and loving shape that can be.

    • 13 min
    Mosab Abu Toha — Poems as Teachers | Ep 4

    Mosab Abu Toha — Poems as Teachers | Ep 4

    In Mosab Abu Toha’s “Ibrahim Abu Lughod and brother in Yaffa,” two barefoot siblings on a beach sketch out a map of their former home in the sand and argue about what went where. Their longing for return to a place of hospitality, family, memory, friends, and even strangers is alive and tender to the touch.

    • 16 min
    Constantine P. Cavafy — Poems as Teachers | Ep 3

    Constantine P. Cavafy — Poems as Teachers | Ep 3

    We ask questions to find out the facts, but what if you can’t trust the answers, the questions, or the person who's asking the questions? In Constantine P. Cavafy’s “Waiting for the Barbarians,” translated by Evan Jones, leaders exercise a sinister kind of violence — they’ve taken over people’s imaginations with showy displays of wealth and privilege, time-wasting ceremony, and fear coursing beneath it all.

    • 17 min
    Joy Harjo — Poems as Teachers | Ep 2

    Joy Harjo — Poems as Teachers | Ep 2

    As appealing as it may sound, is it really possible to live in a world completely free of conflict? No. And since differences and disagreements are inevitable and natural, Joy Harjo gives ground rules in “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.” Her call to us echoes across time and space — a call to listen, to humility, to justice, and to recognizing the land, the living, the dead, the not-yet-living.

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
286 Ratings

286 Ratings

Marlisekelsey ,

My Weekly Meditation

I love these episodes! I use them in my meditation practice. O’Tuama has a unique way of choosing and discussing poetry that is so very human, connecting it to the reader/listener in a visceral way.

Anna 269 ,

5 Stars!!

This is one of my favorite podcasts and has really deepened my love for poetry. He has the perfect voice for this type of podcast.

Jeff Mavraganis ,

Shrinking Into Ordinary

I’m going back to this podcast where creativity, and balance in the morning makes sense.

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