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Planet Poetry

Author: Robin Houghton & Peter Kenny

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Love poetry and want hear from writers, editors and influencers? Then download this podcast to join Robin and Peter as we explore the bedazzling world of Planet Poetry.
14 Episodes
We’re back! In this episode we encounter esteemed poet, writer and scholar LeAnne Howe — who talks about the extraordinary Norton anthology of Native Nations poetry ‘When The Light of The World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through’ she edited with Joy Harjo and Jennifer Elise Foerster which highlights the untold stories of people from the Native Nations. She also gives us an insight into how her Chocktaw heritage enriches her own poetry. Plus Robin and Peter share their opinions about a venerable UK poetry magazine, terrible haikus and Nothing in particular.  
Welcome to our translation special! Join Robin and Peter as we take a deep dive into the  Sarah Maguire Prize 2020. We ask Chairman of the judges, the Persian poet and translator, Alireza Abiz about poetry from Iraq, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Syria and and ponder the nature of time, Mandarin and poetry with the legendary Chinese poet Yang Lian. Plus we speak to his long-term translator Brian Holton to celebrate the work of the translator.  
Enigmatic hey? That's Planet Poetry for you. Welcome back!  This week we are delighted to hear from exiled New Yorker Kathryn Maris who shares her strange and sometimes hilarious tall tales (full of unheroic and unreliable protagonists) from her collection The House with Only an Attic and a Basement.  Plus Robin gets a bit starry and stripy reading US magazines Rattle and Poetry -- and uncovers a can of worms.  Peter, meanwhile, thinks he's glimpsed poetry's gleaming future, and it's bleeping brilliant! Robin remains strangely underwhelmed.   
In this episode Inua Ellams talks to us about his extraordinary book The Actual  (Penned in the Margins, 2020), a powerful, personal and often very funny collection that pokes a sharp stick at the legacy of British Empire, foolish machismo, hero culture, relationships and much more. Also, Peter sketches for us the story of the Négritude movement and its poets Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor, and we finish as ever with a bit of banter over those 'banned' words... speaking of which, **please note that this episode contains expletives.**
Itching to get away? Then hop aboard Planet Poetry and we'll catapult you to Canada, where we chat with Rhona McAdam and delve into the many treasures of a back catalogue  punctuated by the arrivals and departures of a life spent between two continents -- and we'll sneak a morsel of her forthcoming collection 'Larder'.   Plus Robin and Peter discuss their reading of  Rachael Boast and Jackie Wills. Amid the bardic bandinage your hosts also make time to share ill-informed opinions about  what constitutes an emerging poet...  Get a wiggle on! That's your name they're calling, isn't it?
This week, hear Mary Jean Chan discuss and read from Flèche, her award-winning debut collection of growing up and coming out. Cultures clash, family expectations are questioned and identity is explored. What happens when the protective gear comes off?  We're going into combat, but in a spirit of peace-keeping and love.  Meanwhile Peter is in awe of feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde and Robin celebrates white jeans and wonders why Hubert Moore isn't better known. Plus, fancy a guest moment on Planet Poetry? We've got a new idea we'd like to try, and it involves you!
You're not alone. It's not just you who thinks weird things. Join your pals Robin and Peter for a jaunt to Planet Poetry. This episode features Charlotte Gann who, in her collection Noir, leads us through the mazy streets of her shadowy, filmic imagination -- only to introduce us to the tear-inducing honesty of her latest book, The Girl Who Cried.  Meanwhile Robin and Peter's January reading has ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous: from Dante falling in love with his Beatrice in La Vita Nuova over 700 years ago, to punk poet John Cooper Clarke's wry, cheerfully unsentimental autobiography I Wanna Be Yours.  Plus you can expect the usual bardic banter and a thorny issue: are writing prompts a waste of time? Enjoy!  
Happy New Year! What better way to start the year than with some poetic banter from Robin and Peter?  For the first Planet Poetry episode of 2021  we invite Mario Petrucci to take us on his extraordinary poetic pilgrimage from science to spirit. Mario reads from acclaimed collections, including his spanking new book: afterlove (and as a special Planet Poetry bonus get a free book from Mario Petrucci's back catalogue). Plus Robin and Peter steel themselves to  seize their latest thorny issue: the prose poem and chat about Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine.  
Christmas is coming and we're feeling blissed out.... or are we?  The title of Jack Underwood's collection Happiness makes Robin happy, but so do Christmas carols, and nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. Meanwhile Peter gets all lyrical about lights and the seasonal slow boat to Guernsey, and in an extended book reviews segment we chew over some of our favourite collections this year including John McCullough's Reckless Paper Birds, Ilya Kaminsky's Deaf Republic, Maureen N. McLane's What I'm Looking For and Caleb Femi's Poor.
Is that glass eye staring at you? In this episode we persuade Tess Jolly to tell us about her dark alchemy, transforming fear into hauntingly beautiful poetry. She shares some spine-tinglers from her published work, including her new Blue Diode collection, Breakfast at the Origami Cafe.  We quiz Krishan Coupland editor of Neon , the literary magazine with flavours of horror and science fiction, and learn about the dreamlike qualities that unnerve and excite him.  Plus Robin and Peter swap tips on what to do when your poetry submissions are rejected.
It's all in the detail... Katrina Porteous takes us from the micro quantum world beyond human vision out to the furthest reaches of the universe as we discuss her Bloodaxe collection Edge, and Sarah Salway shares her insights on close observation for poets, books she goes back to, and her collection Digging up Paradise. Plus, our random musings on fireworks and plant names, and Peter introduces us to Greek poet Katerina Angelaki-Rooke. 
Water, water everywhere!  This week we interview Clare Shaw, who discusses and reads from her book Flood triggered by the flooding of her hometown in 2015 -- and the upwelling of emotion caused by the breakdown of a relationship, and the dark currents of wider narratives.  Plus we chat with Elizabeth Murtough co-editor of  Channel, Ireland's Environmentalist Literary Magazine. Meanwhile Peter reads a poem by Edward Thomas and Robin one by Alice Oswald, and there's a bit of chat about poetry magazines...
Ready to explore Planet Poetry? In our first episode we meet multi-award winning poet Pascale Petit and explore the lush Edens of her poetry. Hear Pascale talk frankly about the troubling shadows cast by her mother and father on her life and work.  Enjoy her readings from several collections, including the recently published Tiger Girl, which describes the sanctuary offered by her relationship with her Indian grandmother.  In this episode Robin and Peter also share thoughts about Home Farm by Janet Sutherland and Wild Nights: New & Selected Poems by Kim Addonizio. 
Planet Poetry | Trailer

Planet Poetry | Trailer


Welcome to Planet Poetry, the new poetry podcast produced and presented by Peter Kenny and Robin Houghton.  Join us as we explore the world of poetry, talking with editors, influencers, poets and even non-poets. We'll also chat about what we've enjoyed reading lately, argue over thorny issues and generally chew the poetry cud over the odd pint. Interviewees include Pascale Petit, Clare Shaw, Sarah Salway, Mario Petrucci and many more!
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