Poetry Off the Shelf

Poetry Foundation

+1 FAN

Producer Curtis Fox explores the diverse world of contemporary American poetry with readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. Nothing is off limits, and nobody is taken too seriously.

Looking for recently uploaded episodes
The Populist Soviet Poet

0:00 | Apr 2nd

The life and legacy of Vladimir Mayakovsky.

The Poetry of Jean Valentine

0:00 | Mar 19th

Reading a trailblazing second-wave feminist poet.

The Poetry of Jean Valentine

0:00 | Mar 19th

Reading a trailblazing second-wave feminist poet.

A Change of World documentary: Poetry and the Women's Movement

0:00 | Mar 1st

Meryl Streep narrates our hour-long radio documentary special about how the Women’s Movement changed poetry, and how women poets changed the culture.

100 Years of Robert Duncan

0:00 | Jan 22nd

A look into Duncan's poems on the centenary of his birth.

Drinking in Poetry

0:00 | Jan 8th

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Prohibition in the U.S., we discuss drinking poems over a few cocktails.

Poets We Lost in 2018

0:00 | Dec 25th, 2018

Remembering and listening to those who died this year.

100 Years of Hopkins

0:00 | Dec 11th, 2018

The centenary of the first volume by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Jesuit Victorian experimentalist was posthumously published among the Modernists.

A Break from it All

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2018

Looking back in a meditative mood around Thanksgiving.

The Poetry of Politics

0:00 | Nov 13th, 2018

Poetry's possible liberty or obligations in the wake of the US midterm elections.

Poetry and/or Advertising

0:00 | Oct 30th, 2018

What copywriting and poetry have in common.

Poetry Rituals

0:00 | Oct 16th, 2018

Exploring exercises to be more present in your life and writing.

The Past is Present

0:00 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Rereading the great modern Greek poet C.P. Cavafy.

Poems from the Inside

0:00 | Sep 11th, 2018

During the current nationwide prison strike, we look back at Etheridge Knight's influential poems he wrote while incarcerated.

This Poet Never Gets Old

0:00 | Aug 28th, 2018

John Keats's life and body of work, then and now.

The Robots are Coming to Class

0:00 | Aug 14th, 2018

Reading and exploring poetry along with students this school year.

Retelling the American Story

0:00 | Jul 31st, 2018

Tracy K. Smith discusses her new book and her tenure as current US poet laureate.

The Man is There ... in the Tape

0:00 | Jul 18th, 2018

Remembering Donald Hall and his advocacy for archival audio recordings of poets.

Poems Don't Need Their Papers

0:00 | Jul 3rd, 2018

For July 4, we talk about US immigration, Central American refugees, and poems across borders with Javier Zamora.


0:00 | Jun 19th, 2018

Poems about soccer, aka football, aka the beautiful game, in time for the World Cup.

Poetry Live to Tape

0:00 | Jun 5th, 2018

When poets used tape recorders to compose not for the page, but for the audio environment.

Poetry Live to Tape

0:00 | Jun 5th, 2018

When poets used tape recorders to compose not for the page, but for the audio environment.

Prosey Poems

0:00 | May 22nd, 2018

Maureen McLane on semi-autobiographical epic poems, narrative melodrama, and the dissociation of sensibility.

Burning for Justice

0:00 | May 8th, 2018

Exploring the work of the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner Martín Espada.

A Change of World, Episode 6: New Waves

0:00 | Apr 25th, 2018

The legacy of second-wave feminism through the lens of anthologies, and the ongoing pursuit of equality and inclusion.

A Change of World, Episode 5: Poetry Gives Birth

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2018

How women poets made birth, motherhood, and parenting central preoccupations of contemporary poetry, just as it is in life.

A Change of World, Episode 4 : A Place of Permission

0:00 | Apr 3rd, 2018

In the '70s, poetry workshops run by women, for women, sprang up in cities around the country. They mirrored what was happening in the women’s movement, and they became communities unto themselves.

A Change of World, Episode 3: Shattering the Blue Velvet Chair

0:00 | Mar 20th, 2018

Our series dedicated to the women's movement continues with the changing cultural roles of the 1970s, when women poets refused to be marginalized or tokenized, and public poetry readings and writing workshops for women spread across the U.S.

A Change of World, Episode 2: Books that Broke Down Barriers

0:00 | Mar 13th, 2018

The second episode of our special series exploring poetry and the women's movement looks at several books in the 1960s and '70s that fought for a place for women.

A Change of World, Episode 1: The Wilderness

0:00 | Mar 6th, 2018

The first episode in a special series on the women’s movement

The Poet's Revenge

0:00 | Feb 27th, 2018

Shelley's famous poem “Ozymandias” is germane 200 years after its publication.

The Poetics of Mass Murder

0:00 | Feb 20th, 2018

Poems responding to past gun violence, mass murders, and school shootings.

Three Ways of Looking at a Rose

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2018

For Valentines's Day, three poems exploring the most common symbol in love poetry.

The Poet and the Riot

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2018

After Martin Luther King's assassination 50 years ago, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote a poem about the power of riots.

A Change of World, Episode 5: Poetry Gives Birth

0:00 | Jan 23rd, 2018

How women poets made birth, motherhood, and parenting central preoccupations of contemporary poetry, just as it is in life.

