Poetry

Word of Mouth
3:35 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

2.8.15: Bill Littlefield, Swedish Utopia, & Living With OCD

Credit 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.


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Arts & Culture
3:50 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

The Real Dead Poets Society

Walter Skold in the "Poemobile".
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!"

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Word of Mouth
2:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

A Peterborough Tale Of Friendship, Poetry & The Dump

Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

I Think I Knew When I Stole The Book - The Poetry Of Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown at Frost Farm
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.

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Word of Mouth
2:21 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Word of Mouth 4.19.14

Avoiding awkward conversation on our lunch date - The "W" is startlingly good conversationalist.
Credit 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.


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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Blame The Typewriter - The Poetry Of Rodger Martin

Poet Rodger Martin at Frost Place
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.

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Word of Mouth
12:41 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

4.17.14: Cringe Humor, An Ex-Conspiracy Theorist & Poetry

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
12:38 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Poetry Out Loud: Hannah Burke

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
1:30 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

4.16.14: The Art Of Conversation

Credit 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

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Word of Mouth
1:29 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Poetry Out Loud: Frentzen Pakpahan

Credit 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.

Word of Mouth
1:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

4.15.14: Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombings & Poetry And Silence

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
1:27 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Poetry Out Loud: Aliyah Browne

Credit 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.

Word of Mouth
3:31 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

4.14.14: The Age Of Radiance, The Girls Of Atomic City, Russian National Fitness & Poetry Out Loud

Credit 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

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Word of Mouth
3:28 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Poetry Out Loud: Eden Suoth

Credit 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.

Word of Mouth
2:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Your Public Radio Haikus!

Credit 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. 

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Arts & Culture
6:15 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Saying The Unsayable - The Poetry Of Jennifer Militello

Jennifer Militello
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.

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From the Archives
10:39 am
Wed April 9, 2014

From The Archives: Poets Laureate

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.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Dark Is Where This Poem Wins - The Poetry Of Chris Locke

Chris Locke prepares to read "Waiting for Grace"
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.

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From the Archives
12:09 am
Wed February 12, 2014

From the Archives: Rawn Spearman

Rawn Spearman
Credit 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.

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NH News
4:36 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Alice Fogel Named Next Poet Laureate of NH

Alice Fogel
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.

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Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Poet Sophie Cabot Black

Poet Sophie Cabot Black will be appearing at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend.
Credit 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. 

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Word of Mouth
12:13 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Language Of Dementia Turned Into Poetry

Alzheimer's and dementia can create deep communication lapses between patients and their loved ones.
Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
10:01 am
Thu September 19, 2013

The Rebranding Of Sylvia Plath

Credit 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. 

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Word of Mouth
9:45 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Richard Blanco: The Inaugural Poet Reads At The Frost Farm In Derry

Credit 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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Word of Mouth
1:27 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Word Of Mouth 08.17.13

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Looking for the best hour in public radio? Look no further than the Word of Mouth Saturday show. 100% nutritional content with no fillers or by products. On this week's show...

  • Ever wondered what it takes to be the Dungeon Master of a Dungeons & Dragons game? David Ewalt tells Virginia the secrets of the popular dice game from his book, Of Dice and Men...
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All Things Considered
5:51 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

New Hampshire Poets Set Sights On National 'Slam'

Slam Free Or Die t-shirt.
Credit photo: Brady Carlson, NHPR

Each week, at a club in Manchester called Milly's, some of the region's top poets take the stage for what's known as a slam. 

Next week some of the poets who take part in Slam Free Or Die head to Boston, as a team, to compete in the National Poetry Slam.

Mark Palos is Slam Free Or Die's SlamMaster, and a member/coach of the team heading to Boston. He gives All Things Considered host Brady Carlson a preview of the 2013 team.

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Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Happy Frost Day! Historic Franconia House Hosts Poetry Event

Credit Leslie Jones / Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

For more than 30 years, Robert Frost’s old home in Franconia has celebrated the poet on the first Sunday of July.  The Frost Place’s Executive Director Maudelle Driskell says the annual event draws a variety of visitors.

“And it’s everybody from people, just [from] the local area--they want to come out and listen to the readings and see the Frost Place--to people that specifically come up to hear readings on Frost Day, and tourists that are traveling through," Driskell says.  "This year, we hope that we’ll have more families.”

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Word of Mouth
2:15 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet, Sharon Olds

Credit via indiebound.org

Throughout her career the poet Sharon Olds has been asked if her poems were true or autobiographical. There are poems about mothering and domesticity and eroticism filled with personal details and described with remarkable directness and insight. Sharon Olds has rejected the auto-biographical characterization and resisted talking about her life while her children were young, and her parents were alive. She even kept the disillusion of her 32 year marriage from the public; waiting more than a decade to publish Stag's Leap, a collection of poems that is being praised as the best book of her career, and earlier this month won the Pullitzer Prize for poetry.

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Word of Mouth
3:35 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

St. Anselm Celebrates Shakespeare With Sonnets

Organizer Prof. Gary Bouchard has used the same cardboard cut-out of Shakespeare since the event's inception. It resides in his office for the other 364 days of the year.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  For the past 25 years, New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College has hosted a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday with period music, theatrical renditions, and public readings of all 154 of the bard's famously melancholic and romantic sonnets. Ryan Lessard brings us this audio postcard.

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Best of Public Radio
12:00 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Poetry In Life

Credit spo0nman / Flickr/Creative Commons

We'll tackle couplets, stanzas, limericks, sonnets, odes, dirges; free or rhyming verse of any meter. From the epic to the cursory, from the aggressive to the  consolatory, we’re all about poetry today.

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