Ep 19. Hannah Gamble and the bear of secret desires

Today I dive into my favourite poem from the last five years: Hannah Gamble’s funny and haunting Growing a Bear. I also detour into a classic Cary Tennis column: I’m going crazy in my job.

Hannah is a poetry editor for Catch Up among many other good things. Hear her discussing her work on Make (No) Bones (out of Chicago, not Brooklyn!).

(I also realised after recording that ‘the speaker’ here isn’t the man growing a bear at all, it’s someone else speaking to him/about him. So many levels!)


Ep. 18 SB Wright on dedicating a year to poetry

This week South Australian poet SB Wright gets real about the fact that perfect poetry doesn’t happen the moment the pen hits the page. Sean’s spending a year focusing on poetry, which leads us to Ira Glass’s advice on the gap between taste and ability, William Stafford’s A Way of Writing, fixed vs. growth mindsets and Jo Bell’s poetry checklist.

After looking  at Kay Ryan’s A Certain Kind of Eden, we also dare to approach the A Word (…accessible), which leads me to rant on a favourite topic: Al Filreis’s distinction between (Walt) Whitmanian and (Emily) Dickinsonian poems.

To end Sean reads his poem Black Snake Driving, and we talk about how it came together and why Sean decided to open up about the process of getting to publication.

Ep 17. Approaching Olena: A minor poet?

A grab-bag of thoughts about the awe-inspiring (but not at all intimidating) Olena Kalytiak Davis and my ideas on how to approach a poet/poem for the first time. Check out:

Ep. 16 Benjamin Dodds on the joy of surreal, skewed poetry

This week I had fun chatting to Sydney-based poet Benjamin Dodds, author of Regulator published by Puncher and Wattman. We get a window into his current project about ‘ethically troubling scientific discoveries’, then hear the prose poem Ape by Russell Edson. (Put down your breakfast while listening to this one.)

Benjamin also reads his beautiful poem Surrogacy. Next we cover how he shares work with Stuart Barnes, ask why Billy Collins might have a Coldplay problem, and reveal how Tori Amos got us through high school.

Ep 15. Getting into poetry: 5 starting points

This week I’m attempting to answer a listener question: How do I get into poetry?

Poems in this week’s episode:

Bonus poems (if you’ve got other ideas for starter poems, let me know!):

You can find plenty of qualified peeps ready to guide you into poetry on Coursera, edX, Poetry Foundation, iTunesU (check out Open Yale Courses to start with) and YouTube (here’s a great lecture on Eliot’s The Wasteland).

Finally, have a browse through some of the Aussie journals publishing exciting new poems today like Cordite, Verity La and Meanjin.