102 episodes

The VS podcast is a bi-weekly series where poets confront the ideas that move them. Hosted by poets Danez Smith and Franny Choi, produced by Daniel Kisslinger, and presented by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.

VS Poetry Foundation

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 367 Ratings

The VS podcast is a bi-weekly series where poets confront the ideas that move them. Hosted by poets Danez Smith and Franny Choi, produced by Daniel Kisslinger, and presented by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.

    Roll Call: Three Castles and the Music City

    Roll Call: Three Castles and the Music City

    In October of 1871, the oldest University in Nashville TN, teetered on the brink of collapse. To survive, Fisk University staked its last $40 on a set of field hymns and 10 descendants of American slavery. The singing group carried melodies their families shared in secret from the cotton fields of middle Tennessee to the high court of the Queen of England. The landmark tours of the Fisk Jubilee Singers rescued a university, gave Nashville its identity, and set the course of American music. 

    One hundred fifty years later the journey of the Fisk Jubilee Singers continues. Immerse yourself in the music and voices of the original chorus and hear how their stories are transformed through poetry in this one-hour special “Three Castles and the Music City.”

    Produced in partnership with Nashville Public Radio [WPLN]
    Hosted by: Destiny Birdsong
    Co-Written and Produced by: Joshua Moore and Colleen Phelps
    Editing by: Anita Bugg
    Transcription by: Ayinde Jean-Baptiste

    Poets:
    Destiny Birdsong
    Ciona Rouse
    Bryan Byrdlong

    • 1 hr
    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave (Pt.2)

    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave (Pt.2)

    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave: towards a queer canon (Pt.2) 

    Hello, hi Beloveds! Welcome back to the second installment of our Roll Call episode. We are your hosts, Kopano Maroga and Maneo Mohale, and we are sluts for history and sluts for discourse and are going to be picking the brains of our fabulous guests Koleka Putuma (featured in part 1) and Nakhane (featured in part 2) speaking all things blackness, South Africanness, craft, microaggressions, white twinks and black queer ancestors. We are joined in these episodes by voicenote interludes from black, queer South African artists Gugulethu Duma (aka Dumama who opens and closes the show), Lindiwe Mngxitama and Kneo Mokgopa. Special thanks to our magnificent producer, Maia McDonald, and our generous mentors, Danez Smith and Jenna Wortham, for holding space for us and holding our hands through the process. 

    Big, black, slutty love!

    Maneo & Kopano

    Hosted by: Kopano Maroga and Maneo Mohale

    Featuring: Nakhane, Kneo Mokgopa, and Gugulethu Duma

    Produced by: Maia McDonald

    • 50 min
    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave (Pt. 1)

    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave (Pt. 1)

    All The Apostles are Black, All the Saints Queer, and All of Them Are Brave: towards a queer canon (Pt.1)

    Hello, hi Beloveds! We are Kopano Maroga and Maneo Mohale and we have the absolute honour of hosting this 2 part episode of Roll Call for you produced by the Poetry Foundation. We are sluts for history and sluts for discourse and are going to be picking the brains of our fabulous guests Koleka Putuma (featured in part 1) and Nakhane (featured in part 2) speaking all things blackness in these episodes. South Africanness, craft, microaggressions, white twinks and black queer ancestors. We are joined in these episodes by voicenote interludes from black, queer South African artists Gugulethu Duma (aka Dumama who opens and closes the show), Lindiwe Mngxitama and Kneo Mokgopa. Special thanks to our magnificent producer, Maia McDonald, and our generous mentors, Danez Smith and Jenna Wortham, for holding space for us and holding our hands through the process. 

    Big, black, slutty love!

    Maneo & Kopano

    Hosted by: Kopano Maroga and Maneo Mohale

    Featuring: Koleka Putuma, Gugulethu Duma, Lindiwe Mngxitama

    Produced by: Maia McDonald

    • 48 min
    Roll Call: Gabrielle Civil vs. Black Time or the déjà vu

    Roll Call: Gabrielle Civil vs. Black Time or the déjà vu

    In this episode, black feminist poet and performance artist Gabrielle Civil grapples with the slippery, urgent nature of black time, what she calls the déjà vu. She talks to fellow poets Rashidah Ismaili and jayy dodd, scholar Michelle M. Wright, and visionary six year old Naima about poetry and history, memories and the future. This episode offers sonic experiments, spotlight readings, and intimate chats to bring the déjà vu alive. (Also check out Gabrielle’s new book the déjà vu, available 2/22/22.)

    Hosted by: Gabrielle Civil
    Featuring: Rashidah Ismaili, jayy dodd, Michelle M. Wright and Naima
    Produced by: Tyree Rush
    Transcription by: Kristen Jeré

    Poets:
    Octavia Butler
    Nikki Giovanni
    Alexis Pauline Gumbs

    • 34 min
    Roll Call: Radical Literary Friendships

    Roll Call: Radical Literary Friendships

    This episode is a roundtable discussion between Brittany, Maurisa, and Ajanae. We discuss the way that friendship has sustained us and been the catalyst for our growth as writers. We also highlight other literary friendships that inspire and guide our practices (i.e Pat Parker and Audre Lorde, Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricotte, Willie Kinard and AsiahMae, etc) and how valuable community is to the development of Black writers.

    Hosted by: Maurisa Li-A-Ping, Brittany Rogers and Ajanae Dawkins
    Produced by: Camille Mojica
    Transcription by: Victor Jackson

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Roll Call: Breaking the Line

    Roll Call: Breaking the Line

    When many people think of experimental Black poetry, they imagine Jazz, or spoken word, or vernacular––they “envision” sound. But what about poetry you can see? In this episode, Keith S. Wilson talks with poets Alison C. Rollins and Chaun Webster about visual poetry. What is it? Where does it come from?  What strange things does it do to our sense of time?

    Show Notes:
    Hosted by: Keith S Wilson
    Produced by: Original Sound Design and Production by Justin Zullo
    Transcription by:Kristen Jeré
    Featured work: “A Song by Any Other Name” by Alison C Rollins and “Untitled” from Wail Song by Chaun Webster

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
367 Ratings

367 Ratings

Horgon 77 ,

Mind expanded

Listening to Gabrielle Civil take us through an examination of Black time is opening space for new understandings and new paths of creativity. Thank you.

sheriparksheripark ,

The best of poetry podcasts

This podcast got me through the year! Danez Smith and Franny Choi are such fun and smart hosts. I got exposed to a wide variety of poets. I’m a visual artist and hearing poets talk about their craft and process is of great help. Thank you Danez and Franny will miss you as hosts.

jeffy one match ,

These two got me through PhD

While writing my dissertation in the field of biology this podcast was a vital opportunity to engage with something mostly opposite to my field but equally challenging. Keeps my brain going and heart light. Though pockets a bit empty from buying so many poetry books written by their guests!

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Roman Mars
Book of the Month
American Public Media
Anne Bogel | Wondery

You Might Also Like

Poetry Foundation
American Public Media
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
How to Survive the End of the World
Poetry Foundation
On Being Studios