Drinking Poetry

0:00 | Jan 9th, 2018

Jeff Gordinier and Rosie Schapp discuss poetry over a few cocktails.

Some Poems of Transcendent Surrender

0:00 | Dec 26th, 2017

Spencer Reece discusses classic and contemporary religious poems for this time of year.

The New Woman of Her Day

0:00 | Dec 12th, 2017

Millay's legacy, upon the centennial of her first book, Renascence and Other Poems (1917).

The Poet is Distracted

0:00 | Nov 28th, 2017

Distraction may actually be at the heart of poetry.

A Change of World, Episode 4 : A Place of Permission

0:00 | Nov 14th, 2017

In the '70s, poetry workshops run by women, for women, sprang up in cities around the country. They mirrored what was happening in the women’s movement, and they became communities unto themselves.

Poems that Knock it out of the Park

0:00 | Nov 1st, 2017

Poems about baseball, in time for the World Series.

From Sickness into Poetry

0:00 | Oct 10th, 2017

Meaghan O'Rourke discusses how the experience of illness has informed her poetry.

Who Reads Poetry

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2017

Poetry magazine publishes a selection of their ‘View from Here’ essays in a new book, Who Reads Poetry.

The Late Great John Ashbery

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2017

Ashbery's poems can be a new way of seeing and experiencing things, a "daydream from which there's no obvious exit," an ode to neglected emotions or the insignificant, an inside joke you may or may not be in on, and a reordering of the world and ours...Show More

Teaching Poetry in Times Like These

0:00 | Aug 29th, 2017

Our back-to-school episode covers alternative approaches to poetry, including student choice.

“It's the Language, Stupid.”

0:00 | Aug 15th, 2017

Matthew Zapruder discusses the role of language and meaning in poetry and his book of criticism, Why Poetry.

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2017

Fatimah Asghar on telling the stories that need to be told, in poetry and on television.

50 Years of The Lice

0:00 | Jul 5th, 2017

A deep look into W.S. Merwin's influential book, which speaks to our moment 50 years after its publication.

The New Young People's Poet Laureate

0:00 | Jun 20th, 2017

Margarita Engle on the subject of her poetry, and her message to young readers.

The Poetry and Music of Joy Harjo

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2017

This year's Lilly Prize winner discusses the intersection of poetry and music, as well as the women's rights and Indigenous rights movements that much her poetry is borne out of.

The Radical Perception of Larry Eigner

0:00 | May 16th, 2017

An appreciation of an underrecognized poet's vision, lyricism, fragments, and humor

The Pulse of American Poetry

0:00 | May 2nd, 2017

A new anthology collects poems addressing our current political climate.

The Poetry of Everyday Life

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2017

How we use poetry to find meaning and to bring disparate aspects of life together.

The Achievements of Derek Walcott

0:00 | Mar 22nd, 2017

Remembering the Nobel Laureate's poetry upon his death, and the commitment to the arts and humanties

Lowell as Teacher

0:00 | Mar 7th, 2017

Robert Lowell’s former students look back on their poetry classes with an American master.

Walt Whitman's Divided America

0:00 | Feb 21st, 2017

As one of the U.S.'s greatest patriots and most trenchant critics of his time, Whitman never lost hope in his country.

Is your sweetheart edible?

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2017

The late Carolyn Kizer on the erotic side of love

Poetry Stars in a Movie

0:00 | Jan 24th, 2017

Ron Padgett on having his poems appear in Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson.

The Poets We Lost in 2016

0:00 | Dec 20th, 2016

Listening to some of the poets who died this year

More Poetry in the Aftermath

0:00 | Dec 7th, 2016

Two additional poets react to the U.S. presidential election

Poetry in the Aftermath

0:00 | Nov 15th, 2016

Responses to last week's U.S. presidential election

Addiction Poetry

0:00 | Nov 1st, 2016

What poetry has to say about substance abuse, and how some poems can help. 

Death and Donald Revell

0:00 | Oct 18th, 2016

Making peace with the grief and release of death

A Misunderstood Chestnut

0:00 | Oct 4th, 2016

The different ways of reading a classic American poem

11 Years of Poetry Out Loud

0:00 | Sep 20th, 2016

Over three million high school students have participated in this recitation contest.

Poetry as Play

0:00 | Sep 6th, 2016

Giving children the permission to be free.

Mothers of Boys

0:00 | Aug 22nd, 2016

The many successes of Cave Canem.

A First Book 50 Years Later

0:00 | Aug 9th, 2016

Looking at Seamus Heaney's debut, Death of a Naturalist

Middle Passage

0:00 | Aug 4th, 2016

Robert Hayden's harrowing narrative poem on the slave trade

Extreme Exposure

0:00 | Jul 26th, 2016

Two poets who are applying new uses of language to approach social issues

The Achievement of Geoffrey Hill

0:00 | Jul 12th, 2016

Yezzi looks into Geoffrey Hill's poetry upon Hill's death

Everyone Always Gets Lost

0:00 | Jun 28th, 2016

Gay Pride in the shadow of the Orlando nightclub shooting

Fathers Never Die

0:00 | Jun 15th, 2016

The poignancy of Father's Day, for those who have lost their fathers

The Inner Life in the Age of Social Media

0:00 | Jun 1st, 2016

Making money from poetry, and opting to be forgotten

The New Motherhood Poem

0:00 | May 3rd, 2016

Recent approaches to poetry, from the perspective of mothers

Who Are They Anyway?

