Archive for November, 2022

Literary Podcasts

I’ve been very slow to podcasts. I’ve always had a particularly keen hatred of talk radio. People blithering away about literally anything at all to fill time: their first haircut, whether they prefer ketchup or brown sauce, their opinion on a sensitive political issue of which they have zero knowledge or experience. Generally, I find the rabbiting on interferes with my thoughts and makes me borderline-angry. However, I have recently realized that there is a lack of space given over to literature in mainstream media, and podcasts are filling that gap, so I’ve started to catch up whilst ironing or making a late dinner once the kids are in bed (I’m working my way through Meera Sodha’s East – Aloo Gobi tonight).

Backlisted is brilliant, for example – where else would you get such a deep-dive into Fungus the Bogeyman or Elizabeth Bowen?

Little Atoms is also one of my favourites – very simply, Neil Denny just chats to an author each week for half an hour about their new book, but I usually come away from it as stimulated as if I’ve attended an event at a literary festival. Recent guests include George Saunders, Yiyun Li and Maggie O’Farrell, and I was delighted to be asked to talk about DELPHI which you can listen to here.

There are some amazing poetry podcasts out there too, like Arji’s Poetry Pickle Jar where poets chat to Arji Manuelpillai about a favourite poem by someone else – I picked Anne Sexton’s ‘The Truth the Dead Know’ – and highlights include Jack Underwood on Natalie Shapero’s ‘The Sky’ and an exclusive recording of Wayne Holloway-Smith’s living room salon.

And this week I’m honoured to have recorded an episode of ‘A Mouthful of Air’. Another simple concept really well delivered – Mark McGuinness asks poets to read one of their own poems then talk about how they did it, as well as digging into the form. I’m chatting about my poem ‘At Peckham Rye’, from Incarnation.

All these podcasts have amazing archives to explore when you’re doing your housework… Hope you enjoy the links!

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