Poetry For All

Episode Archive

Episode Archive

77 episodes of Poetry For All since the first episode, which aired on August 31st, 2020.

  • Episode 45: Ben Jonson, On My First Son

    March 23rd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  21 mins 18 secs
    17th century, children, christianity, elegy, grief and loss, loneliness, rhymed verse

    In this episode, we look at Ben Jonson's elegy for his son who died of the plague at the age of 7. This poem is so brief, and yet, it manages to cross a lot of emotional terrain as Jonson struggles to understand the profundity of his loss.

  • Episode 44: Ann Hudson, Soap

    March 16th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  23 mins 19 secs
    21st century, body in pain, grief and loss, guest on the show, laborers, narrative, science and medicine, social justice and advocacy, women's history month

    In this episode, Ann Hudson joins us to read her poem “Soap” and discuss how its narrative structure allows her to explore the history of science, technology, and our notions of progress and beauty, even when those notions do great harm to ordinary workers.

  • Episode 43: Margaret Noodin, What the Peepers Say

    March 2nd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  24 mins 22 secs
    21st century, alliterative verse, free verse, guest on the show, native american heritage month, nature poetry, poetry in translation, repetition or refrain, spirituality, spring, wonder

    In this episode, Margaret Noodin joins us to discuss her poem "What the Peepers Say." In our conversation, we talk about Margaret's writing in both Anishinaabemowin and English, her attention to sounds and rhythms, and what the peeper--a tiny springtime frog--can teach us about presence and listening.

  • Episode 42: Robert Hayden, Frederick Douglass

    February 23rd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  17 mins 58 secs
    20th century, anger, black history month, blank verse, gratitude, hope, repetition or refrain, restlessness, social justice and advocacy, sonnet

    In this episode, we offer a close reading of "Frederick Douglass," a poem in which Hayden channels the prophetic energies of his subject in order to imagine what freedom might one day mean.

  • Episode 41: F.E.W. Harper, Learning to Read

    February 16th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  23 mins 27 secs
    19th century, anger, black history month, guest on the show, narrative, social justice and advocacy

    Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was a prolific writer and activist of the nineteenth century. In this episode, Professor Janaka Bowman Lewis joins us to discuss her power, influence, voice, and work. "Learning to Read" foregrounds the ballad style in a narrative poem designed to keep alive the memories of fighting for both literacy and liberation.

  • Episode 40: William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

    February 9th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  25 mins 58 secs
    17th century, lgbtqia month, love, rhymed verse, sonnet

    In this episode, we provide a close reading of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, which allows us to consider the poem's definition of a love that is enduring. In addition, though, we consider a reading of the poem which foregrounds a disappointed poetic speaker who can see the love's transience, too. We also pay special attention to rhythm and sound, and we even get to learn a bit about the Great Vowel Shift from Professor Kristin Van Engen, a linguist at Washington University in St. Louis.

  • Episode 39: Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear The Mask

    February 2nd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  22 mins 9 secs
    19th century, anger, black history month, grief and loss, guest on the show, repetition or refrain, rhymed verse, rondeau, social justice and advocacy

    This week, Rafia Zafar joins us to discuss "We Wear the Mask" by the great poet and writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). Rafia leads us in a discussion of Dunbar's fame and influence while opening up broader themes of African American history and literature.

  • Episode 38: Laura Van Prooyen, Elegy for My Mother's Mind

    January 26th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  29 mins 16 secs
    21st century, aging, children, elegy, free verse, gratitude, grief and loss, guest on the show, love, mother's day

    In this episode, our guest Laura Van Prooyen reads "Elegy for My Mother's Mind," a poem that navigates the complexities of memory, loss, and familial relationships. Laura's poem gives us an opportunity to think about the deep sources of poetic inspiration, the revision process, and the power of metaphor.

  • Episode 37: Why Poetry For All

    January 19th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  14 mins 31 secs

    Joanne and Abram launch the fourth season of Poetry For All with a short discussion about what this podcast is all about and how it relates to all the other great poetry podcasts in the world.

  • Episode 36: Denise Levertov, On the Mystery of the Incarnation

    December 21st, 2021  |  Season 3  |  16 mins 42 secs
    20th century, advent/christmas, free verse, wonder

    In this episode, we discuss Denise Levertov's powerful meditation on the horrors of the twentieth century, and how the mystery of the incarnation might provide humanity with hope.

  • Episode 35: Matthew Zapruder, Poem for Wisconsin

    December 15th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  22 mins 56 secs
    21st century, free verse, laborers, surprise, winter, wonder

    In this episode, we discuss the way in which Matthew Zapruder attends to vivid, specific details to create a sense of wonder, connection, and surprise.

  • Episode 34: Tracy K. Smith, Declaration

    December 7th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  23 mins 10 secs
    21st century, anger, black history month, erasure, grief and loss, poet laureate, social justice and advocacy

    In this episode, we discuss erasure poetry and its power to reveal hidden histories and redacted stories through Tracy K. Smith's erasure of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Episode 33: Adrienne Rich, Power

    November 10th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  17 mins 21 secs
    20th century, ars poetica, body in pain, free verse, guest on the show, lgbtqia month, science and medicine, social justice and advocacy, women's history month

    This week, the poet and scholar Stephanie Burt joins us to discuss the extraordinary power of Adrienne Rich. We think through how the spacing and stanzas of a poem can draw out denials and divulgences, while also exploring the life and writing of Rich.

  • Episode 32: Rick Barot, Cascades 501

    November 3rd, 2021  |  Season 3  |  38 mins 32 secs
    21st century, asian american & pacific islander month, free verse, guest on the show, lgbtqia month, narrative, nature poetry, surprise
  • Episode 31: Jane Kenyon, Twilight: After Haying

    October 27th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  16 mins 48 secs
    20th century, autumn, christianity, free verse, intimacy, nature poetry, night, spirituality

    This week we take a closer look at another autumn poem, this one by Jane Kenyon from her wonderful book Otherwise: New and Selected Poems. Kenyon builds from and transforms the same tradition of the autumn ode we examined last week with John Keats.

  • Episode 30: John Keats, To Autumn

    October 20th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  22 mins 18 secs
    19th century, autumn, climate change, guest on the show, nature poetry, ode, rhymed verse

    John Keats was one of the great British Romanticists. In this episode we talk with Michael Theune and Brian Rejack about one of his last odes, "To Autumn," which has inspired poets ever since it was first composed in 1821. We encourage you to read along with the text of the poem as we talk through its implications for the 21st century and our age of ecological disaster.