Poetry

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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Word of Mouth
3:21 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Word Of Mouth 04.27.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky  from Crime and Punishment

In this fearless edition of Word of Mouth, we take new steps and utter new words about crime, punishment and everything in between.

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Word of Mouth
10:18 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Making Music Out Of Everything...Even An Intercom

Credit Photo courtesy Moonmilk.com

Ranjit Bhatnagar is no stranger to cool projects...he's made iambic pentameter from tweets, and is creating a bunch of instruments out of unexpected items, like a robo- toy piano.  Now, the sound artist can add one more feather to his cap...coming on our show.

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Inspired Lives
12:03 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Inspired Lives: Poet Maxine Kumin

Poet Maxine Kumin on the Exchange with Laura Knoy.

Maxine Kumin’s career has spanned over half a century. She's the recipient of  awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Kumin was the poetry consultant for the Library of Congress in 1981-1982, and has taught at many of the country’s most prestigious universities, including MIT, Princeton, and Columbia. Despite traveling away from home to lecture at schools and universities around the United States, Kumin has retained close ties with her farmhouse in rural New Hampshire.

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