Curated by: Anna Grigoryan

Listen to poetry readings, discover new poets and learn about their writing process on our playlist about poetry and art of poetry.
8 episodes
243 min
Last updated: Apr 25, 2023
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Laura Villareal — My Worries Have Worries
Poetry Unbound

If you were to use a metaphor for your worries, what metaphor would you turn to? Here, the worries have worry babies of their own. And they look back at the poet. What do they see? 

Laura Villareal is the author of Girl’s Guide to Leaving (University of Wisconsin Press 2022), The Cartography of Sleep (Nostrovia! Press 2018), and Poems to Carry in Your Pocket (L'Éphémère Review 2018). Villareal interviews writers for the series “Writers Talking about Anything But Writing” at F(r)iction.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

We’re pleased to offer Laura Villareal’s poem, and invite you to connect with Poetry Unbound throughout this season.

Pre-order the forthcoming book Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World and join us in our new conversational space on Substack.

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Mark Waldron talks to Emily Berry
The Poetry Society
In a conversation that will lighten spirits and fire up brain cells, Emily Berry talks to Mark Waldron in the latest Poetry Review podcast. They discuss children’s books, the theatre and performance, Beckett, Ashbery and “meant silliness”. “I like mixing up childhood and adulthood,” says Waldron, “things from childhood I want to resolve – or look at anyway.” His interest is in the separation between inside and outside – “letting the inside out and seeing if people will accept that.” He also offers two wonderful readings of his poems ‘Contingency’ and ‘To Dig’, first published in The Poetry Review, 109:3, Autumn 2019.
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72. Truth by Jean Binta Breeze - A Friend to Sue Brown
The Poetry Exchange

In this episode, poet Sue Brown talks with us about the poem that has been a friend to her - 'Truth' by Jean 'Binta' Breeze.

Sue joined The Poetry Exchange at the Birmingham & Midland Institute and is in conversation with Fiona Bennett and Roy McFarlane.

Sue Brown writes from the heart and the soul. Her words pull from the dialect of her local community, from the long toned melodic speech of preachers and Maya Angelou, from mantras and incantations, from jazz. In her poetry, a lifetime in the making, she is a fighter and a lover, by turns rising up against the oppression that has dominated her peoples’ history, and rising skywards on the warm air of her compassion and her capacity for love. These poems move with a beat that speaks to hearts everywhere. They pulse with life, feeling like they could either be spoken or sung. Feel their rhythm. Feel their profound sensibility. And as Roy McFarlane says in his exuberant introduction to this book – ‘Let Rhythm Chant take a hold of you.’

'Truth' is taken from Jean Binta Breeze's 'Third World Girl - Selected Poems', published by Bloodaxe Books.



by Jean 'Binta' Breeze

some years after

when the laughter came again

she grew her hair in locks around her head

and lived


without even a bed but she

she had stories that woman

she had stories to tell

and children who listened well

and she

she hid nothing

made no excuses for self

just let

truth give her voice to the wind

and she would sing sometimes sing and

ask a little more time

for memory to swell their heads

the children gathered around her

the more they asked

the more words she was sent

words that crossed all ages

served no laws

words that questioned all they had been taught

so they put her away

one day

she must be mad

the adults say

corrupting young minds

it's obvious depraved

she grew silent then

her laughter grew thin

then left with the wind

but the children grew up and remembered

one woman who didn't lie

one woman who didn't hide

now they count the hypocrites among them

From 'Third World Girl, Selected Poems', 2011, Bloodaxe Books. Reproduced with kind permission of the publisher.

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The Verb Narrators
The Verb
How or what is the voice of the narrator, and what happens in a story when the narrator proves to be unreliable? Booker Prize winner Damon Glagut's novel The Promise toys with the idea of the narrator as different people at different times disorientating the reader and exposing the duplicity of the novel, poet Daniel's latest collection Single Window explores the 'I' in the poem and the poet, Sheen Patel's debut novel I Am A Fan is about an obsessed young woman and the unreliability of the internet and Prof. Mike Sharples is the author of Story Machines: How Computers Have Become Creative Writers. Presenter: Ian McMillan Producer: Cecile Wright