77 episodes

The Poetry Exchange talks to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.In each episode you will hear a guest talking about their chosen poem and the part it has played in their life, as well as the recording of the poem that we make as a gift for them.Our podcast features conversations with people from all walks of life, as well a range of special guests.Join us to discover the power of poetry in people's lives. Silver Award Winner for Most Original Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2018.
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The Poetry Exchange The Poetry Exchange

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 50 Ratings

The Poetry Exchange talks to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.In each episode you will hear a guest talking about their chosen poem and the part it has played in their life, as well as the recording of the poem that we make as a gift for them.Our podcast features conversations with people from all walks of life, as well a range of special guests.Join us to discover the power of poetry in people's lives. Silver Award Winner for Most Original Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2018.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    77. Grief by Matthew Dickman - A Friend to Rowena Knight

    77. Grief by Matthew Dickman - A Friend to Rowena Knight

    In this episode of The Poetry Exchange, poet Rowena Knight talks with us about the poem that has been a friend to her: 'Grief' by Matthew Dickman. Rowena visited us in Durham and is in conversation with Andrea Witzke Slot and Michael Shaeffer. We are hugely grateful to her for sharing her story of connection with Matthew Dickman's poem.Rowena Knight’s poetry is influenced by her identity as a queer feminist and her childhood in New Zealand. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including Butcher’s Dog, Magma, The Rialto, and The Emma Press Anthology of Love. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and commended in the 2019 Winchester Poetry Prize. Her first pamphlet, All the Footprints I Left Were Red, was published with Valley Press in 2016. You can find her on Twitter @purple_feminist and Instagram @purple_feminist_You can discover more of Matthew Dickman's stunning, reverberating poetry at www.matthewdickmanpoetry.com. 'Grief' can be found in the collection 'Mayakovsky's Revolver' from W.W. Norton & Company, 2012.The reading of 'Grief' is by Andrea Witzke Slot.*********Griefby Matthew DickmanWhen grief comes to you as a purple gorillayou must count yourself lucky.You must offer her what’s leftof your dinner, the book you were trying to finishyou must put asideand make her a place to sit at the foot of your bed,her eyes moving from the clockto the television and back again.I am not afraid. She has been here beforeand now I can recognize her gaitas she approaches the house.Some nights, when I know she’s coming,I unlock the door, lie down on my back,and count her stepsfrom the street to the porch.Tonight she brings a pencil and a ream of paper,tells me to write downeveryone I have ever known,and we separate them between the living and the deadso she can pick each name at random.I play her favorite Willie Nelson albumbecause she misses Texasbut I don’t ask why.She hums a little,the way my brother does when he gardens.We sit for an hourwhile she tells me how unreasonable I’ve been,crying in the check-out line,refusing to eat, refusing to shower,all the smoking and all the drinking.Eventually she puts one of her heavypurple arms around me, leansher head against mine,and all of a sudden things are feeling romantic.So I tell her,things are feeling romantic.She pulls another name, this timefrom the dead,and turns to me in that way that parents doso you feel embarrassed or ashamed of something.Romantic? She says,reading the name out loud, slowlyso I am aware of each syllable, each vowelwrapping around the bones like new muscle,the sound of that person’s bodyand how reckless it is,how careless that his name is in one pile and not the other.Copyright: Matthew Dickman. 'Grief' by Matthew Dickman, from 'Mayakovsky's Revolver', W.W. Norton & Company, 2012.
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    • 28 min
    76. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot - A Friend To Ella Frears

    76. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot - A Friend To Ella Frears

    In this episode, poet Ella Frears talks about the poem that has been a friend to her: The The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.Ella Frears is a poet and artist based in London. Her debut collection, Shine, Darling, (Offord Road Books, 2020) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Her latest pamphlet I AM THE MOTHER CAT written as part of her residency at John Hansard Gallery is out with Rough Trade Books (2021). Ella was recently named Poet in Residence for the Dartington Trust’s grade II listed Gardens, selected by Alice Oswald. She is a trustee and editor for Magma Poetry and has been Poet in Residence for the National Trust, Tate Britain, The John Hansard Gallery, K6 Gallery, SPUD (the Observatory), conservation organisation Back from the Brink, and was poet in residence at Royal Holloway University physics department, writing about the Cassini Space Mission. https://ellafrears.comElla is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange hosts Fiona Bennett and Michael Shaeffer.
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    • 38 min
    75. Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost - A Friend to Glyn Maxwell

