Poetry For All

Finding Our Way Into Great Poems

About the show

This podcast is for those who already love poetry and for those who know very little about it. In this podcast, we read a poem, discuss it, see what makes it tick, learn how it works, grow from it, and then read it one more time.

Introducing our brand new Poetry For All website: https://poetryforallpod.com! Please visit the new website to learn more about our guests, search for thematic episodes (ranging from Black History Month to the season of autumn), and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Episode 73: Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Sonnet 189

    July 8th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  24 mins 41 secs
    17th century, eros and desire, hispanic heritage month, love, poetry in translation, sonnet, women’s history month, world poetry

    In this episode, Professor Stephanie Kirk guides our reading of Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz’s “Sonnet 189.” Her scholarly insights help us to appreciate the nuances of Sor Juana’s poetry and her importance in her own lifetime and beyond.

  • Word Made Fresh (and Exciting Updates)

    June 30th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  12 mins 35 secs
    arts, church, faith, poetry, word made fresh

    We're interrupting your summer this week with a few exciting updates about Poetry For All and an excerpt from Abram Van Engen's newly released book, WORD MADE FRESH.

  • Episode 72: Victoria Chang, My Mother--died unpeacefully...

    May 22nd, 2024  |  Season 6  |  20 mins 1 sec
    21st century, aging, asian american, elegy, free verse, grief and loss

    In this episode, we read one of Victoria Chang’s moving poems from her collection OBIT, and discuss how the poem explores the interplay between life, death, grieving, and memory as the poet tries to process her mother’s passing.

  • Episode 71: Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire

    April 18th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  23 mins 55 secs
    19th century, christianity, nature poetry, rhymed verse, sonnet, wonder

    This episode dives into the wonderful world of Gerard Manley Hopkins, the musicality of his language, and the vision he has of becoming what we already are.

  • Episode 70: Lauren Camp, Inner Planets

    March 19th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  28 mins 29 secs
    21st century, free verse, nature poetry, night, poet laureate, wonder
  • Episode 69: Live with Marilyn Nelson!

    February 11th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  55 mins 17 secs
    21st century, anger, ars poetica, black history month, children, guest on the show, poet laureate, sonnet, surprise, wonder

    Our first live performance of the podcast, featuring Marilyn Nelson and a discussion or her amazing poem "How I Discovered Poetry."

  • Announcement

    January 24th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  2 mins 15 secs

    Some news!

  • Episode 68: W.S. Merwin, To the New Year

    January 18th, 2024  |  Season 6  |  22 mins 48 secs
    21st century, free verse, hope, nature poetry, new year’s day, ode, poet laureate, spirituality, surprise, winter, wonder

    In the first episode of 2024, we read one of the great poets of the past century, W.S. Merwin, and his address to the new year, considering his attentiveness, his style, and his wondrous mood and mode of contemplation and surprise.

  • Episode 67: Alex Dimitrov, Winter Solstice

    December 18th, 2023  |  Season 6  |  24 mins 27 secs
    21st century, city, free verse, hope, intimacy, lgbtqia month, loneliness, night, winter

    In this episode, we read and discuss a poem that provides a powerful meditation on the longest night of the year.

  • Episode 66: Katy Didden, The Priest Questions the Lava

    November 21st, 2023  |  Season 6  |  26 mins 10 secs
    21st century, christianity, climate change, erasure, grief and loss, guest on the show, nature poetry, spirituality, visual poetry, word and image

    In our discussion of "The Priest Questions the Lava," Katy describes her interest in the sentience of the natural world, her erasure of documentary texts, her interest in visual poetry, and the importance of poems that examine ethical and spiritual questions in an era of climate change.

  • Episode 65: Du Fu, Facing Snow

    October 19th, 2023  |  Season 6  |  23 mins 57 secs
    8th century, grief and loss, guest on the show, poetry in translation, rhymed verse, world poetry

    In this episode, Lucas Bender guides us through his translation of Du Fu's "Facing Snow," one of the most famous poems in the Chinese language.

  • Episode 64: Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

    September 22nd, 2023  |  Season 6  |  19 mins 51 secs
    17th century, friendship, hope, loneliness, love, rhymed verse, sonnet

    Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 opens a world of comparison and despair, but also the deep joy of a dear friend that lifts one from disgrace. In our discussion, we consider present-day concerns about social media, the Surgeon General's warning about an epidemic of loneliness in this country, and a long-term Harvard study of happiness.

  • Episode 63: Rumi, Colorless, Nameless, Free

    August 29th, 2023  |  Season 6  |  29 mins 56 secs
    13th century, ghazal, guest on the show, islam, joy, poetry in translation, restlessness, rhymed verse, spirituality, surprise, wonder, world poetry

    In this episode, poet and translator Haleh Liza Gafori joins us to closely read and discuss a poem by Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (1207-1273 CE), one of the greatest of all Sufi poets. We discuss the poetic constraints of the ghazal form, Rumi's encounters with the divine, and the significance of his friendship with Shams, a man who transformed his life and poetic practice.

  • Episode 62: Kobayashi Issa, Haiku

    August 11th, 2023  |  Season 6  |  17 mins 19 secs
    18th century, haiku, joy, poet laureate, poetry in translation, spring, surprise, world poetry

    What makes haiku "the perfect poetic form"? This episode reads three wonderful haiku by Kobayashi Issa and explores what makes them so moving and fun.

  • Episode 61: Ada Limón, "The Raincoat"

    May 11th, 2023  |  Season 6  |  18 mins 34 secs
    21st century, body in pain, children, free verse, gratitude, hispanic heritage month, love, mother's day, poet laureate, surprise, wonder

    With her quality of attention and focus on vivid, specific images, Ada Limón brings us to a moment of surprising insight in "The Raincoat."

  • Episode 60: Li-Young Lee, From Blossoms

    May 2nd, 2023  |  Season 5  |  19 mins 7 secs
    20th century, asian american and pacific islander month, free verse, gratitude, joy, repetition or refrain, summer, wonder

    In this episode, we explore the poetry of joy in a world of shade and death, looking to sounds and repetitions while examining how "From Blossoms" speaks back to the poem that immediately precedes it in Lee's great book "Rose."