187 episodes

Close Talking is a poetry podcast hosted by good friends Connor Stratton and Jack Rossiter-Munley. In each episode the two read a poem and discuss at length. The pop culture references fly as freely as the literary theories. Close Talking is a poetry podcast anyone can enjoy.

Close Talking: A Poetry Podcast Cardboard Box Productions, Inc.

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 41 Ratings

Close Talking is a poetry podcast hosted by good friends Connor Stratton and Jack Rossiter-Munley. In each episode the two read a poem and discuss at length. The pop culture references fly as freely as the literary theories. Close Talking is a poetry podcast anyone can enjoy.

    Episode #179 [Hiatus!] Tune - Kay Ryan

    Episode #179 [Hiatus!] Tune - Kay Ryan

    Connor pops in to announce incredibly belatedly what has already been apparent for months: Close Talking is on a hiatus! We've had some big life and career changes that have unexpectedly cut into our capacity for the podcast, but it's not a permanent hiatus! Okay, a poem:

    Tune
    By: Kay Ryan

    Imagine a sea
    of ultramarine
    suspending a
    million jellyfish
    as soft as moons.
    Imagine the
    interlocking uninsistent
    tunes of drifting things.
    This is the deep machine
    that powers the lamps
    of dreams and accounts
    for their bluish tint.
    How can something
    so grand and serene
    vanish again and again
    without a hint?

    • 10 min
    Episode #178 Remembering Charles Simic

    Episode #178 Remembering Charles Simic

    A slight departure from our regular format. On today's show, Connor and Jack remember the recently departed poet Charles Simic. They read some of his poems, reflect on them, discuss his life and legacy, and even give a shoutout to the Oak Park Public Library.

    Poems Connor and Jack read in this episode include: "Summer Morning" "Hotel Insomnia" "Watermelons" and "Back at the Chicken Shack."

    At the end of the episode, hear Simic read his poem "December 21."

    Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@cardboardboxproductionsinc
    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/@cardboardboxproductionsinc
    You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 22 min
    Episode #177 [Flicking off the light switch.] - Sherwin Bitsui

    Episode #177 [Flicking off the light switch.] - Sherwin Bitsui

    Connor and Jack bid farewell to the year they've taken to calling "Twenty Twenty Poo" and contemplate the complexities of language in a wide-ranging conversation about a spectacular untitled poem by Diné poet Sherwin Bitsui, from his 2009 collection Flood Song. They discuss movement, the natural world, an extremely informative dissertation and more.

    Learn more about Bitsui, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/sherwin-bitsui

    [Flicking off the light switch.]
    By: Sherwin Bitsui

    Flicking off the light switch.
    Lichen buds the curved creases of a mind
    pondering the mesquite tree’s dull ache
    as it gathers its leaves around clouds of spotted doves—
    calling them in rows of twelve back from their winter sleep.

    Doves’ eyes black as nightfall
    shiver on the foam coast of an arctic dream
    where whale ribs
    clasp and fasten you to a language of shifting ice.

    Seeing into those eyes
    you uncoil their telephone wires,
    gather their inaudible lions with plastic forks,
    tongue their salty ribbons,
    and untie their weedy stems from your prickly fingers.

    You stop to wonder what like sounds like
    when held under glacier water,
    how Ná ho kos feels
    under the weight of all that loss.



    Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/@cardboardboxproductionsinc
    You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 58 min
    Episode #176 Topsoil, In Repentance - Sherry Shenoda

    Episode #176 Topsoil, In Repentance - Sherry Shenoda

    Connor and Jack discuss the sonically and thematically dense poem "Topsoil, in Repentance" by Sherry Shenoda. Shenoda's book MUMMY EATERS was longlisted for the National Book Award in 2022. The conversation moves from an exploration of internal rhymes and alliteration, to the climate crisis, to the religious implications of the word "repentance," to soil strata, and to the relative weight of humanity.

