Joanne Diaz is a professor of English and a poet at Illinois Wesleyan University.
March 2nd, 2021 | Season 2 | 27 mins 25 secs
In this episode, Jenny Johnson discusses the sources of inspiration for her poem "Dappled Things," her love of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the incredible diversity--and fragility--of the natural world.
February 23rd, 2021 | Season 2 | 14 mins 35 secs
curtal sonnet, gerard manley hopkins, jesuit exercise, pied beauty, praise
In this extraordinary curtal sonnet (a shortened sonnet, curtailed), Hopkins packs immense power. He uses the shortened form to heighten the emotion, drawing himself up short in the end with nothing else that can be said other than "Praise him." This week, we walk through these short lines and unfold some of the ways that Hopkins works.
February 15th, 2021 | Season 2 | 15 mins 57 secs
blindness, john milton, religious despair, sonnet, theology, wait, when i consider how my light is spent
The episode explores Milton's great sonnet spun from the difficulties of middle age and new disappointments. We consider how he pulls consolation from his sense of defeat and near despair. Faced with his coming blindness, he hears the voice of Patience giving him the strength to wait.
February 9th, 2021 | Season 2 | 17 mins 56 secs
alliteration, amanda gorman, audience, chorus of the captains, football, genre, media, occasional poetry, super bowl
Amanda Gorman became the first poet ever to perform at the Super Bowl on February 7, 2021. In this episode we talk about poetry for the masses, mass media, genres of poetry, spoken word, the visual and the verbal, and the mix of ancient methods with emergent forms.
February 1st, 2021 | Season 2 | 18 mins 24 secs
devotion, form, george herbert, religious poetry, restraint, seventeenth-century poetry, the collar
In this episode, we look at "The Collar"--a famous single-stanza poem, playing with meter, rhythm, and rhyme by the seventeenth-century priest and poet, George Herbert.
January 25th, 2021 | Season 2 | 18 mins 48 secs
amanda gorman, assonance, consonance, george washington, inaugural poems, intertextuality, john winthrop, lin-manuel miranda, maya angelou, occasional poetry, poets in conversation, the bible
In this episode, we discuss Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb," the poem that she recited at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. We discuss how well suited the poem is to its occasion, Gorman's powerful use of sound, and the conversation that she engages in--with John Winthrop, the Constitution, the Bible, George Washington, Maya Angelou, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Like everyone else in America, we are in love with this poem and hope you enjoy the discussion.
For the full text of "The Hill We Climb," please see this page: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/amanda-gorman-inaugural-poem-transcript/index.html
For more on Amanda Gorman, please see personal website: https://www.theamandagorman.com/
December 2nd, 2020 | Season 1 | 21 mins 37 secs
aids, christmas, concrete poems, elegy, illness, literary friendships, visual poems
November 17th, 2020 | Season 1 | 15 mins 46 secs
alberto ríos, gift economy, giving, when giving is all we have
In this episode, we read and discuss a poem about giving by Alberto Ríos, the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona.
November 10th, 2020 | Season 1 | 22 mins 22 secs
bauhaus, ekphrasis, head of a dancer, lotte jacobi, lucia moholy, mary jo bang, prose poetry, voice
This week Mary Jo Bang joins us! We learn about the Bauhaus movement and a photographer named Lucia Moholy. And we look at both ekphrastic poetry (poetry about an image) and prose poetry (poetry with no line breaks).
October 27th, 2020 | Season 1 | 14 mins 52 secs
anne bradstreet, doubt, elegy, faith, in memory of my dear grandchild elizabeth bradstreet, multiple voices, puritan, repetition, sonnet
This week we read Anne Bradstreet's elegy for her grandchild Elizabeth and draw out the multiple voices (both faith and doubt, both grief and consolation) and the tensions and deep emotions in the work of this talented Puritan poet--the first woman from British North America to publish a book of poems.
October 20th, 2020 | Season 1 | 20 mins 18 secs
african american poetry, captivity, carl phillips, narrative poetry, stanza, the minks, toi derricotte
This week, with special guest Carl Phillips, we take a close look at "The Minks" and consider the art of narrative poetry and the movements of a single-stanza poem.
October 14th, 2020 | Season 1 | 15 mins 54 secs
batter my heart, holy sonnet, john donne, religious poetry, religious struggle, sonnet
This week we look at one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets from the seventeenth century. This famous poem (#14, "Batter my heart") turns a poetic tradition of love and longing to religious ends, earnestly seeking God and questioning whether union with God will ever be achieved.
October 6th, 2020 | Season 1 | 19 mins 13 secs
erasure, jen bervin, nets, palimpsest, shakespeare, solmaz sharif, sonnet
In this episode we learn about erasure poetry and poetic tradition by looking at Jen Bervin's incredible book NETS, created from the sonnets of Shakespeare.
September 29th, 2020 | Season 1 | 14 mins 40 secs
america, claude mckay, harlem renaissance, race, sonnet
In this episode, we discuss Claude McKay, an influential poet of the Harlem Renaissance, taking a close look at his incredible sonnet "America."
September 22nd, 2020 | Season 1 | 16 mins 12 secs
shakespeare, sonnet, sonnet 18
In this episode we introduce listeners to one of the most resilient forms in English-language poetry: the sonnet. And we do it with one of the most famous sonnets Shakespeare wrote.
September 15th, 2020 | Season 1 | 14 mins 9 secs
african american literature, early american literature, on being brought from africa to america, phillis wheatley
This episode examines a short, incredible, difficult and important poem by one of the founding figures of African American literary traditions, Phillis Wheatley.