Poetry Aloud

Celebrate poetry as a spoken art form, with readings, interviews with poets, and poems specially written by the annual Durham Book Festival laureate organised by our Centre for Poetry and Poetics. As the North East poet Basil Bunting once urged, “Compose aloud; poetry is sound!”

StAnza Poetry Festival Interviews and Readings

Suzannah V. Evans interviews poets appearing at the StAnza Poetry Festival in 2018 and 2019. Each conversation concludes with the poet reading a few poems from their work. Interviews with Polly Atkin, Liz Berry, Gillian Allnutt, Will Harris, and Rachael Boast.

Aurélia Lassaque on Poetry Across Languages

Listen to Aurélia Lassaque, a French poet and performer who writes, sings, and speaks in French, English and Occitan – a language spoken in parts of Southern France, Northern Spain and Italy. More about this podcast.

Andrew McMillan, ‘Coalfield Dementia’

Andrew McMillan explores the legacy of pit closures in the towns and villages of the North East, which he visited while Durham Book Festival 2017 poet laureate.

Helen Mort, ‘The Circle’

Durham Book Festival 2016 Laureate, Helen Mort, introduces and reads her strange and surreal Festival poem, inspired by her interest in boxing.

Sinéad Morrissey, ‘Collier’

Listen to the 2015 Durham Book Festival poem specially written by the Festival Laureate, Sinéad Morrissey.

Celebrating the Brontës

Celebrate the literature and legacy of the Brontë sisters in this podcast, recorded around the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, which features readings from and commentaries on their ground-breaking, powerful, and influential novels and poems. More about this podcast

The Poetry of W.B. Yeats

A century and a half since his birth, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats is one of the best-loved in the English language, known for his lyric poems such as ‘The Lake Isle of Innishfree’ or for romantic poems like ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.’ Throughout his literary career, though, Yeats wrote in a range of styles and on diverse subjects. His poems reflect his Irish nationalism, reinvent traditional genres, draw inspiration from Irish myth and legend, and push into innovative symbolism. Stephen Regan and Michael O’Neill take us on a journey through the varied landscape of Yeats’s verse.

Michael O’Neill Reads from his Collection, Gangs of Shadow

Michael O’Neill reads from his new collection of poetry, Gangs of Shadow, published by Arc Publications. This podcast was recorded at a launch event on 10th June 2014, organised by the Centre for Poetry and Poetics. [MP3 version]

Tom Pickard Reads from his Poetry

This podcast was recorded at the 2014 Annual Basil Bunting Memorial Reading organised by the Centre for Poetry and Poetics and Annabel Haynes. In this reading, Tom presents poems from across the range of his work including an elegy to Basil Bunting and a selection from his folk opera The Ballad of Jamie Allen, which recounts the story of a notorious border character who died in prison under Elvet Bridge, a few yards from where the reading took place. [MP3 version]

Meet the Durham Book Festival 2012 Laureate, Lorna Goodison

Each year we collaborate with Durham Book Festival to bring an outstanding writer to the city for the Festival, and to commission a new piece of work. This podcast – recorded by New Writing North – introduces the award-winning poet Lorna Goodison, who was the 2012 Durham Book Festival Laureate.

An Evening with TS Eliot, by Dr Gareth Reeves and Dr Jason Harding

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics held an evening to celebrate the poetry and influence of T.S. Eliot. His poetry – and that of later poets such as Donald Davie and Hart Crane – was read by two scholars who specialise in Eliot’s life and works. [MP3 version]

John Clegg and Gareth Reeves Discuss the Challenges of Researching and Writing Poetry

Two of the Department’s published poets explore how their writing of poetry relates to their research. They explain how they began writing poetry rather than writing about poetry, and discuss how writing poetry gives them unique insights into the forms and methods employed in the work of other poets. [MP3 version]

John Clegg Reads From His Poetry Collection, Antler

John Clegg’s first collection, Antler, features prehistoric landscapes, folk tale and myth. John’s reading includes a history of a city in four stanzas, and the story of an “ice road trucker.” John Clegg’s poetry is published by and copyright of Salt Publishing. [MP3 version]

Gareth Reeves Reads From His Poetry Collection, To Hell with Paradise

Gareth Reeves’ third collection, To Hell With Paradise: New and Selected Poems, has just been published by Carcanet. In this reading from the collection, Gareth adopts a range of intriguing perspectives and voices, including that of a cash machine looking at a man trying to withdraw his money, and Dimitri Shostakovich thinking about bird droppings. Gareth Reeves’s collection is published by and copyright of Carcanet [MP3 version].

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