Welcome to another second Tuesday of the month, that means it’s Poetry Place day! If you’re reading with me today, that means you’re in luck for a small shift in gears because I decided to move in a slightly different direction of poems today— at least in the medium of poems.
Today, I’m showcasing some podcasts. No, unfortunately none of them are mine because I’m simply not that cool, but I promise you that they are all very interesting. I’ve tried to mix it up a little bit so the voices are all a bit different. Regardless, they’re all about poetry. That’s why we’re here right.
Even more than that, whether you’re home or working or doing whatever you’re doing, take some time to slow down and maybe listen to one of these today. It sounds like a lot of people have been feeling disconnected lately and with everything going on, it’s fully understandable. Depending on your situation, you could have days where you don’t actually talk to anyone. Or there could be days where it seems like everyone is in the same situation or pulling through this, except for you.
I would like to think poetry, like any other form of art and expression, can help people feel less alone whether or not it’s directly about them. Even if you can’t relate, podcasts can be nice because sometimes you really just need to hear the voice of another person that isn’t just Netflix or political antics.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling there are at least a few of you who get it.
If you do, well here are a few podcasts to keep you going. And if you don’t, I hope that maybe, you might take a liking to some of these anyway. The list is short, only 4—check them out.
Hosted by Tracy K. Smith as the 22nd United States Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2019, this podcast is a quick way to get some of that poetry you might love so much integrated into your day a little less traditionally. Some people love to sit down with a good book. Other people, they love to lie down with their eyes closed and let a gentle voice pour over their ears. If you’re one of those “other” people, well, Smith is here to support you. Through her podcast, you might find a whole lot of new poetry that you wouldn’t have thought of looking for before, and it’s a wonderful break from the quick pace of our lives. Plus, all of the episodes are about five minutes long– the perfect length to fit right into your day on a small break or a breather, without interrupting your productivity if you’re still trying to keep going. Give it a listen here.
The Poetry Foundation
They have so many options for podcasts but the one that I want to tell you about is a contemporary option that had me laughing 30 seconds in, mostly because of the hosts. It’s called “Vs” Hosted by two poets named Danez Smith and Franny Choi; through the podcast, they talk to other poets who speak on the ideas that have shaped and moved them in both their lives and their writing. The reason I have this specific podcast on my list is because it’s not only about the poetry, but also the lives of the people who write the poetry and who they are in the world outside the writing or in addition to the writing. It can also be funny, dramatic, young, and just like any other podcast sometime; some of you might be looking for exactly that. If what you want is something that focuses more on the writing, here’s the foundation’s podcast section as a whole because they have plenty of options including the one I’m talking about. Otherwise, for the one I’m telling you about above, here’s Vs.
Interesting People Reading Poetry
While this is a podcast about poetry, it’s actually a bit more than that and I think that’s something I love about it. I adore people watching, the concept of how different and quirky we all can be in general is something so interesting to me. This podcast highlights both that idea and poetry at the same time. It takes different people from all walks of life, occupations, ages, etc. before putting you in their shoes and having them read a poem that means something to them in an environment that has something to do with their lives. So not only are you exposed to new poetry, but new people in the process. It’s a bit experimental and kinda—no, very—quirky, but not in a bad way. If you need a reminder of how wide the boundaries of podcasts are, and poetry for that matter, check this one out here. It’ll be fun.
The New Yorker
This one is a staple. It seems like a lot of people who enjoy reading come across the New Yorker at some point because it carries so much content, from fiction to poetry. The podcasts are no exception. The New Yorker’s reputation has upheld over the years as a very solid one and though the episodes aren’t quite the 5 minute snippets some people might prefer, they are the kind you can pause and pick up on the go the way you would want to with a good audiobook. When it comes to poetry, I think sources like this one are especially great to help with exposure to diverse voices and those that deserve to be recognized. They make you want to listen. Lend them your ear at the site.
If you’ve heard of or listened to any of these, let me know how you like them. Let me know how you feel about podcasting versus print, after all, different mediums change the impact of how we interact with the content. Which do you prefer?
And if there are any you’d recommend, I think you know by now that I am all ears, complete pun intended. Throw any suggestions my way and I’ll see you Friday.
Enjoy the podcasts.