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Poetry Unbound

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Your poetry ritual: An immersive reading of a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Unhurried, contemplative and energizing. New episodes on Monday and Friday, about 15 minutes each. Two seasons per year, with occasional special offerings. Anchor your life with poetry.

Your poetry ritual: An immersive reading of a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Unhurried, contemplative and energizing. New episodes on Monday and Friday, about 15 minutes each. Two seasons per year, with occasional special offerings. Anchor your life with poetry.


United States


Your poetry ritual: An immersive reading of a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Unhurried, contemplative and energizing. New episodes on Monday and Friday, about 15 minutes each. Two seasons per year, with occasional special offerings. Anchor your life with poetry.




Dan Vera — Norse Saga

When you move to a new place, everything seems different. Hell’s not hot anymore; it’s freezing. A poem of strangeness and wonder. Dan Vera is a writer, editor, watercolorist, and literary historian. Vera is the author of two books of poetry: Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press 2013) and The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books 2008). His honors include the Oscar Wilde Award for Poetry (2017) and the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize (2012). Find the transcript for this show...


Solmaz Sharif — Self-Care

Who decides what’s self care and what isn’t? Who benefits? Who pays? Upon whom does the burden of self care rest? Solmaz Sharif excavates. Solmaz Sharif is the author of Customs (Graywolf Press 2022) and Look (Graywolf Press 2016), and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, the...


Dunya Mikhail — Eva Whose Shadow Is a Swan

Some friendships are built on small encounters and last a lifetime. Two women — from across culture, location, and age — spend a lifetime in communication. Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi-American poet and writer. She is the author of Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea (New Directions Publishing Corporation 2009), The Iraqi Nights (New Directions Publishing Corporation 2014), The Beekeeper (New Directions Publishing Corporation 2018), In Her Feminine Sign (New Directions Publishing Corporation...


Aaron Caycedo-Kimura — What’s Kept Alive

At the hingepoint of change, a poet walks through the garden his late father planted. Aaron Caycedo-Kimura is a writer and visual artist. He is the author of two poetry collections: Ubasute (Slapering Hol Press 2021), which won the 2020 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition, and the full-length collection Common Grace (Beacon Press 2022). His honors include a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry, a St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award in Literature, and nominations for...


Kevin Goodan — We give…

Firefighting pushes the body to breaking point; Kevin Goodan’s poem locates the “ash-dark art” of firefighting not just in the wilderness where the team worked, but in the muscles of the firefighters. Kevin Goodan was born in Montana and raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation where his stepfather and brothers are tribal members. Goodan earned his BA from the University of Montana and worked as a firefighter for ten years with the U.S. Forest Service before receiving his MFA from...


David Whyte — Leaving the Island

Sometimes leaving feels like you’re splitting yourself in two, but you leave anyway. What compels us? What holds us together even as we look back? David Whyte’s poem combines pain and promise as someone is both departing and venturing at the same time. David Whyte is the author of many books of poetry and prose. He grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the...


Andrés N. Ordorica — Mis raíces

What is the landscape that has most influenced you? When do you go there? In person? Andrés N. Ordorica goes in dreams. Andrés N. Ordorica is a queer Latinx writer based in Edinburgh. His writing attempts to map the journey of his diasporic experience and unpack what it means to be from ni de aquí, ni de allá. His writing has been published widely and he regularly features at festivals around the UK. He is the recipient of a Second Life grant through the Edwin Morgan Trust. In 2021, his...


Laura Villareal — My Worries Have Worries

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...


Stephanie Burt — Prayer for Werewolves

The search for authentic love is a powerful hunger in humans and, as Stephanie Burt shares, in werewolves. Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor with nine published books, including two critical books on poetry and three poetry collections. Her essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other works include We Are Mermaids; Advice from the Lights; The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read...


Fiona Benson — Mama Cockroach, I Love You

Do you experience disgust at the sight of certain insects? Which ones? Fiona Benson teaches us how to see. Fiona Benson is the author of several poetry collections including Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape 2014), Vertigo & Ghost (Jonathan Cape 2019), and Ephemeron (Jonathan Cape 2022). She is the winner of the 2015 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for Bright Travellers and the Forward Prize for Vertigo & Ghost. In 2019, Fiona collaborated with sound artists Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for...


