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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Episodes

  • Episode 59: Tichborne's Elegy

    April 7th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  21 mins 25 secs
    16th century, christianity, elegy, grief and loss, repetition or refrain, rhymed verse

    In this episode, we read the elegy of Chidiock Tichborne, written the night before his execution, and contemplate the power of repetitions, the balanced precision of a man facing his end, and the drumbeat of monosyllables that takes his imagination beyond the moment of his death.

  • Episode 58: Richie Hofmann, Things That Are Rare

    February 27th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  23 mins 57 secs
    21st century, eros and desire, free verse, guest on the show, intimacy, lgbtqia month, night, sonnet
  • Episode 57: Edna St. Vincent Millay, She had forgotten how the August night

    February 14th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  23 mins 46 secs
    20th century, eros and desire, modernism, night, repetition or refrain, rhymed verse, sonnet, summer, women's history month

    Edna St. Vincent Millay was the emblem of the "New Woman" and one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. In this episode, we focus on a sonnet that showcases how Millay approached desire and eros in her poetry.

  • Episode 56: Queen Elizabeth, On Monsieur's Departure

    January 31st, 2023  |  Season 5  |  18 mins 46 secs
    16th century, eros and desire, love, rhymed verse, women's history month

    Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was one of the longest-reigning monarchs in all of British history, but she was also a gifted poet. In this episode, we discuss "On Monsieur's Departure," a poem that is inspired by Petrarchan conventions and gives insight into the public and private selves of a powerful queen.

  • Episode 55: Kay Ryan, Crib

    December 19th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  17 mins 17 secs
    20th century, advent/christmas, free verse, lgbtqia month, poet laureate, rhymed verse, wonder

    In this episode, we discuss Kay Ryan's "Crib," a brief poem that begins with an interest in the deep archaeology of language and shifts to a powerful meditation on theft, innocence, and guilt.

  • Grant Writing Break

    December 5th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  2 mins 59 secs

    This week, Joanne and Abram take a break to write a grant for the podcast. We very much hope you enjoy Poetry For All. And if you do, please leave us a review, share it with a friend, and let us know! Thank you all for listening.

  • Episode 54: Carl Phillips, To Autumn

    November 21st, 2022  |  Season 5  |  24 mins 47 secs
    21st century, autumn, black history month, city, free verse, guest on the show, intimacy, lgbtqia month, nature poetry, night, ode, restlessness, spirituality

    In this episode, we talk with David Baker about "To Autumn" by Carl Phillips, exploring the way Phillips masterfully achieves a sense of intimacy and restlessness in a lyric ode that tosses between two parts while incorporating the sonnet tradition.

  • Episode 53: Carter Revard, What the Eagle Fan Says

    November 7th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  25 mins 38 secs
    20th century, alliterative verse, guest on the show, native american heritage month, nature poetry, spirituality

    In this episode, we focus on the life and work of Carter Revard, an Osage poet whose medieval scholarship informs the structure of "What the Eagle Fan Says." Jessica Rosenfeld, a professor of medieval literature at Washington University in St. Louis, joins us for this discussion.

  • Episode 52: Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

    October 24th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  19 mins 18 secs
    17th century, aging, autumn, intimacy, love, night, rhymed verse, sonnet

    This sonnet reflects on the autumn of life and an intimate love, and it turns on that love growing stronger in and through its age, even as the body decays.

  • Episode 51: Martín Espada, Jumping Off the Mystic Tobin Bridge

    October 10th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  30 mins 20 secs
    21st century, anger, city, guest on the show, hispanic heritage month, laborers, narrative, repetition or refrain, social justice and advocacy

    In this episode, we talk with the 2021 winner of the National Book Award, Martín Espada, about narrative poetry, poetry of engagement, and the witness of poetry as a work of advocacy.

  • Episode 50: Rafael Campo, Primary Care

    September 26th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  22 mins 24 secs
    21st century, aging, blank verse, body in pain, gratitude, hispanic heritage month, repetition or refrain, science and medicine, spirituality, wonder

    In this episode, we discuss how Rafael Campo, a practicing physician, uses blank verse to explore the experience of illness and suffering.

  • Episode 49: Lisel Mueller, When I am Asked

    September 12th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  19 mins 57 secs
    20th century, ars poetica, elegy, free verse, grief and loss, repetition or refrain

    In this episode, we closely read Lisel Mueller's "When I am Asked" in order to better understand grief as a deep source of artistic expression.

  • Episode 48: Joy Harjo, An American Sunrise

    April 28th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  21 mins 47 secs
    21st century, anger, golden shovel, grief and loss, hope, joy, native american heritage month, poet laureate, social justice and advocacy, spirituality

    In this episode, we examine The Golden Shovel form and discuss the idea of "survivance" through the work of Muscogee (Creek) poet Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

  • Episode 47: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

    April 22nd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  26 mins 39 secs
    19th century, ars poetica, children, free verse, guest on the show, nature poetry, repetition or refrain, spirituality, wonder

    In this episode, Christopher Hanlon joins us to discuss an excerpt from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. We discuss the poem's prophetic voice, its patterns of repetition, the connective tissue that binds his ideas and invites readers in, and the cultural context in which Whitman produced his work.

  • Episode 46: Lucille Clifton, spring song

    April 13th, 2022  |  Season 4  |  17 mins 35 secs
    20th century, black history month, christianity, easter, free verse, hope, joy, love, repetition or refrain, spring, wonder

    Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was one of the most powerful poets of the twentieth century. This joyful poem caps a sequence of sixteen poems called "some jesus," which walks through biblical characters (beginning with Adam and Eve) and ends on four poems for Holy Week and Easter.

  • From Talk Easy: Claudia Rankine’s Just Us: An American Conversation

    April 3rd, 2022  |  Season 4  |  15 mins 33 secs
    claudia rankine, sam fragoso, talk easy

    We’re sharing a special preview of a podcast we’ve been enjoying, Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso, from Pushkin Industries. Talk Easy is a weekly interview podcast, where writer Sam Fragoso invites actors, writers, activists, and musicians to come to the table and speak from the heart in ways you probably haven't heard from them before. Driven by curiosity, he’s had revealing conversations with everyone from George Saunders and Cate Blanchett to Ocean Vuong and Gloria Steinem. In this preview, Sam talks with poet Claudia Rankine about her book Just Us: An American Conversation, how history remains present for black people, and why we must repeatedly unpack what privilege looks and sounds like in America. You can listen to Talk Easy at https://podcasts.pushkin.fm/tepoetryforall.