Delve into an immersive exploration of a single poem. Poetry Unbound is short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing — with a podcast, a book, a vibrant conversation on Substack, and occasional gatherings.
Pádraig Ó Tuama greets you at the doorways of brilliant poems, and invites you to meet them with stories of your world. The poems are eager to meet you, too.
Clint Smith with Krista Tippett — What We Know in the "Marrow of Our Bones"
Friends, Pádraig here — we are awakening your Poetry Unbound feed to share this brilliant episode from the newest season of On Being, which is well underway. Conversations on love and loss, comedy and ecology, social creativity, poetry, and more all await you in the On Being feed — subscribe now and don’t miss out.
And — Poetry Unbound Season 8 is in production and will be arriving this winter.
BONUS: Truth-seeking and the Symphony of Language with Henri Cole
A central duality appears in the work of Henri Cole: the revelation of emotional truths in concert with a “symphony of language” — often accompanied by arresting similes. We are excited to offer this conversation between Pádraig and Henri, recorded during the 2022 Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, New Jersey. Together, they discuss the role of animals in Henri’s work, the pleasure of aesthetics in poetry, and writing as a form of revenge against forgetting.
BONUS: Making Space for the Erotic with Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s poems are filled with butchery and blood as she carves space for desire, motherhood, and an encyclopedic knowledge of plants to coexist in life and on the page. We are excited to offer this conversation between Pádraig and Aimee, recorded during the 2022 Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, New Jersey. Together, they explore the beauty of solitude, eroticism in poetry, and a letter writing practice for taking inventory of a life.
BONUS: Poetry That Pays Attention with Patricia Smith
Through her poetry, Patricia Smith generously, skillfully puts language around what can be seen both in the present and deliberately looking back at oneself. We are excited to offer this conversation between Pádraig and Patricia, recorded during the 2022 Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, New Jersey. Together, they explore how memory, persona, and a practice of curiosity inform Patricia’s work, and the ways writing a poem is like writing a piece of music.
Maya C. Popa — They Are Building a Hospital
So much of what was once deemed impossible was found — during Covid — to be possible. Here, a poet watches a tent, a huge temporary hospital, be raised up on the green of Central Park, a place she’d previously walked her dog.
Jenny Mitchell — A Man in Love with Plants
How to remember a beloved who died tragically, violently? Remember the violence? Sometimes, yes. But also this: remember his love of flowers.
Love the voice and the thoughtful conversation around poetry. Do yourself a favor and listen.
Very short unchallenging safe poems read and over-examined by a mono-tonal Leprechaun. Fluffed up with Bland Cookie cutter interlude music that screams “royalty-free”. Uninspiring on all levels. mid westerners or people from Phoenix Arizona who’ve never read challenging poetry, talked to a person with an accent or heard meaningful original music will feel cultured and sophisticated by listening to this. Enjoy.
Gone 100% Negative
I used to really enjoy this podcast, especially the first season. The host is really insightful and draws a lot of meaning out of poems. The problem is they’ve become a one trick pony. Every season is now full of people who blame all their problems on white people. Racists talking about racism in a racist manner. There is no joy anymore in this podcast.