Village Voice: Celebrating the Work of Dorianne Laux

On the latest episode of the Village Voice, I spoke with Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio about poet extraordinaire, Dorianne Laux. Her poetry is assessable, yet complex. Sensuous, subtly powerful, and full of striking insights and revelations about everyday life.

Dorianne Laux’s sixth collection, Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected Poems was named a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a Pushcart Prize winner. read more…

Village Voice: Poems For A Potential Turning Point In America’s Relationship With Race

The question of race in all its complexity is something that we continue to not take a closer look at in America, it just keeps being swept under the rug, and how today now we’re taking a closer look than we have in a long time. There seems to be this idea that racism is an African American problem to solve, and the reality is that everybody in America needs to be talking about race, and I love that we’re seeing that in the street, that the demographics of the people out there is really striking and wonderful to see.

I joined Boston Public Radio for another installment of the Village Voice on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, to reflect on race and share one of my own poems, “Easy Lynching,” along with “juxtaposing the black boy & the bullet,” by Danez Smith, and of course: “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. read more…

Village Voice: Celebrating The Work Of Joy Harjo

On the latest episode of the Village Voice, I spoke with Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio about Joy Harjo, the current United States poet laureate, and shared some poems.

Joy is the first Native American person to hold the position of poet laureate. What you’ll see in her poems is of course a lot of the influences of the language, culture, myth, symbolism that inform her work, but also a lot of musicality — her poems often sound chant-like or prayer-like. read more…

Village Voice: Richard Blanco On The Poetry Of The Home-Cooked Meal

On the latest episode of the Village Voice: I read a selection of poems on the essential human ritual that is the home-cooked meal. Home cooking is one of the few rays of light poking through an otherwise gloomy life in quarantine. Originally I wanted to do some elegies, and maybe we’ll do that later on … but it was just so heavy. We need to slice this — pardon the pun — a little thinner here!

I hope these poems provide some spiritual nourishment! You can follow along below: read more…

Village Voice: Poems For Social Distancing

Richard Blanco, fifth inaugural poet, joined Boston Public Radio on March 26 to share some poems he felt might be a prescription to the array of complex feelings many are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted a column in the Paris Review called “Poetry Rx: Poems for Social Distancing,” where people write in with an emotion, and poets respond with poems as prescriptions.

“When things are really bad, poets always find the good thing,” Blanco said. read more…

Village Voice: Richard Blanco On The Persona Poem

On this episode of the Village Voice, Richard Blanco joined Jim and Margery to share a crash course on the persona poem, also known as dramatic monologue, in which the poet speaks through a voice other than their own.

“It’s a neat way that poems can twist the point of view to get at something else you wouldn’t ordinarily get to if you were just speaking as the poet narrator or the poet speaker,” he said.

For our listening pleasure and for a true experience of the dramatic monologue, Richard read the following poems before opening up the conversation. read more…

Village Voice: Poet Richard Blanco Gets Romantic

Richard Blanco joined Boston Public to celebrate the month of Valentine’s Day by reading a handful of poems that celebrate love, and the experiences of falling in and out of it.

“It’s a very big theme,” Blanco said of the role that love and romance play in poetry. “The loss of it, the yearning for it, all sorts of different nuances and dimensions of love– which I want to take you through with a few poems we have today.”

Blanco went on to read and discuss a few of his own poems, and poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Pablo Neruda– all of which are listed below. read more…

Village Voice: Richard Blanco On The Enduring Sonnet

In this episode of the Village Voice, we shared several modern spins on one of poetry’s most celebrated forms: the sonnet.

“[These are not] our grandparent’s sonnets,” Blanco said, referencing traditional expectations like meter and subject matter. “There’s a lot more going on that we’ve inherited from the sonnet, and a lot of it has to do with the rhetorical mode or structure or movement.”

We then offered some historical background on the famously square poems, including their surprising origins. read more…

Village Voice: A Lesson In Eco-Poetry

Village Voice: A Lesson In Eco-Poetry

In this episode of the Village Voice, Richard Blanco reflects on a new poetry anthology from the front lines of climate change: “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis,” edited by Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan.

Blanco told Jim and Margery the poems go “beyond the political, preaching, ranting” about climate change to “really shift our consciousness” around the issue. read more…