The Poetry Pharmacy show

The Poetry Pharmacy

Summary: Every couple of weeks I invite someone I like to read me a poem from a poet that they love, a poem they carry around in their Existential First Aid Kit. We then chat about the poem, and I also read them a poem from the Pharmacy. If my guest is a writer, we conclude with them reading a piece of their own work that excites and interests me.

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 Episode 54: Finn Menzies prescribes AFTERNOON by Max Ritvo + FACTS OF LIFE by Jim Ferris | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:09

So pleased to have Finn Menzies in the Poetry Pharmacy this week! Finn prescribes Max Ritvo‘s AFTERNOON which can be found here, and I reciprocate with Jim Ferris‘s FACTS OF LIFE (read Jim’s poem here). We also read and talk about … Continue reading →

 Episode 53: Chen Chen prescribes Keegan Lester’s TO THE TIN BAND THAT READ: KEEGAN MATTHEW LESTER + jayy dodd’s ARS POETICA | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:50

Today in the Poetry Pharmacy, we’re hanging out with Chen Chen.  Chen prescribes a Keegan Lester poem which can be found here, and I reciprocate with jayy dodd‘s incredible ars poetica. We also read and talk about Chen’s poem Poplar Street.  … Continue reading →

 Episode 52: Mary Jean Chan prescribes Adrienne Rich’s DEDICATIONS + Chen Chen’s WINTER | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:49

Today in the Poetry Pharmacy, we had a visit from Mary Jean Chan,  Mary Jean’s work has appeared in The Poetry Review, Ambit, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Callaloo and elsewhere. She is also a Co-Editor at Oxford Poetry. Her poem … Continue reading →

 Episode 51: Amaan Hyder prescribes Shani Mootoo’s A RECOGNITION + Kaveh Akbar’s DO YOU SPEAK PERSIAN? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:56

Welcome to a new season of the show, now rebranded and slightly reformatted as POETRY PHARMACY! You might notice that we have a slightly different way of doing things: two readers, three poems, and even more POETRY LOVE than ever before.  We’re … Continue reading →

 Episode 50: Ryan Van Winkle prescribes Michael Burkard’s TOOTH | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:25

“”What the hell the tooth is doing there, I don’t know, but I love it.” Ryan Van Winkle   Ryan Van Winkle is currently Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries following a similar stint as the Scottish Poetry Library’s … Continue reading →

 Episode 49: Alexander MacLeod prescribes Elizabeth Bishop’s IN THE WAITING ROOM | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:56

In the last few days, two events have played themselves out. To be more precise: an almost infinite number of events have occured if you’re willing to squish down to the atomic and subatomic (which I am). Yesterday, for example, a … Continue reading →

 Episode 48: Sarah Salway prescribes Kenneth White’s WINTER WOOD & INTELLECTUAL GATHERING | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:21

You don’t need another self-help book (apart from this one, perhaps?). It’s good to know though that you, me, Sarah Salway and David Foster Wallace still buy them.  (I only include DFW as a sanctioning-device. If DFW digs something, doesn’t … Continue reading →

 Episode 47: Nikesh Shukla prescribes Dave Eggers’s YOU KNOW HOW TO SPELL ELIJAH | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:34

Whilst preparing this podcast for your tympanic membranes, I’ve found myself again and again drawn to YouTube  in order to get an eyeful of pants. And because these pants are American, I of course mean trousers.   You might know … Continue reading →

 Episode 46: Josh Cohen prescribes Wallace Stevens’ THE PLAIN SENSE OF THINGS | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:07

“Try and imagine what this great pond, quite unglamorous and muddy, this dirty-watered pond looks like when you don’t impose yourself, your whole history, or the history of a culture on it; when you just let yourself see it.”  Josh … Continue reading →

 Episode 45: Edward Espe Brown prescribes Rumi’s STORY WATER | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:03

Here’s a jug of story water to put into your morning kettle. When I was living in Milan in the early 90s, with all the potential and fear that being a young adult entails, the floorboards of our flat would … Continue reading →

 RMSYL 44: Love III by George Herbert (read by Rachel Kelly) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:53

“Something I find really moving is the timelessness of our struggles. Herbert probably wouldn’t have been diagnosed with a depressive illness, but we now know that he had terrible battles and internal struggles. To me this poem describes that perfectly. … Continue reading →

 RMSYL 52: Awakening & Guy de Maupassant by Isaac Babel | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:00

 “Then I began to speak of style, of the army of words, an army in which all kinds of weapons are on the move. No iron can enter the human heart as chillingly as a full stop placed at the … Continue reading →

 RMSYL 43: The Strange Hours Travelers Keep by August Kleinzahler (read by Niall O’Sullivan) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:08

Imagine a small tribe living on the edge of the savannah. A tribe with it’s requisite, antler festooned Poet-Philosopher-Shaman doing her shape shifting, neologising, bewilderment making best to entertain us. What he or she presents to the tribe on a daily … Continue reading →

 RMSYL 42: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (read by Alom Shaha) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:33

My parents were probably not hip enough to read me Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. You can’t really get more hip, as a writer of children’s books (and “A Boy Named Sue”), than have Johnny Cash introduce you thus: “Sometimes … Continue reading →

 RMSYL 51: A Room Forever by Breece D’J Pancake | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:57

“BECAUSE of New Year’s I get the big room, eight-dollar room. But it seems smaller than before; and sitting by the window, looking out on the rain and town, I know the waiting eats at me again.“  


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