Poetry Off the Shelf

Poetry Off the Shelf

www.poetryfoundation.org
Producer Helena de Groot explores the diverse world of contemporary poetry with readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. Nothing is off limits, and nobody is taken too seriously.


Speaking for the Country
Jun 18
A look into the various approaches to the U.S. poet laureate position.
Whitman and our Warming World
Jun 4
On Whitman's bicentennial, a contemporary poet finds a Whitmanic kinship with wonder, language, and the environment.
The Past Talks Back
May 21
Marilyn Nelson's poetic legacy, through the eyes of one of her many protégés, Tyehimba Jess.
The Language of Ramadan
May 7
Two Muslim American poets discuss the intersections between poetry and Ramadan.
What You Have Heard is True
Apr 23
Carolyn Forché discusses her memoir of the same title, about her time in pre-civil war El Salvador in the late 1970s.
The Populist Soviet Poet
Apr 2
The life and legacy of Vladimir Mayakovsky.
The Poetry of Jean Valentine
Mar 19
Reading a trailblazing second-wave feminist poet.
A Change of World documentary: Poetry and the Women’s Movement
Mar 1
Meryl Streep narrates our hour-long radio documentary special about how the Women’s Movement changed poetry, and how women poets changed the culture.
Some Love Poems for Your Sweetie
Feb 5
Poems in time for Valentine's Day.
100 Years of Robert Duncan
Jan 22
A look into Duncan's poems on the centenary of his birth.
Drinking in Poetry
Jan 8
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Prohibition in the U.S., we discuss drinking poems over a few cocktails.
Poets We Lost in 2018
Dec 25, 2018
Remembering and listening to those who died this year.
100 Years of Hopkins
Dec 11, 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
Nov 20, 2018
Looking back in a meditative mood around Thanksgiving.
The Poetry of Politics
Nov 13, 2018
Poetry's possible liberty or obligations in the wake of the US midterm elections.
Poetry and/or Advertising
Oct 30, 2018
What copywriting and poetry have in common.
Poetry Rituals
Oct 16, 2018
Exploring exercises to be more present in your life and writing.
The Past is Present
Oct 2, 2018
Rereading the great modern Greek poet C.P. Cavafy.
Poems from the Inside
Sep 11, 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
Aug 28, 2018
John Keats's life and body of work, then and now.
The Robots are Coming to Class
Aug 14, 2018
Reading and exploring poetry along with students this school year.
Retelling the American Story
Jul 31, 2018
Tracy K. Smith discusses her new book and her tenure as current US poet laureate.
The Man is There … in the Tape
Jul 18, 2018
Remembering Donald Hall and his advocacy for archival audio recordings of poets.
Poems Don’t Need Their Papers
Jul 3, 2018
For July 4, we talk about US immigration, Central American refugees, and poems across borders with Javier Zamora.
Goooooaaaalllll!
Jun 19, 2018
Poems about soccer, aka football, aka the beautiful game, in time for the World Cup.
Poetry Live to Tape
Jun 5, 2018
When poets used tape recorders to compose not for the page, but for the audio environment.
Prosey Poems
May 22, 2018
Maureen McLane on semi-autobiographical epic poems, narrative melodrama, and the dissociation of sensibility.
Burning for Justice
May 8, 2018
Exploring the work of the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner Martín Espada.
A Change of World, Episode 6: New Waves
Apr 25, 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
Apr 10, 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
Apr 3, 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
Mar 20, 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
Mar 13, 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
Mar 6, 2018
The first episode in a special series on the women’s movement
The Poet’s Revenge
Feb 27, 2018
Shelley's famous poem “Ozymandias” is germane 200 years after its publication.
The Poetics of Mass Murder
Feb 20, 2018
Poems responding to past gun violence, mass murders, and school shootings.
Three Ways of Looking at a Rose
Feb 13, 2018
For Valentines's Day, three poems exploring the most common symbol in love poetry.
The Poet and the Riot
Feb 6, 2018
After Martin Luther King's assassination 50 years ago, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote a poem about the power of riots.
Drinking Poetry
Jan 9, 2018
Jeff Gordinier and Rosie Schapp discuss poetry over a few cocktails.
Some Poems of Transcendent Surrender
Dec 26, 2017
Spencer Reece discusses classic and contemporary religious poems for this time of year.
The New Woman of Her Day
Dec 12, 2017
Millay's legacy, upon the centennial of her first book, Renascence and Other Poems (1917).
The Poet is Distracted
Nov 28, 2017
Distraction may actually be at the heart of poetry.
Poems that Knock it out of the Park
Nov 1, 2017
Poems about baseball, in time for the World Series.
From Sickness into Poetry
Oct 10, 2017