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2016

Old and new poems about unnamed lovers

Poetry and PTSD

0:00 | Apr 4th, 2016

The skeptical, clear-eyed poetry of Alan Dugan

0:00 | Mar 22nd, 2016

Poems to mark a new, fragile season

50 Years of Ariel

0:00 | Mar 8th, 2016

The legacy of Plath's posthumous classic

The Language of Violence

0:00 | Feb 24th, 2016

Danez Smith and Brian Russell examine how we label acts of violence, and the power of poetry to connect the political with the deeply personal.

The Problem of Love

0:00 | Feb 10th, 2016

On two recent, complicated love poems

A Radical Poet's Radical Poet

0:00 | Jan 27th, 2016

Lola Ridge's poetry of social protest

0:00 | Jan 13th, 2016

Hannah Gamble and Roger Reeves talk about girlhood and growing up in the Pentecostal Church. 

Poets We've Lost

0:00 | Dec 23rd, 2015

Remembering and celebrating some of the poets who died in 2015

Explicit Lyrics

0:00 | Nov 25th, 2015

Erika L. Sánchez and Jacob Saenz talk about sex in music and poetry.

All Artists Are Dogs

0:00 | Nov 11th, 2015

James Merrill envisions the figure of the artist through the ears of a dog

Social Media, Race, and Disney Princesses

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2015

Franny Choi and Saeed Jones blend poetry and culture.

A Very Short, Very Famous Poem

0:00 | Oct 7th, 2015

Looking back at Robert Creeley's “I Know a Man”

A Great Poet of Love and War

0:00 | Sep 23rd, 2015

Yehuda Amichai's poetry in translation, 15 years after death

Ten Years Later

0:00 | Aug 24th, 2015

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina remembered in poems

Making the Case for Poetry

0:00 | Aug 12th, 2015

Inviting classroom fun through songs and speeches

For Love of Russia

0:00 | Jul 29th, 2015

Poems by Anna Akhmatova set to music by Iris DeMent

Red, White, and Gray

0:00 | Jul 1st, 2015

Two diverging views of the 4th of July

Poems to Read at Gay and Lesbian Weddings

0:00 | Jun 26th, 2015

Celebrating queer love and same-sex marriage.

Fathers and Sons

0:00 | Jun 17th, 2015

Two very different poems for Father's Day

The Next Poet Laureate

0:00 | Jun 10th, 2015

The poetry and activism of Juan Felipe Herrera

Poetry for Young People

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2015

Talking with the new Young People's Poet Laureate, Jacqueline Woodson

Walking and Writing for Peace

0:00 | May 20th, 2015

A conflicted poem about a war protest.

100 Years of Spoon River Anthology

0:00 | Apr 22nd, 2015

An in-depth look at the characters and legacies of this best-selling collection.

“A Code with No Message”

0:00 | Apr 8th, 2015

Poet Laureate Charles Wright on writing and reading poems.

Mom and Dad in Memoriam

0:00 | Mar 25th, 2015

Contemporary poems about parents, including Ireland’s new favorite poem

The Snowed-in Life

0:00 | Mar 11th, 2015

What does snow have to do with race?

Amiri Baraka is Back in the Building

0:00 | Feb 25th, 2015

His poetry and legacy one year after his death

Calling All Love Poems

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2015

A new way to say “I love you”

Pleasure and Death

0:00 | Jan 14th, 2015

In his famous poem, Wallace Stevens serves up ice cream at a funeral

The Seeker

0:00 | Dec 24th, 2014

Commemorating the life and poetry of William Stafford

“The End”

0:00 | Dec 3rd, 2014

Remembering Mark Strand

Poetry and Murder

0:00 | Nov 19th, 2014

The art of contemplating the dark act

Sound over Sense

0:00 | Oct 29th, 2014

Dylan Thomas’s bardic rhetoric. 

For the Love of God

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2014

Reading a classic George Herbert poem

Poetry that Travels

0:00 | Oct 1st, 2014

Meena Alexander’s latest poems visit distant places

Poetry Was Never the Same

0:00 | Sep 17th, 2014

The enduring horror of World War I  

Poetry as Play

0:00 | Sep 2nd, 2014

Giving children the permission to be free

What does gender have to do with it?

0:00 | Aug 13th, 2014

A new anthology of trans and genderqueer poetry and poetics

When Gunslingers Go Postmodern

0:00 | Jul 29th, 2014

Cathy Park Hong’s lively sonic landscapes lambaste the Wild West

The Poetry of Close Quarters

0:00 | Jul 15th, 2014

On Gwendolyn Brooks's “kitchenette building”

Self Invention in Exile

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2014

Lucille Clifton's defiance by distillation

Eve's Revenge on God

0:00 | Jun 20th, 2014

A debate about the meaning of a poem.

