Ep 26. R D Wood on the possibility of Australia

R D Wood spoke to me from his vantage point in Kerala about the idea of Australia, the house of poetry, the ethics of being a writer and whether politicians can be poetic (and poets Machiavellian). 

We also talk about his poem In the Desert – its creation and the response it received – along with Ted Strehlow’s Songs of Central Australia. There’s a lot to learn about Strehlow and Indigenous Australian song poetry, but Robert’s articles on Jacket2 are a great place to start.

Finally, Robert reads a poem from Oceania and talks about his decision to share his books Land Mass and Tidal Charts online.

Ep 25. An Australian in New York

Reeling from the US election while in New York City, I reflect on the poems, books and poetic communities that suddenly became essential this week:


Ep 24. Rob Wilson on poetically killing the PM

Rob Wilson’s Free Will and the Clouds received plenty of love when it came out, for good reason. Today I chat with Rob about how he comes up with his bizarre titles, why he teaches The Red Wheelbarrow to prisoners, and what he does to support his writing.

We also listen to a poem by Rob’s friend Ben FraterTo kill the Prime Minister – and hear about the dark fairytale hidden inside Rob’s poem Superman goes crazy.

Ep 22. R. A. Villanueva: chance, race and games

A thought-provoking chat with R.A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria, after we’d seen some fantastic readings at National Poetry Day Live.

We cover plenty of ground, starting off with the influence of slam, intentional vs accidental ways of becoming a writer and the idea of priming yourself to take advantage of opportunities.

Then we get into a great discussion of race and poetry, contrasting the volume of conversations in the UK and the US and the reactions of the ‘old guard’. 

Along with Ron’s reading of Aftermaths and Fish Heads, I have a few more links to keep you busy this week:

If you’re not sure what we’re on about towards the end (when the conversation turns to video games and their relationship to poetry), check out Mario Level 1 compared to the very different worlds of Call of Duty and Journey.

Ep 21. Adrienne Rich’s anger and tenderness

‘She got swept too far. She deliberately made herself ugly and wrote those extreme and ridiculous poems.’ Adrienne Rich lived enough for at least two lifetimes and not everyone was happy about it.

Today’s episode looks at the poem Integrity from A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981. I also pull some context from Boundary Conditions: Adrienne Rich’s collected poems by Dan Chiasson and Le Ann Schreiber’s review of A Wild Patience from 1981.

Towards the end I give a shout out to Jessica Valenti and Lindy West, and read part of Lindy’s piece Donald and Billy on the Bus.