Meaghan O'Rourke discusses how the experience of illness has informed her poetry.
Who Reads Poetry
Sep 26, 2017
Poetry magazine publishes a selection of their ‘View from Here’ essays in a new book, Who Reads Poetry.
The Late Great John Ashbery
Sep 12, 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 ourselves.
Teaching Poetry in Times Like These
Aug 29, 2017
Our back-to-school episode covers alternative approaches to poetry, including student choice.
“It’s the Language, Stupid.”
Aug 15, 2017
Matthew Zapruder discusses the role of language and meaning in poetry and his book of criticism, Why Poetry.
50 Years of The Lice
Jul 5, 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
Jun 20, 2017
Margarita Engle on the subject of her poetry, and her message to young readers.
The Poetry and Music of Joy Harjo
Jun 6, 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
May 16, 2017
An appreciation of an underrecognized poet's vision, lyricism, fragments, and humor
The Pulse of American Poetry
May 2, 2017
A new anthology collects poems addressing our current political climate.
The Poetry of Everyday Life
Apr 18, 2017
How we use poetry to find meaning and to bring disparate aspects of life together.
The Achievements of Derek Walcott
Mar 22, 2017
Remembering the Nobel Laureate's poetry upon his death, and the commitment to the arts and humanties
Lowell as Teacher
Mar 7, 2017
Robert Lowell’s former students look back on their poetry classes with an American master.
Walt Whitman’s Divided America
Feb 21, 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?
Feb 8, 2017
The late Carolyn Kizer on the erotic side of love
Poetry Stars in a Movie
Jan 24, 2017
Ron Padgett on having his poems appear in Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson.
The Poets We Lost in 2016
Dec 20, 2016
Listening to some of the poets who died this year
More Poetry in the Aftermath
Dec 7, 2016
Two additional poets react to the U.S. presidential election
Poetry in the Aftermath
Nov 15, 2016
Responses to last week's U.S. presidential election
Addiction Poetry
Nov 1, 2016
What poetry has to say about substance abuse, and how some poems can help.
Death and Donald Revell
Oct 18, 2016
Making peace with the grief and release of death
A Misunderstood Chestnut
Oct 4, 2016
The different ways of reading a classic American poem
11 Years of Poetry Out Loud
Sep 20, 2016
Over three million high school students have participated in this recitation contest.
Poetry as Play
Sep 6, 2016
Giving children the permission to be free.
Mothers of Boys
Aug 22, 2016
The many successes of Cave Canem.
A First Book 50 Years Later
Aug 9, 2016
Looking at Seamus Heaney's debut, Death of a Naturalist
Extreme Exposure
Jul 26, 2016
Two poets who are applying new uses of language to approach social issues
The Achievement of Geoffrey Hill
Jul 12, 2016
Yezzi looks into Geoffrey Hill's poetry upon Hill's death
Everyone Always Gets Lost
Jun 28, 2016
Gay Pride in the shadow of the Orlando nightclub shooting
Fathers Never Die
Jun 15, 2016
The poignancy of Father's Day, for those who have lost their fathers
The Inner Life in the Age of Social Media
Jun 1, 2016
Making money from poetry, and opting to be forgotten
The Uses of Anger
May 17, 2016
Audre Lorde then and now
The New Motherhood Poem
May 3, 2016
Recent approaches to poetry, from the perspective of mothers
Who Are They Anyway?
Apr 18, 2016
Old and new poems about unnamed lovers
Poetry and PTSD
Apr 4, 2016
The skeptical, clear-eyed poetry of Alan Dugan
50 Years of Ariel
Mar 8, 2016
The legacy of Plath's posthumous classic
The Language of Violence
Feb 24, 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.
Excuse Me While I Offend You
Feb 10, 2016
All about flarf.
The Problem of Love
Feb 10, 2016
On two recent, complicated love poems
A Radical Poet’s Radical Poet
Jan 27, 2016
Lola Ridge’s poetry of social protest
Poets We’ve Lost
Dec 23, 2015
Remembering and celebrating some of the poets who died in 2015
Explicit Lyrics
Nov 25, 2015
Erika L. Sánchez and Jacob Saenz talk about sex in music and poetry.
All Artists Are Dogs
Nov 11, 2015
James Merrill envisions the figure of the artist through the ears of a dog
Social Media, Race, and Disney Princesses
Oct 28, 2015
Franny Choi and Saeed Jones blend poetry and culture.
A Very Short, Very Famous Poem
Oct 7, 2015
Looking back at Robert Creeley’s “I Know a Man”
A Great Poet of Love and War
Sep 23, 2015
Yehuda Amichai’s poetry in translation, 15 years after death
The Poet and the Riot
Sep 9, 2015
Ten Years Later
Aug 24, 2015
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina remembered in poems
Making the Case for Poetry
Aug 12, 2015
Inviting classroom fun through songs and speeches
For Love of Russia
Jul 29, 2015
Poems by Anna Akhmatova set to music by Iris DeMent
The Poetry Inside of Words
Jul 15, 2015
A look at Paul Celan’s later poems
Red, White, and Gray
Jul 1, 2015
Two diverging views of the 4th of July