Reading Robert Duncan

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2014

On the occasion of the first annual Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism

Poetry Defined

0:00 | May 22nd, 2014

A new glossary makes a classic poem come alive

Voices from the Past

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2014

Diving into the archives of the 92nd Street Y

Not Flesh or Stone

0:00 | Mar 28th, 2014

Facing the Vietnam War Memorial

How Should I Begin?

0:00 | Mar 11th, 2014

Looking at memorable first lines of poems

How It Is

0:00 | Feb 26th, 2014

Celebrating the life and poetry of Maxine Kumin

Valentines for the Romantically Challenged

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2014

Record-a-Poem gives you new ways to say “I love you”

Out with the Old

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2014

Dorothea Lasky's charming, powerful poetry takes readers by surprise.

Commercial Poetry

0:00 | Jan 23rd, 2014

Apple's new poetry commercial (and Levi's older one) use Walt Whitman to get under our skin. Whitman would love that.

Not Fade Away

0:00 | Jan 10th, 2014

David Yezzi remembers poet Richard Eberhart.

Poems to Fight Against the Dark

0:00 | Dec 19th, 2013

Christmas poetry full of love and light.

A Hip Hop Villanelle

0:00 | Dec 12th, 2013

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs reads her own work and pays tribute to the late Wanda Coleman.

His Dark Places

0:00 | Dec 5th, 2013

Gerard Manley Hopkins's "terrible sonnets" explore the contours of his depression.

Thanksgiving Poems

0:00 | Nov 21st, 2013

Reflecting on gratitude this holiday season.

David Sedaris on Poetry

0:00 | Nov 11th, 2013

The essayist talks to Susan Wheeler about the pleasures of puzzlement.

Beyond The Artifice of Elegy

0:00 | Nov 6th, 2013

A poem about grief by National Book Award Poetry finalist Mary Szybist

National Book Award in Poetry

0:00 | Oct 23rd, 2013

Poems from two finalists: Adrian Matejka and Lucie Brock-Broido

Her Delightful Life

0:00 | Oct 10th, 2013

Lyn Hejinian's experimental work is a lot funnier than you think.

Stop the Milk

0:00 | Oct 3rd, 2013

Kathleen Rooney on the poetry of Matt Rasmussen.

Modernism’s Mystery Man

0:00 | Sep 25th, 2013

The strange career of editor and publisher Ronald Lane Latimer.

Anything But Sweet

0:00 | Sep 18th, 2013

Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" and modern warfare

Poetry Goes Back to School

0:00 | Sep 4th, 2013

Teaching poems like Robert Frost's “‘Out, Out—’” in the classroom.

Charles Darwin Condensed

0:00 | Aug 20th, 2013

Lorine Niedecker's take on the great naturalist.

Wives in the Avocados

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2013

Marjorie Perloff remembers the charm of Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California."

Channeling Catullus

0:00 | Jul 18th, 2013

Self-address and other classical tropes in the poetry of Bernadette Mayer and Hannah Gamble.

Tennessee Williams on a One-Night Stand

0:00 | Jul 3rd, 2013

A recently discovered recording showcases America's greatest playwright reading his own poetry.

Poems to Read at Gay and Lesbian Weddings

0:00 | Jun 26th, 2013

Celebrating queer love and same-sex marriage.

Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt

0:00 | Jun 12th, 2013

The computer programmer turned poet reads and discusses his work.

Beautiful Voices Project

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2013

Harmony Holiday on Afrosonics, an archive of rare audio clips featuring African American voices.

Bishop and Lowell

0:00 | May 30th, 2013

Sarah Ruhl discusses her play "Dear Elizabeth," based on letters and poems of two iconic American poets.

Poetry for Weddings

0:00 | May 15th, 2013

Ruth Graham on the history of wedding poems and the poem she read at her own ceremony.

Happy Complicated Mother's Day

0:00 | May 9th, 2013

Joy Katz and Erika Meitner take the Hallmark out of the holiday.

Appalachian Poetry

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2013

Idra Novey on the poems of James Wright and Irene McKinney.

Poetry at the 92nd Street Y

0:00 | Apr 17th, 2013

Readings from Poetry magazine's centennial anthology, The Open Door.


0:00 | Apr 10th, 2013

Share the somatic pleasure of poetry on Soundcloud.

A Poet in Hell's Kitchen

0:00 | Mar 21st, 2013

Mary Karr talks Jesus and poetry in time for Easter.

Blooming Like a Clod

0:00 | Mar 6th, 2013

Paisley Rekdal reads and discusses Gerard Manley Hopkins's influence on her own work.

Poetry's Adventurous Valentine

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2013

Kate Bolick considers the literary achievements and unconventional life of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Two Poems Walk into a Bar

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2013

Rosie Schaap—author of Drinking with Men: A Memoir—on her two favorite pastimes, poetry and drinking.

Kittens, Charlie Chaplin, and Death

0:00 | Jan 24th, 2013

Jennifer Michael Hecht on Hart Crane's poem “Chaplinesque”.

Asleep, But Not at Rest

0:00 | Jan 16th, 2013

Kathleen Rooney on Weldon Kees and his mysterious poetic character Robinson

How Terrific It Is

0:00 | Jan 10th, 2013

To hear Poetry Foundation featured blogger Lisa Jarnot discuss her poems...