    You can find out more about Sherry Shenoda, here: https://www.sherryshenoda.com/

    Read the poem, here: https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2022/march/topsoil-repentance-sherry-shenoda

    Topsoil, in Repentance
    By: Sherry Shenoda

    On my mind daily with the insistence of a metronome
    is that thin granular layer, rich humus, spare humility,
    black earth daily lifted and blown into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Thinnest of salvations with a margin of error
    wide as the pink, gelatinous body of the earthworm
    Which my spade barely misses, and every time

    my tines enter the ground, my wrist twists the damp loam,
    I breathe easier to see them wriggling, unburied
    fleeing the light, burrowing back down, aerating

    this earth we have packed down with our culpability
    this immense density of earth, only the topmost of which
    can support the unimaginable numbers of us, our great warm swarm

    Squinting up in immense sunlight I hear the silent swish and tick
    the back-and-forth rhythm, the last few seconds before midnight
    the enormity of the loan, which has been called in full

    The hazy buzzing of the furry bees, busy in the branches
    above my exposed neck, on any given day a stay
    for a little while longer, of execution

    Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    Find us on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@cardboardboxproductionsinc
    You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Episode #175 - Poetry Spoken Here Ep. 132: Black Lives Matter

    Episode #175 - Poetry Spoken Here Ep. 132: Black Lives Matter

    After a busy couple weeks at Close Talking headquarters, a slightly different show. This episode is from our sister-podcast, Poetry Spoken Here. The episode first aired in the summer of 2020 and was simply called "Black Lives Matter." The poems and voices featured are all from the Poetry Spoken Here archives and address race, policing, and more. Readers include Pulitzer Prize-winner Jericho Brown, the youngest ever Baltimore Youth Poet Laureate, Maren (Lovey) Wright Kerr, Chicago-area slam legend Maria "Mama" McCray, Sillerman First Book Prize winner Ladan Osman, and SlamFind creator and Bowery Arts and Science Executive Director Mason Granger.

    You can listen to full readings, and interviews with the poets featured in this episode, here:
    Jericho Brown, Episode #100: https://soundcloud.com/poetry-spoken-here/episode-100-jericho-brown-reading-at-the-unamuno-author-festival
    Maren (Lovey) Wright Kerr, Episode #085: https://soundcloud.com/poetry-spoken-here/episode-085-maren-lovey-wright-kerr-and-lynne-sharon-schwartz-reviewed
    Maria "Mama" McCray, Episode #058: https://soundcloud.com/poetry-spoken-here/episode-058-tribute-to-maria-mama-mccray
    Ladan Osman, Episode #023: https://soundcloud.com/poetry-spoken-here/episode-023-ladan-osman-and-the-book-thing
    Mason Granger, Episode #034: https://soundcloud.com/poetry-spoken-here/episode-034-mason-granger-and-billy-collins

    Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 28 min
    Episode #174 National Book Award Winner John Keene and Punks - SPECIAL EPISODE

    Episode #174 National Book Award Winner John Keene and Punks - SPECIAL EPISODE

    In this special episode, Connor and Jack discuss the 2022 National Book Awards — the long list, the finalists, and the winner "Punks: New and Selected Poems" by John Keene. They read and explore a marvelous poem from the collection, "Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open," which also appeared in BOMB Magazine.



    Listen to the National Book Awards Award Ceremony, here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hNtsKasx5U&ab_channel=NationalBookFoundation

    Get Punks here: https://the-song-cave.com/products/punks-by-john-keene




    Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open
    By: John Keene



    Folks are right: my nose is wide open. I left one man and fell for this one, he’s not the one, so what am I to do? I don’t. Instead, I stand in the doorway of the New Age café on Newbury Street waiting for Kevin, because we’re going to talk about poems. All the poems I haven’t written, because I spend my waking hours talking about them, reading the work of others, trying to remake myself as Essex Hemphill or Neruda or Celan. For example, I can’t write poems about this crazy dude I’m seeing, how he writhes in bed like a loose hose when he comes, how he stands for hours in front of the mirror admiring and caressing his muscles, saying nothing but “Looking good,” the yelps he serves up when I enter him. I don’t write poems about how he silences me with certain looks, his lies about being from “Black money,” how he laughs at the serious things I say. How often when I’m with him I feel more alone than the hardest years of high school. Rather, I write down lines towards poems, abstract pronouncements about unhappiness and being scared and unknown and misunderstood and death, which makes me think I’m addressing the problem. Love is a dream where both of us are trying, at the same speed, without quitting. Then Kevin shows up, and I’m not so sure, because before I can get a word in about my plight, before I can pass today’s halfstarts and failures across the table, he starts telling me about last night’s fight with his girlfriend.



    Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
    You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

ameliaITUSA ,

Oasis in chaos

I come to this small oasis of human depth to escape the chaos of the modern world: it is such a quenching place!

pachita101 ,

My fav poetry nerds

those buffoons over at On Being have nothing on you two <3

Iambic12345 ,

It’s like it’s like it’s like you know

Smart and even profound sometimes. Strange that two people so responsive to language can’t get their verbal tics under control. Or maybe they could invest in some editing software — I do hope there is such a thing.

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