13 episodes

This podcast series from the Poetry Centre focusses upon the work of one poet, or features discussions about poetry with poets and academics. Our theme music, Leaving for the North, is composed especially for the series by Aneurin Rees. It is played by Aneurin Rees on guitar and Rosalie Tribe on violin.

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This podcast series from the Poetry Centre focusses upon the work of one poet, or features discussions about poetry with poets and academics. Our theme music, Leaving for the North, is composed especially for the series by Aneurin Rees. It is played by Aneurin Rees on guitar and Rosalie Tribe on violin.

    Mariah Whelan talks to Niall Munro

    Mariah Whelan talks to Niall Munro

    Mariah is a poet, teacher and interdisciplinary researcher from Oxford. Her debut collection, a novel-in-sonnets called , was published in November 2019 by Eyewear. Poems from the novel were shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, The Melita Hume Prize and the manuscript won the AM Heath Prize. A second collection of poems which explores writing, constructions of whiteness and museum archives is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in 2020.

    • 46 min
    Peter Bearder talks to Niall Munro

    Peter Bearder talks to Niall Munro

    Peter Bearder may be better known to many as Pete the Temp. A spoken word poet, comic, and musician, Peter has appeared on television and radio, at festivals around the UK, and internationally with the British Council. He has been the National Poetry Slam Champion and in 2018 was awarded the Golden Hammer Award for services to spoken word. His poetry has appeared in a collection called (Burning Eye Books, 2017). As well as recordings of Peter’s performances and his terrific selection of interviews with spoken word artists, his website also features his 2015 TEDx talk about why every school should have a spoken word artist. Peter’s new book, (Out-Spoken Press, 2019), is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the recent history and development of spoken word and will be required reading for anyone studying or fascinated by the art. The book covers a tremendous amount of ground, and in this podcast Peter and Niall discuss a number of the issues raised in , such as Peter’s own first experience of a poetry slam, how he thinks about the world of spoken word now, and recent well-publicised criticisms of spoken word. They also talk about Peter’s own poetry and how he performs it, and the value of spoken word for society.

    • 42 min
    Oxford Poets 11: James Arthur

    Oxford Poets 11: James Arthur

    James was born in Connecticut and grew up in Toronto. His poems have appeared in many magazines and journals, including ‘The New Yorker’, ‘Poetry’, ‘The New York Review of Books’, the ‘London Review of Books’, and ‘The Walrus’. He has been awarded numerous scholarships and fellowships, such as the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/‘The Nation Prize’, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a visiting fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. He lives in Baltimore and teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. James’s first book of poetry ‘Charms Against Lightning’, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012, and his chapbook, ‘Hundred Acre Wood’, came out in 2018 with Anstruther Press. His second full collection, ‘The Suicide’s Son’, was published in spring of 2019 by Véhicule Press in Montreal. In this podcast, Niall and James discuss knowledge and childhood, living in Canada and the United States, drone warfare, and the experience of being a new parent. In particular, we talk about three of James’s poems: ‘Ode to an Encyclopedia’, ‘Drone’, and ‘Goodnight Moon’, all of which you can read below.

    • 28 min
    Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison

    When Richard Harrison was in Oxford en route to Italy to launch a new Italian translation of his poetry, he gave an inspiring reading at the Society Cafe, and beforehand sat down with the Director of the Poetry Centre, Niall Munro, to discuss his work. In this interview Niall and Richard talk about the structure of Richard’s award-winning book ‘On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood’ and the editing process; his relationship with his father who died from dementia; writing about grief; and the capabilities of poetry. You can also read a slightly different version of the interview on the Poetry Centre blog. Richard Harrison is a multiple-award-winning poet, essayist, and editor. His most recent book, ‘On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood’, was awarded the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. The book was also shortlisted for the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and won the Stephan G. Stephansson Alberta Poetry Prize. His six books of poetry include ‘Big Breath of a Wish’, poems about his daughter’s acquisition of language, and ‘Hero of the Play’, poems in the language of hockey, launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    • 35 min
    Shara Lessley

    Shara Lessley

    In this first episode in a new podcast series, Shara Lessley discusses her poem ‘The Clinic Bomber’s Mother’. The poem comes from Shara’s new book, ‘The Explosive Expert’s Wife’, published by the University of Wisconsin Press. In this discussion, Shara first reads her poem and then talks about a number of issues related to it and the book as a whole, such as motherhood, perceptions of the Middle East by Americans and violence in the Middle East and in America, especially domestic terrorism. Shara Lessley is a writer and teacher. The author of ‘Two-Headed Nightingale’ and ‘The Explosive Expert’s Wife’, and co-editor of ‘The Poem’s Country: Place and Poetic Practice’ (with Bruce Snider), she is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Shara’s poems and essays have appeared in ‘Ploughshares’, ‘The Kenyon Review’, ‘Threepenny Review’, ‘The Southern Review’, ‘The Gettysburg Review’, ‘Missouri Review’, and ‘New England Review’, among others. A recipient of scholarships from ArtsBridge and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Shara holds Bachelor’s degrees in Dance and English from University of California, Irvine, and an MFA in Poetry from University of Maryland. She was recently awarded Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Oxford. Find out more about Shara’s work on her website, and follow her on Twitter.

    • 27 min
    The Abandoned House

    The Abandoned House

    This latest podcast features a dialogue between Terri Mullholland and Siân Thomas, inspired by Siân’s poem, ‘The Abandoned House’. Amongst other venues, Terri and Siân presented their dialogue at the Shifting Territories conference in May 2013. Together with their discussion, they also showed a number of photographs of the particular house in Sussex, which were taken by the photographer Caroline Pooley. These are also presented here. In this recording, Siân reads her poem, and then talks about how she discovered the house. The discussion touches upon various issues related to the poem and to Terri’s own research, including: how a critical-creative dialogue works, the idea of the ruin in literature, the association of memory with place, the presentation of decay in poetry, and the effect of development on the Weald in East Sussex. ‘The Abandoned House’ originally appeared in issue #7, ‘Time and Memory’ of SWAMP: An Online Magazine for Postgraduate Creative Writing.

    • 36 min

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