Poems of Transcendence

0:00 | Dec 20th, 2012

Spencer Reece celebrates Christmas with poems by George Herbert and James Merrill.

Can Poetry Take on Tragedy?

0:00 | Dec 14th, 2012

Dan Beachy-Quick discusses poetry and school shootings.

Poetry North, Poetry South

0:00 | Dec 5th, 2012

Faith Barrett discusses the poetry of the Civil War.

In the Middle of Dinner

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2012

Poems of food and family, tenderness and Thanksgiving.

Less is More, More or Less

0:00 | Nov 7th, 2012

Poems by Lorine Niedecker and Brooklyn Copeland from the new Poetry magazine anthology.

Romancing the Pork

0:00 | Oct 24th, 2012

Jeff Gordinier and Rosie Schaap share a three-course meal of poems about food.

Poems that Knock it Out of the Park

0:00 | Oct 17th, 2012

Baseball poetry that revels in the quintessential American sport.

100 Years of Poetry Magazine

0:00 | Oct 4th, 2012

The editors discuss a few favorite poems from the new centennial anthology.

The Cure for Romanticism?

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2012

Don Juan, one of the most fully realized comic characters in English poetry

Who Done It in Brooklyn?

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2012

A close look at Julian Brolaski's poem "Murder on the Gowanus"

The Early Days of Poetry Magazine

0:00 | Aug 23rd, 2012

How does a small literary magazine survive 100 years?

Elegy for the Animals

0:00 | Aug 7th, 2012

Sarah Lindsay's poetry mourns the species lost to our current mass extinction.

Trying to Impress Literary Types

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2012

Ironworker Josh Warn talks about the primary pleasure of memorizing poetry.

He Felt Truth

0:00 | Jul 18th, 2012

Introducing poet Alden Van Buskirk

Her Commerce in Shall

0:00 | Jul 11th, 2012

Is Catherine Wagner the Gertrude Stein of her generation?

What's a Body Language For?

0:00 | Jun 26th, 2012

David Yezzi discusses the poems of William Matthews.

Even in Mississippi

0:00 | Jun 13th, 2012

Dana Gioia discusses the work of Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, with recordings from the Key West Literary Seminar.

Be Kind While There's Time

0:00 | Jun 7th, 2012

The Poetry Society of America celebrates the poetry of Philip Larkin.

The Healing Power of Poetry

0:00 | May 24th, 2012

Jennifer Nix discusses how the poet Joanne Kyger helped her feel less lonely during a serious illness.

“Was you ever bit by a dead bee?”

0:00 | May 17th, 2012

Hailey Leithauser has won the 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award.

“Until you look again”

0:00 | May 9th, 2012

Gerald Stern remembers Muriel Rukeyser

Poetry in Motion

0:00 | Apr 26th, 2012

Daniel Nester revisits the "greatest poetry documentary of all time" on its 30th birthday.

Passing Stranger: East Village Poetry Walk

0:00 | Apr 11th, 2012

Excerpts from the tour narrated by Jim Jarmusch

Subway Poetry is Back

0:00 | Apr 4th, 2012

Alice Quinn discusses the return of the Poetry in Motion program in New York.

A Fairly Feisty Lady

0:00 | Mar 7th, 2012

Heather McHugh responds to Gaspara Stampa, one of the poets included in the Folger Shakespeare Library's Shakespeare's Sisters exhibit.

A Name Like a Handcuff

0:00 | Feb 23rd, 2012

Reginald Dwayne Betts reads his poems and discusses why he is “no longer a black poet.”

“Becoming Anne Bradstreet”

0:00 | Feb 15th, 2012

Eavan Boland discusses one of the poets included in the Folger Shakespeare Library's chapbook Shakespeare's Sisters.

“I knew all along you were mine”

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2012

Love poems from the archive for Valentine's Day.

Blood in the Grass

0:00 | Jan 25th, 2012

The ABCs of Tom Disch, master of comic verse.

A Wild Solitude Revealed

0:00 | Jan 12th, 2012

Lisa Jarnot discusses the poetry of Robert Duncan.

Drinking in Poetry

0:00 | Dec 31st, 2011

Jeff Gordinier and Rosie Schaap share their favorite boozy poems in time for the New Year's holiday.

“Inscribe the poem on yourself”

0:00 | Dec 13th, 2011

Dan Beachy-Quick on the pleasures of memorization.

No Place for the Little Lyric

0:00 | Dec 1st, 2011

Should Adrienne Rich be the poet laureate of the Occupy movement?

Naming It

0:00 | Nov 1st, 2011

Selections from the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry.

The Waste Land: The App

0:00 | Oct 21st, 2011

T.S. Eliot's Modernist masterpiece meets modern technology.

All That Poetry

0:00 | Oct 6th, 2011

Kenneth Patchen’s poems have been set to music by The Claudia Quintet.

Much Casual Death

0:00 | Sep 16th, 2011

Christopher Ricks discusses Anthony Hecht’s harrowing and unforgettable poem “More Light! More Light!”

The Mutilated World

0:00 | Sep 8th, 2011

Poems that captured the mood of the moment in the wake of 9/11.

About a Boy

0:00 | Aug 22nd, 2011

The shape things take to Atsuro Riley.

