Poetry

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

The Bookshelf: Poet Carol Westberg

May 29, 2015
Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's new series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered host Peter Biello will interview authors, cover literary events and publishing trends, and get recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves.

If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email - the address is books@nhpr.org.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

With thousands of empty luxury apartments in China’s new cities, desperate measures are being taken to lure buyers. On today’s show, we’ll explore the booming business of renting foreigners as props to give these ghostly city centers an air of international glamour.   

Then we hit the pitch for an inside look at the world’s greatest sports rivalry, between the Pakistan and Indian cricket teams, and what it reveals about the complicated relationship between the nations.

New Hampshire's Poet Laureate Is Hooked On Bach

May 12, 2015
Keene State College

Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” were first published in 1741 and consisted of an aria and 30 variations made up of 32 measures each – a sampler of Western dance music enjoyed during his time.  In her new collection, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice Fogel borrows that structure to invent 30 poems of 32 lines each.  The book is called “Interval: Poems Based on Bach’s Goldberg Variations.”

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The Red Sox and the Yankees, Ali versus Frazier, the Boston Celtics and the L.A. Lakers. These are some of America's most notable sports rivalries, but they’ve got nothing on international cricket. On today’s show, we explore the epic sports rivalry between India and Pakistan.

Plus, everybody knows about the Titanic - so how come nobody remembers the sinking of the Sultana, the deadliest maritime disaster in American history?  We explore why some of the biggest historical events don’t take up much space in the history books. 

Carl Sandberg once defined a poem as an "echo asking a shadow to dance." NHPR’s Best of Public Radio celebrated National Poetry Month with some dancing in the form of three interviews from the NHPR vaults. All three interviews came from our former arts and culture program The Front Porch; it aired from 2001 to 2007 and welcomed many of New Hampshire’s finest artists as well as artists from beyond our borders.

Flickr-Anselmo Sousa

The media often portray Sweden as a modernist utopia where blond-haired trend makers export upbeat pop music, hip furniture and meat balls, and parents enjoy unparalleled family leave. On today’s show we debunk the myth of the Scandinavian utopia. Then, we’ll talk about the clear difference between ordinary obsession and the disease known as obsessive-compulsive disorder. And Bill Littlefield talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics-inspired poetry.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Sean Hurley

Since 2009, Walter Skold has been traveling the country visiting the graves of deceased poets. Skold, from Freeport Maine, is the founder of the Dead Poets Society of America. He recently came to New Hampshire to find two graves and to participate in the Dead Poets Remembrance Day at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord.  

In the bright leaves of the Hopkinton Cemetery, Walter Skold sets a movie camera on a tripod and begins to film the gravestone of the poet Joel Oppenheimer.

"I found this one in 3 minutes and 58 seconds today!"

A Peterborough Tale Of Friendship, Poetry & The Dump

Jul 24, 2014
Todd Bookman

Here's a classic New Hampshire tale revolving around  neighbors in a small town, poetry, and the town dump's swap shop. Read the story here, which includes full transcripts of Swift's poetry, and listen to the full story through Caitlin and Swift's words below.

Sean Hurley

As part of National Poetry month, NHPR's Sean Hurley has been introducing us to a New Hampshire poet every Friday. Today, in our final part of the series, we hear from Deborah Brown who lives in Warner. Brown published her latest volume of poetry, Walking the Dog's Shadow, in 2011.  

Deborah Brown recalls the moment she knew she'd become a poet.

I remember really falling in love with poetry as a kid.  Certainly by middle school years.  But I think I knew it when I stole the book.

Word of Mouth 4.19.14

Apr 18, 2014
Sarah Thomas

Life can be awkward.  Dinner conversation even more so.  Elevator encounters?  AWWWK-WAAARD. We at Word of Mouth work hard not to be awkward, but hey... even the best radio interviews can get a little weird sometimes.  On today's program, the conversation is flowing just great... but the topic?  It's awkward.


Sean Hurley

As part of National Poetry month, NHPR's Sean Hurley has been introducing us to a New Hampshire poet every Friday.  Today we hear from Rodger Martin who lives in Hancock. Martin published his latest volume of poetry, The Battlefield Guide, in 2010.  