    75. Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost - A Friend to Glyn Maxwell

    In our latest episode, acclaimed poet, playwright and librettist Glyn Maxwell talks about the poem that has been a friend to him: 'Acquainted with the Night' by Robert Frost.Glyn is in conversation with Fiona Bennett and Michael Shaeffer.Glyn Maxwell's volumes of poetry include The Breakage, Hide Now, Pluto, and How The Hell Are You, all of which were shortlisted for either the Forward or T. S. Eliot Prizes, and The Nerve, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. On Poetry, a guidebook for the general reader, was published by Oberon in 2012. The Spectator called it ‘a modern classic’ and The Guardian’s Adam Newey described it as ‘the best book about poetry I’ve ever read.’ Drinks With Dead Poets, which is both an expansion of On Poetry and a novel in itself, was published by Oberon in September 2016.Many of Maxwell’s plays have been staged in London and New York, including Liberty at Shakespeare’s Globe, and at the Almeida, Arcola, RADA and Southwark Playhouse. *********Acquainted with the NightBy Robert FrostI have been one acquainted with the night.I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.I have outwalked the furthest city light.I have looked down the saddest city lane.I have passed by the watchman on his beatAnd dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.I have stood still and stopped the sound of feetWhen far away an interrupted cryCame over houses from another street,But not to call me back or say good-bye;And further still at an unearthly height,One luminary clock against the skyProclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night.Robert Frost, "Acquainted with the Night" from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright © 1964, 1970 by Leslie Frost Ballantine. Copyright 1936, 1942 © 1956 by Robert Frost. Copyright 1923, 1928, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Co.
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    • 28 min
    74. Poem in October by Dylan Thomas - A Friend to Alex

    74. Poem in October by Dylan Thomas - A Friend to Alex

    In this episode of our podcast, Alex Pritchard-Jones talks about the poem that has been a friend to him: Poem in October by Dylan Thomas.Alex spoke with us online during a day of Exchanges at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. He is in conversation with Fiona Bennett and Roy McFarlane.Poem in October is read by Alex Pritchard-Jones and Roy McFarlane.To join us for our live, online event In The Company Of Poems on 3rd November 2022, 7-8pm (GMT), visit https://inthecompanyofpoems.eventbrite.co.uk. Don't miss this night of powerful poems and voices!*********Poem In OctoberIt was my thirtieth year to heavenWoke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood And the mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore The morning beckonWith water praying and call of seagull and rookAnd the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall Myself to set foot That secondIn the still sleeping town and set forth. My birthday began with the water-Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In rainy autumnAnd walked abroad in a shower of all my days.High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gatesOf the town closed as the town awoke. A springful of larks in a rollingCloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder,Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenlyCome in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow coldIn the wood faraway under me. Pale rain over the dwindling harbourAnd over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardensOf spring and summer were blooming in the tall talesBeyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthdayAway but the weather turned around. It turned away from the blithe countryAnd down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currantsAnd I saw in the turning so clearly a child'sForgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sun lightAnd the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancyThat his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. These were the woods the river and sea Where a boy In the listeningSummertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joyTo the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. And the mystery Sang aliveStill in the water and singingbirds. And there could I marvel my birthdayAway but the weather turned around. And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun. It was my thirtiethYear to heaven stood there then in the summer noonThough the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sungOn this high hill in a year's turning.
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    • 30 min
    73. SkyLines Festival featuring Roz Goddard & Rishi Dastidar