Lines for Hard Times

0:00 | Aug 11th, 2011

Philip Levine reads his defiantly hopeful "They Feed They Lion" and "What Work Is" with commentary by Edward Hirsch.

What You Come Here For

0:00 | Jul 29th, 2011

Fred Moten's poem "the salve trade" swims in the waters of literary theory.

The Poetry Garage

0:00 | Jul 21st, 2011

A thing of wonder and of beauty

Shadow of a Doubt

0:00 | Jun 21st, 2011

Thomas Hardy refuses to see a ghost that's not there.

Three Ways of Looking at a Rose

0:00 | Jun 13th, 2011

H.D., Jean Valentine, and Galway Kinnell on the queen of all poetic clichés.

The New Johnny Appleseed of Children’s Poetry

0:00 | May 27th, 2011

Children’s lit scholar Sylvia Vardell discusses J. Patrick Lewis.

Something Like Meter

0:00 | May 18th, 2011

An introduction to 2011 Ruth Lilly Prize winner David Ferry.

Adventures in Babysitting

0:00 | May 6th, 2011

Bernadette Mayer razes literary giants with love.

The Alternative Press

0:00 | Apr 20th, 2011

Detroit was burning and poetry was on fire.

Blank Verse

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2011

Danish conceptualist poet Magnus Pavlovski has the last laugh.

The Idea of Wallace Stevens

0:00 | Mar 8th, 2011

Jennifer Michael Hecht explains the philosophy behind “The Idea of Order at Key West.”

Eat the One You're With

0:00 | Feb 17th, 2011

Enough Valentine's Day mush—Carolyn Kizer hungers after sex.

Fire in the Bed-Sit

0:00 | Feb 9th, 2011

Lisa Catherine Harper finds half a self in John Hennessy's poems.

Coming Back to the Future

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2011

Poet Norma Cole discusses her poem Sarabande about recovering from a stroke.

Going Long

0:00 | Jan 20th, 2011

What do the Superbowl, pigs in a blanket, and Middle Earth have to do with Matthew Rohrer's poems?

Nobody Else is Listening

0:00 | Jan 12th, 2011

Kathleen Rooney on the Poetry Brothel, where you can buy a private poetry reading for five bucks a pop.

Christmas Memories

0:00 | Dec 25th, 2010

Poems by Ed Skoog and Wyatt Prunty.

Not Coming in from the Cold

0:00 | Dec 17th, 2010

Vijay Seshadri warms to Mark Strand's wintry poem "The Idea."

Re-branding Robert Lowell

0:00 | Dec 1st, 2010

The poet's forty-year friendship with illustrator Frank Parker reveals his gentler side.

Pass the Mashed Potatoes

0:00 | Nov 23rd, 2010

W.S. Merwin and Dara Wier on gratitude and food.

Major Poets, Minor Work

0:00 | Nov 19th, 2010

Ed Park discusses John Ashbery and James Schuyler's collaborative novel, A Nest of Ninnies.

The Windhover

0:00 | Nov 9th, 2010

A close reading of the Gerard Manley Hopkins's classic poem.

Delight after Delight

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2010

Kenneth Koch and his verbal circus.

Eileen Myles for President

0:00 | Oct 6th, 2010

The politics and poetry of a groundbreaking author.

Facing a Sheer Sky

0:00 | Sep 22nd, 2010

Mary Kinzie takes on Louise Bogan’s poem “Medusa.”

Confessional Poetry Off the Shelf

0:00 | Sep 9th, 2010

CAConrad talks about Anne Sexton’s landscapes of grief.

Poetry Became a Weapon

0:00 | Sep 1st, 2010

Labor poems of Chicago—an excerpt from the Chicago Poetry Tour.

Cruel, Cruel Summer

0:00 | Aug 13th, 2010

Poems that don't exactly celebrate the season from Weldon Kees, Howard Nemerov, and Jane Kenyon

A Much-Mended Thing

0:00 | Aug 5th, 2010

Poet Amy Clampitt brings a birder’s attention to the natural world—Tess Taylor explains.

“Warden of Where the River Went”

0:00 | Jul 27th, 2010

Newly-appointed Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin explains how everybody really loves poetry, whether they know it or not.

Lots in Translation

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2010

Edward Hirsch and Nick Flynn share Israeli and Slovenian poems in translation.

Poetry: The iPhone App

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2010

Download it, spin the wheel, hit the poetry jackpot.

Poems of Pollution and Protest

0:00 | Jun 14th, 2010

Turning to poetry in the wake of the BP oil spill.

Being’s Stony Smirk

0:00 | May 27th, 2010

Allen Edwin Butt discusses his poem “If Briefly.”

How to Raise a Poetry Imp

0:00 | May 18th, 2010

Elliott Vanskike teaches his children to become lifelong readers of poetry.

The Fun of Speaking English

0:00 | May 3rd, 2010

Emily Warn marvels at Dorothea Grossman’s charming, irreverent poems.

Complete Original: Eleanor Ross Taylor

0:00 | Apr 16th, 2010

Jean Valentine talks about the 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner.

Actors vs. Poets

0:00 | Apr 5th, 2010

Would you rather hear a poet read her work or an actor?