Saddiq Dzukogi — Learning about Constellations

A man whose baby daughter has died turns to stars, mythology, and imagination for solace. There, he encounters what might help, a little. Saddiq Dzukogi is a poet and professor of English at Mississippi State University. He is the author of Your Crib, My Qibla (University of Nebraska Press, 2021), and winner of the 2021 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. Dzukogi is completing a PhD in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org. We’re...


Adam Zagajewski — Transformation

What do you do when what sustains you no longer sustains you? A poet tries everything he can to reconnect with his art. Adam Zagajewski was a Polish poet and novelist born at the end of World War II. English translations of his books of poetry include Mysticism for Beginners (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1999), Without End (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2003), Eternal Enemies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2009), and Asymmetry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019). Zagajewski was the recipient of a...


Carolina Ebeid — Reading Celan in a Subway Station

The sounds of a city can be overwhelming — but in the imagination of this poem, they are made into something new. Carolina Ebeid is a multimedia poet. Her first book, You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior, was published by Noemi Press as part of the Akrilica Series, and selected as one of ten best debuts of 2016 by Poets & Writers. Her work has been supported by the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, Bread Loaf, CantoMundo, as well as a residency fellowship from the Lannan...


Molly Twomey — The Drop Off

Asking for help is a thing of bravery. A poet describes her journey towards that help. Molly Twomey is a poet and editor from Lismore, County Waterford in Ireland. Twomey graduated in 2019 with a Masters in Creative Writing from University College Cork. Her work has been featured in Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, The Irish Times, Mslexia, and The Stinging Fly, among other publications. Twomey is the host of the monthly poetry discussion “Just to Say,” sponsored by Jacar...


Hinemoana Baker — if i had to sing

In the aftermath of disaster, how do you sing a song to mark what’s gone, and praise what’s growing? Hinemoana Baker is a writer and musician living in Berlin, Germany. Baker descends from the Ngāi Tahu tribe in the South Island of New Zealand and from Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, and Te Āti Awa in the North Island. Baker is the author of several books of poetry including mātuhi | needle (Victoria University Press and Percival Press 2004), kōiwi kōiwi | bone bone (Victoria University Press...


Jennifer Huang — Departure

What’s a moment when you grew up? When you realized the help you get might not be the help you want? Jennifer Huang is the author of Return Flight, which was awarded the 2021 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions. Their poems have appeared in POETRY, The Rumpus, and Narrative Magazine, among other places. They have received recognition from the Academy of American Poets, Brooklyn Poets, and the North American Taiwan Studies Association. In 2020, Jennifer earned their MFA in...

Gabeba Baderoon – The pen

After her father’s death, a poet considers her relationship with loss. Gabeba Baderoon is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and African Studies at Penn State University and is the co-founder of the African Feminist Initiative at the university. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Dream in the Next Body (Kwela Books 2005), A hundred silences (Kwela Books 2006), and most recently, The History of Intimacy (Kwela Books...


Michael Kleber-Diggs — Gloria Mundi

Is there life after death? This poem says yes: where one life is part of a cycle of life that continues. Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions 2021), won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, the 2022 Balcones Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award. Since 2016, Michael has been an instructor with the Minnesota Prison...


David Wagoner — Lost

A person is lost, and in panic. A calm voice says strangely comforting things. David Wagoner is the author of 24 poetry collections and 10 novels. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes (1977 and 1983) and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1991). Wagoner’s final collection of poetry, After the Point of No Return, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org. We’re pleased to offer David Wagoner’s poem, and invite you to connect with Poetry...


Poetry Unbound — Season 6 Trailer

Poetry Unbound with host Pádraig Ó Tuama is back on Monday, September 26. Featured poets in this season include Rumi, Fiona Benson, Michael Kleber-Diggs, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, and many more. New episodes released every Monday and Friday through December 16. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, or wherever you listen.