Rodger Martin loved writing stories as a boy, but he blames the typewriter for turning him into a poet.

lareviewofbooks.org, wamu.org, vice.com & willieperdomo.com

We've all felt it before, that cringe when you witness something awkward that you have absolutely no control over. Let's admit it, though, we don't ever actually look away. We might cover our mouth and contort our face when watching the king of awkward bosses Michael Scott up the awkward ante, but without the Michael-isms, The Office just wouldn't be the same campy success that it was. Today's Word of Mouth delves into those cringe-tastic moments to reveal why it is now the pervasive comedy style.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Poetry Out Loud: Hannah Burke

Apr 17, 2014
Maureen McMurray

We're continuing our Poetry Out Loud feature with Hannah Burke,  a Junior at Jesse Remington High School. Hannah joined us in studio to recite the poem that won her the competition, "Sanctuary" by Jean Valentine.

4.16.14: The Art Of Conversation

Apr 16, 2014
Demo via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth, we're talking about the art of talking. It's not always easy, it's not always fun, but it's often necessary. So how do we avoid those awkward pauses, non sequiturs, and uncomfortable topics? Sometimes we don't, and our first guests implore us that it's OK. They're breaking the rules of conversation and expanding our potential talking points from the weather to spirit animals (spoiler, Virginia's is apparently the attic raccoon). Listen to the show and then continue the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments

Poetry Out Loud: Frentzen Pakpahan

Apr 16, 2014
Maureen McMurray

Continuing our celebration of the talent from Poetry Out Loud, today we he hear from Frentzen Pakpahan, a sophomore at Dover High School. Pakpahan joined us in studio to recite "The Gift" by Li-Young Lee.

 

Listen to fellow competitors Eden Suoth and Aliyah Brown.  If you or your school is interested in getting involved in Poetry Out Loud, there's more information how to make that happen here.

bpl.org

Crowds are gathering in Boston today to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Today on Word of Mouth, we remember the victims, the injured, the first responders, and all of those who offered help.

Poetry Out Loud: Aliyah Browne

Apr 15, 2014
Maureen McMurray

Continuing our celebration of the talent from Poetry Out Loud, today we he hear from Aliyah Browne, a junior at John Stark Regional High School. Brown joined us in studio to recite "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by John Keats.

Listen to fellow competitor Eden Suoth recite "Vigil Strange I Kept On The Field One Night" by Walt Whitman here.  If you or your school is interested in getting involved in Poetry Out Loud, there's more information how to make that happen here.

amazon.com, girlsofatomiccity.com, hisotry.ucsd.edu & poetryoutloud.org

Happy Monday, everyone! Halfway through April and the nice weather is finally here. There's a little bit of every subject on today's Word of Mouth. We start with science, move to a look into women's history, and even have lesson in physical fitness before concluding with poetry. Put on your headphones and listen today's show, then join the discussion on our Facebook page!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments

Poetry Out Loud: Eden Suoth

Apr 14, 2014
Maureen McMurray

What national competition includes poetry, high school students, and more enthusiasm than e.e. cummings with an all-punctuation typewriter? Poetry Out Loud, of course! Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest in which high school students memorize and recite poems in front of an audience. The 2014 New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud Championship took place last month in Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord, and our very own Virginia Prescott was  a gracious and impressed master of ceremonies.

Eden Suoth was one such enthusiastic high school student, and a wildly talented one at that. A twelfth grader at Spaulding High School, Suoth impressed the judges and became a top 4 finalist. We invited him into the studio to read one of the poems he recited at the contest, "Vigil Strange I Kept On The Field One Night" by Walt Whitman.

If you or your school is interested in getting involved in Poetry Out Loud, there's more information how to make that happen here.

Your Public Radio Haikus!

Apr 14, 2014
Livia Cristina, Creative Commons

It's National Poetry Month - but let's face it - verse isn't for everybody.  That's why we're celebrating the occasion with a low-stakes challenge that every NHPR junkie can enjoy: the Public Radio Haiku!  Whether you're a Nobel laureate or a poetry novice, writing haiku about your favorite host or program is fun, easy, and like pledging your support to NHPR (see what I did there?) it only takes a minute or two.