Let Your Mirrored Convexities Multiply

0:00 | Mar 9th, 2010

Kazim Ali discusses Agha Shahid Ali's ghazal "Tonight."

The Fruit Was Red, the Juice Was Sweet

0:00 | Feb 18th, 2010

The open secret behind Michael Field’s flowery Victorian verse.

Done with this Dust

0:00 | Feb 15th, 2010

Remembering Lilly Prize-winning poet Lucille Clifton on the occasion of her death.

No Images

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2010

Celebrating Black History Month with William Waring Cuney, Cornelius Eady, and Thomas Sayers Ellis.

Poetry Gone Cold

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2010

Annie Finch explores the metaphorical meaning of winter.

Poetry Written with an Eraser

0:00 | Jan 18th, 2010

Ron Silliman discusses two erasure poems created by eliminating parts of an existing text.

Worshipful Company of Snowbirds

0:00 | Jan 7th, 2010

James Tate at the Key West Literary Seminar.

From the Washington, DC, Poetry Tour

0:00 | Dec 23rd, 2009

Highlights featuring Reuben Jackson, Brian Gilmore, and A.B. Spellman.

Good Bad Poetry

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2009

Poetry so bad it's good, plus other verse tragedies.

The Power of Here and Now

0:00 | Dec 1st, 2009

The poetic legacy of James Schuyler.

The Nature of Political Power

0:00 | Nov 16th, 2009

Robert Lowell's "July in Washington" puts America in a vegetable context.

The Tomb of Love

0:00 | Oct 29th, 2009

Philip Larkin's poem “An Arundel Tomb” shows us what sentimentality looks like the morning after.

The Happiness of Monogamy

0:00 | Oct 14th, 2009

Teaching John Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising.”

Reconcilable Differences

0:00 | Oct 5th, 2009

Eleanor Wilner on Whitman; David St. John on Larry Levis.

Poetry Noir

0:00 | Sep 23rd, 2009

Robert Polito on the intersection of Hollywood and God.

Midwestern Blues

0:00 | Sep 3rd, 2009

Kevin Young on fried cheese, barber shops, and the hip hop aesthetic of a new generation of African-American poets.

Fact-Checking John Keats

0:00 | Aug 26th, 2009

Did the young poetic genius know his history? Who cares if he didn't?

Poet's Choice: Of Love and War

0:00 | Aug 19th, 2009

D.A. Powell reads poems from Rupert Brooke and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Remembering Craig Arnold

0:00 | Jul 31st, 2009

Christian Wiman discusses the work of the poet whose recent disappearance shocked the poetry world.

“Cover the Lettuce”

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2009

A very close reading of one sexy CD Wright poem.

The Power of Barbie

0:00 | Jun 26th, 2009

How David Trinidad's collection of vintage dolls plays into his poetry.

Honor Thy Father's Day

0:00 | Jun 17th, 2009

Robert Hayden and Terrance Hayes take the Hallmark out of the holiday.

Out of the Poetic Bubble

0:00 | Jun 11th, 2009

How Mark Nowak's documentary poetics re-humanizes the Sago Mine Disaster.

Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink

0:00 | Jun 2nd, 2009

Robert Polito on Kenneth Fearing's media-saturated poetry as vernacular collage.

Light in the Service of Loneliness

0:00 | May 27th, 2009

Fanny Howe, winner of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, reads from her work.

Bees and Monstrous Babies

0:00 | May 19th, 2009

Eleanor Wilner on species pity and political power run amok.

Stop Making Sense

0:00 | May 4th, 2009

Christian Bök performs the Dada sound-poetry behind the Talking Heads.

An Essential American Poet

0:00 | Apr 27th, 2009

Fanny Howe talks to us about the range of Jean Valentine’s poems.

What If It Doesn't Make Sense?

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2009

Matthew Zapruder parses a John Ashbery poem.

Telephony Is So Retro It's Cool

0:00 | Apr 3rd, 2009

Al Filreis brings Dial-a-Poem back to life at Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia.

Hatless in Heavy Economic Weather

0:00 | Mar 16th, 2009

John Surowiecki talks about why his 2004 poem "The Hat City After Men Stopped Wearing Hats" sounds like it was written yesterday.

The Hebrew Bible Has No Soul

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2009

Robert Alter on his radical reworking of the book of Psalms

Manifesto You

0:00 | Mar 3rd, 2009

Mary Anne Caws talks the whys and wherefores of manifestos by Charles Bernstein, A.E. Stallings, and Thomas Sayers Ellis that first appeared in Poetry magazine.

More Than Meets the I

0:00 | Feb 19th, 2009

Rae Armantrout gets personal without the pronoun.

When the Weary Blues Met Jazz

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2009

Langston Hughes's collaboration with Charles Mingus and Leonard Feather.

The Poet and the Saint

0:00 | Jan 29th, 2009

The untold story of Czeslaw Milosz's rancor toward a Holocaust hero.

People Don't Read This Way Anymore

0:00 | Jan 19th, 2009

Ernest Hilbert and Curtis Fox discuss the late, great W.D. Snodgrass's formalism, dark humor, and passionate reading style.

Remembering Denmark's Greatest Poet

0:00 | Jan 12th, 2009

On the occasion of Inger Christensen's death, Naja Marie Aidt and Pejk Malinovski read and discuss her work.