    73. SkyLines Festival featuring Roz Goddard & Rishi Dastidar

    In this special, feature-length episode, we bring you our live event at SkyLines Festival of Poetry & Spoken Word in Coventry, which took place in July 2022. Renowned poets Roz Goddard and Rishi Dastidar are in converation with hosts Michael Shaeffer and Roy McFarlane about the poems that have been friends to them, alongside live readings from The Poetry Exchange archive.Roz talks about 'Pulmonary Tuberculosis' by Katherine Mansfield; Rishi talks about 'Lousy with unfuckedness, I dream' by Amy Key.We are hugely greatful to Roz and Rishi for joining us for this event and for sharing the poems that have been friends to them so openly and beautifully. Our thanks also to the Belgrade Theatre and SkyLines Festival team, especially Jane Commane for inviting us to be part of the programme and Jason Sylvester and Debbie Harlow for their support on the day. Thank you to Amy Key for allowing us to share her brilliant poem - you can find it in Amy's collection 'Isn't Forever' from Bloodaxe Books: www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/isn-t-forever-1181Roy also reads 'A Short Story of Falling' by Alice Oswald. Many thanks to Alice Oswald and United Agents for granting us permission to share the poem in this capacity. 'A Short Story of Falling' can be found in the collection 'Falling Awake' (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2016.*********Pulmonary Tuberculosisby Katherine MansfieldThe man in the room next to mine has the same complaint as I. When Iwake in the night I hear him turning. And then he coughs. And I cough. And after a silence I cough. And he coughs again. This goes on for a long time. Until I feel we are like two roosters calling to each other at false dawn. From far-away hidden farms.Lousy with unfuckedness, I dreamby Amy Keyeach night I count ghostlets of how my body waswanted / behind with deadheading / rose hips havecome / behind with actions that count only / whenthe timing is right / I took out a contract / it wasimprudent in value / behind with asepsis / hellomicrobes of my body / we sleep together / hellocats / I make my bed daily / of the three types ofhair on the sheets / only one is human / I count thebedrooms / I never had sex in / but there were cars / wild woods / blackfly has got to all thenasturtiums / you cannot dig up a grapevine / andexpect shelter to come / I am touched by your letter/ writes a friend / you prevaricate desire / saysmessage / all this fucking / with no hands on meCopyright Amy Key. From 'Isn't Forever' by Amy Key (Bloodaxe Books, 2018).
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    • 53 min
    72. Truth by Jean Binta Breeze - A Friend to Sue Brown

    72. Truth by Jean Binta Breeze - A Friend to Sue Brown

    In this episode, poet Sue Brown talks with us about the poem that has been a friend to her - 'Truth' by Jean 'Binta' Breeze.​Sue joined The Poetry Exchange at the Birmingham & Midland Institute and is in conversation with Fiona Bennett and Roy McFarlane.Sue Brown writes from the heart and the soul. Her words pull from the dialect of her local community, from the long toned melodic speech of preachers and Maya Angelou, from mantras and incantations, from jazz. In her poetry, a lifetime in the making, she is a fighter and a lover, by turns rising up against the oppression that has dominated her peoples’ history, and rising skywards on the warm air of her compassion and her capacity for love. These poems move with a beat that speaks to hearts everywhere. They pulse with life, feeling like they could either be spoken or sung. Feel their rhythm. Feel their profound sensibility. And as Roy McFarlane says in his exuberant introduction to this book – ‘Let Rhythm Chant take a hold of you.’'Truth' is taken from Jean Binta Breeze's 'Third World Girl - Selected Poems', published by Bloodaxe Books: www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/third-world-girl-1005
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    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

PineGroveCharlie ,

Consistently Brilliant

A wonderful team presenting, interesting guests, thought provoking discussions, and classic poetry. Could any poetry lover ask for more? I don’t think so.

Thanks to all involved.

Top Of The Gap ,

Brilliant

Informative and very accessible. Love it!

veryveryyyyannoyed ,

Gorgeous and accessible

What a fantastic concept. I'm not a poetry expert at all, but this podcast provided the perfect introduction. Thank you!

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