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Lit from the Basement

Author: Lit from the Basement

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This is a podcast in which Professor Deulen introduces poetry to her irreverent husband, Max. Each show is a close reading of a single poem. They discuss it for a bit, allowing the conversation to take on a life of its own.
52 Episodes
We are back from our sickness hiatus with “To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian” by Ross Gay. Topics include: gratitude, single-scene poem, short line breaks, and figs in myth.
For their 50th show, Danielle goes big with a long, long, powerful poem by Jacqueline Osherow. Topics include: terza rima, formalism, Willa Cather, interruptive syntax, and your present self admonishing your past self. 
Owing to a house-wide plague, we are forced to pull a show from our reject pile. Please join us as we deviate from poetry to flash fiction with Mary Robison's "Yours" and as we go on way too long about personal ghost stories. Topics include: Halloween, fall, mortality, May/December romances, and failing to keep your atheist cred while discussing the supernatural. 
We discuss the poem "Photo of a Girl, 1988: Cyborg" from Faylita Hicks's debut collection Hoodwitch. Topics include: the mother figure in literature, enjambment, end-stopped lines, Afrofuturism, and the ampersand.
We tackle the limerick form with poetry scholar Mike Chasar as he leads a deep dive into two versions of "A Wonderful Bird is the Pelican" by Dixon Lanier Merritt. Topics include: humorous poetry, "children's" literature, the pleasures of rhyme, and the 1913 Armory Show.
Danielle introduces Max to the list poem form with Lee Ann Roripaugh's "Things that Leave an Aching Feeling Inside." Topics include: list form, The Pillow Book, the importance of poetry during the Heian period, and breaking your own heart.
Danielle introduces Max to the concept of Ars Poetica with Karyna McGlynn's poem "Sensual Vocabulary." Topics include: Ars Poetica, Marianne Moore, September Women Poets, modernists, and George Washington as a school marm.
Addressing a recent loss in her own life, Danielle shares with Max an elegy by Sally Ball that helped with her grieving. Topics include: elegies, suicide, stages of grief, Virginia Woolf, W.S. Merwin, and Dancer pose. 
We have another guest in our creepy basement; the author Scott Nadelson! He shares Rane Arroyo's poem "The Immigrants (Winter Wear)" with us. Topics include: tercets, Wallace Stevens, and Santa tempting Jesus in the desert.
In celebration of her appointment as the United States Poet Laureate, Danielle shares Joy Harjo's poem "Unmailed Letter" with Max. Topics include: irrational numbers, dialectical argument structure, and frustrating relationships.
041 "Map" by Bruce Snider

041 "Map" by Bruce Snider


We open season three (and celebrate 4th of July) with a fistful of Americana as Danielle introduces Max to Bruce Snider through his poem "Map." Talking points include the ghazal structure, Indiana, the color yellow, homoerotic Americana, and Walt Whitman.
For our last show of season two, we have a twofer! Danielle shares Don Bogen's "A Citizen" and "Immediate Song" with Max. Talking points include lyric sequences, persona poems, an empire's twilight, and phrenology.
Danielle shares Carmen Giménez Smith's "Something New" with Max. Talking points include love as work, marriage as labor, plushy chambers, and the etymology of mortgage.
Danielle shares Gary Soto's "Ambition" with Max. Talking points include friendship, Seneca, Cicero, zoomorphism, pleasure, and Max’s time as a disgruntled shoe salesman.
Danielle shares A. Molotkov's "Lightening" with Max. Talking points include the prose poem, Aloysius Bertrand, fig trees, eye surgery, and Duncan MacDougall's dead-weighing experiments. 
Danielle shares "[but the rain is full of ghosts tonight]" by dawn lonsinger with Max. Talking points include Danielle's coining of the term "maximalism," Edna St. Vincent Millay, ghosts of lovers past, and rain, rain, rain.
Guest host dawn lonsinger shares Frank O'Hara's "Animals" with Danielle and Max. Talking points include: idioms, the New York School, personism, dune buggies, time, and square things vs. round things.
Danielle shares "The Romantic Lead" by Ian Williams with Max. Talking points include contemporary sonnets, sextets and octaves, Swan Lake vs. Ladyhawk, reaction shots, and finding displeasure with Aquaman.
Danielle shares "The Soils I Have Eaten" by Aimee Nezhukumatathil with Max. Talking points include strophes, memories of place, prospecting by taste, and the 1980s arcade game Dig Dug.
Danielle shares "Dangerous for Girls" by Connie Voisine with Max. Talking points include dead girls, associative leaps, capitalist consumption, and watching infomercials while depressed.
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