Submit your three-line poem in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter - and give it the tag #radiohaiku.  Just make sure you've got the right number of syllables (5,7,5) as we'll be counting on our knuckles to personally ensure that every submission qualifies. 

Joanne Smith

In honor of National Poetry month, NHPR's Sean Hurley is introducing us to a New Hampshire poet every Friday.  Today we hear from Jennifer Militello.  The Goffstown native has recently published her second book of poetry - "Body Thesaurus."

While her relatives gathered for coffee in her grandmother's kitchen, 9 year old Jennifer Militello would sneak off into a back room to read aloud from the two books she found there.  A heavy collection of Edgar Allen Poe and a slimmer volume of Emily Dickinson.

On a September evening 25 years ago a sold out crowd of logophiles gathered at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth to hear the state's preeminent poets speak in their native tongue. The program for the evening featured just four names, but a weighty four: Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic.

Sean Hurley

Since 1996, April has been National Poetry month.  The idea is to draw our attention - to remind us - of the art of poetry. To celebrate National Poetry month locally, every Friday  NHPR's Sean Hurley will introduce us to a New Hampshire poet.  First up -  Christopher Locke.  The NH native has just published his second full length book - "Waiting for Grace and other Poems."

Born in 1968, Poet Chris Locke has lived most of his life in the Granite State.

Carl Van Vechten

Nashua resident Rawn Spearman (1920-2009) was a long-standing student of Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The actor and baritone singer, spent time at MacDowell Colony working on a documentary about Hughes. And in 2001 was awarded the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award by Gov. Shaheen. 

In 1997, he organized a performance of  Ask Your Mama, 12 Moods for Jazz,  Hughes epic poem, designed to be performed with music. Spearman's performance at the Capital Center for the Arts sold out.

Keene State College

Acworth poet Alice Fogel has been named New Hampshire’s next poet laureate.

The Executive Council approved Governor Maggie Hassan’s nomination at a meeting Wednesday.

Alice Fogel was selected from a group of 17 poets nominated for the distinction.

Kyle Potvin of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, one of the groups that coordinated the nomination process, says Fogel’s literary reputation made her an ideal candidate.

via The Poetry Foundation

The Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is horrifying, unforgettable and open to interpretation. Faithful Jews, Christians and Muslims regard God’s demand that Abraham sacrifice his beloved son as a lesson about the demands of faith, the rewards for obedience, or for some, evidence of God’s cruelty.  

Others see the essence of the story not in the command not to sacrifice, but the command to stop. The parable is alluded to throughout “The Exchange” by Sophie Cabot Black, one of the poems about the exchange of love and money and sex and time which anchors her third collection of poems. Black is among the many writers who will be sharing her work with audiences at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend. 

mollybob via Flickr Creative Commons

People living with dementia can appear to live in their own world, a complicated, non-linear inner world not so easily communicated to, or understood by others. The London-based writer Susanna Howard is attempting to give people with dementia a voice by visiting with them and recording their words as poetry. 

Susanna is artistic director of Living Words, an arts and literature program helping people with dementia feel understood and heard even when communication seems lost. 

Check out the Living Words website here.

Image courtesy Smith College

This year marks the 50th anniversary of poet Sylvia Plath’s death by suicide, the singular lens through which many readers and academics have viewed her life, writing, and marriage. Now, a new generation is re-discovering Plath from a fresh perspective, one not colored by her sad and macabre death. 

Sam T via flickr Creative Commons

Robert Frost recited "The Gift Outright" at John F. Kennedy's swearing in in 1961 and became the first ever Inaugural Poet.  Since then,  there have been only 4 others asked to honor the occasion with a poem.  With “One Today” Richard Blanco (pronounced Blonko) became the first immigrant, the first Latino, the first openly gay person - as well as the youngest - to write a poem for the transfer of power.  Fitting then that Blanco should be invited to read at Frost Farm in Derry, home of the nation’s first Inaugural Poet.

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