Inaugural Poetics

0:00 | Dec 19th, 2008

Hear who Elizabeth Alexander would have picked and her thoughts on Frost and other past inaugural poets.


0:00 | Dec 18th, 2008

Elizabeth Alexander on how the Derek Walcott-toting, June Jordan-quoting president will affect poets and poetry.

Poetry Books for the Holidays

0:00 | Dec 4th, 2008

The editors of Poetry magazine recommend their favorite books from this year.

DIY Poetry Movements

0:00 | Nov 19th, 2008

How Zukofsky and the language poets got started, and the rules for starting a movement of your own.

Poems for President Obama

0:00 | Nov 6th, 2008

Charles Bernstein, Patricia Smith and Forrest Gander offer presidential advice.

What's So Funny About Sex and Death?

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2008

Albert Goldbarth shows why he won the Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry.

The Child is Mother to the Poet

0:00 | Oct 8th, 2008

Hear Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman on her trade secret: total recall of childhood.

The Mama and the Papa

0:00 | Sep 16th, 2008

Hear Gwendolyn Brooks read "the mother" and Theodore Roethke read "My Papa's Waltz," with insights by ex-US Poet Laureate Donald Hall.

Poem Before the Event

0:00 | Sep 11th, 2008

A pair of poems about September 11th, written before the planes were even in the air.

Battle of the Bards

0:00 | Sep 2nd, 2008

Hear Denise Levertov's scathing Vietnam poem "Life at War," and find out why it made her friend Robert Duncan declare war on her.

Bloody Sunday & the Fisherman's Ghost

0:00 | Aug 18th, 2008

How Seamus Heaney defines Ireland's 1972 troubles with a portrait of a drunken seaman blown up in a pub.

Mao the Magnificent?

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2008

Was he really the best Chinese poet of his time?

Seven Essential Dreams Revisited

0:00 | Jul 21st, 2008

Steve Almond recalls his beret-wearing days as a poet, and why it's a good thing he turned to prose.

Was Whitman Really Gay?

0:00 | Jul 11th, 2008

A bar fight in the East Village settles it.

Just a Bunch of Consciousnesses, and a Bunch of Stuff

0:00 | Jul 1st, 2008

The late A.R. Ammons and the immutable laws of nature, featuring a recording from the 92nd St. Y.

Poetry Is Too Literary

0:00 | Jun 19th, 2008

Listening to Grace Paley read her poems.

Laugh In

0:00 | Jun 12th, 2008

Linh Dinh catalogues the myriad grades of Vietnamese chuckles.

After Nature

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2008

Lilly Prize winner Gary Snyder reads; Christian Wiman and Eavan Boland rave.

The Thought of No One Listening Anymore

0:00 | May 19th, 2008

Talking to Philip Schultz, the other Pulitzer winner.

Who's Gonna Read This Stuff?

0:00 | May 12th, 2008

Chase Twichell on why poetry has to evolve.

Is That a Chicken in the Background?

0:00 | Apr 25th, 2008

From the Fishouse captures poets in their natural environments.

Concrete Poetry

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2008

Hear Yusef Komunyakaa read and reflect on the history of war, from the Roman era to Vietnam.

Philip Whalen, Totally

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2008

Listening to the Zen poetry of an American master.

This Cold Day

0:00 | Mar 24th, 2008

Listen to Mary Jo Bang read from and discuss her award-winning Elegy.

Valentine's with a Straight Face

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2008

Li-Young Lee on the difficulties of love and childhood: "This whole poem makes me nervous!"

Follow the Drinking Gourd

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2008

Quraysh Ali Lansana channels the voice of Harriet Tubman.

Gimme Fever

0:00 | Jan 11th, 2008

Burning at a hundred and three with Sylvia Plath.

Dance, Dance Revolution

0:00 | Dec 6th, 2007

Cathy Park Hong samples from her new book.

Robert Hass

0:00 | Nov 15th, 2007

The 2007 National Book Award winner reads three poems.

“To Wear Words in the Plainest Light”

0:00 | Oct 11th, 2007

Anne Stevenson on Welsh prosody, Elizabeth Bishop, and winning the Neglected Masters Award.

A Straight Man's Epiphany in a Gay Bar

0:00 | Oct 4th, 2007

Terrance Hayes explores relationships between men.

He Wasn't Always Such a Confessional Guy

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2007

Troy Jollimore talks about Robert Lowell's "Skunk Hour."

Kay Ryan on Robert Frost

0:00 | Sep 19th, 2007

Our greatest American poet collected the wisdom of chicken farmers.

The Poetry Assassination of Kenneth Koch

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2007

Ron Padgett and Andrei Codrescu recount a faked assassination attempt on Kenneth Koch at St. Mark's Church.

Tough Poem? Call the Poet

0:00 | Sep 6th, 2007

Dean Young talks about writing toward the invisible reader.

A Partial History of Our Stupidity

0:00 | Aug 24th, 2007

Two poems (and some commentary) by Edward Hirsch.

Charles Simic

0:00 | Aug 10th, 2007

Talking with the new poet laureate.

Just Beyond the Fare Boxes

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2007