Bonus: The day after reading that difficult poem…

I check back in with Eleanor 24 hours after we finished our recording about Emily Berry’s The End. What did she learn? How did she feel?

We chat about getting back into reading poetry after a break, feeling like being an outsider/insider and feeling like you may have got it ‘wrong’.

Shout out to Jen Campbell for her fantastic YouTube review of Emily Berry’s Stranger, Baby!

Ep 45. Getting into poetry: Reading a ‘difficult’ poem for the first time

Are poets who write ‘difficult’ poems being intentionally obtuse? Are they trying to hide something? How on earth do you approach poems like these for the first time?

Today I chat with ModPo classmate and friend Eleanor about Emily Berry’s The End, just out in Poetry magazine. We make our way through a totally unprepared first reading of the poem’s first few lines.

Ready for more? Here’s a bonus follow-up with Eleanor’s thoughts on this poem after doing some further research. And you can also check out Jacket2’s First Readings.

Ep 44. Anne Carson visits Bronte, post-breakup

Anne Carson’s shapeshifting long poem The Glass Essay exists somewhere between lyric, confessional and narrative. The deeper we get into it, the less useful these terms seem to be. They also bring up questions of what we expect from our female poets…

Show notes

  • The Glass Essay
  • Anne Carson (as ‘notoriously reticent’)
  • For more on Carson and the pressures/expectations around female (especially female lyric) poets, listen to my chat with Sophie Mayer

Ep 43. Teaching poetry to kids: From bush ballads to YouTube

Did studying poetry at school spark your interest or leave you cold? In this episode I chat with my sister-in-law Terri – a Leading Teacher in a K-12 school who’s a passionate advocate of poetry in the classroom. We hear about what connects, what’s challenging and how she matches poetry with curriculum demands.

Show notes

Ep 42. Alan Wearne on Frank Stanford

Talking with Alan Wearne felt like taking a poetry masterclass. The poet Alan chose was Arkansas land surveyor and prolific writer Frank Stanford, who may well enchant you if you’re not careful. We look at his work from all sorts of angles and cover just about everyone from Ted Berrigan to Benjamin Frater, Gig Ryan, Joyce, Browning, the term ‘spoken word’ and when to bow out of poetry competitions.

Show notes