Since Lunar Poetry Podcasts began in October 2014, podcasting has seen a boom in listeners and producers. The poetry and spoken word podcast scene in the United Kingdom and Ireland is no different. I’m always trying to spread the word about new and established podcasts via social media and in person, but this can be time-consuming and more than a little overwhelming for those who have asked for pod-tips.
That got me thinking that the best thing for producers and listeners alike would be a central database/list of all poetry and spoken word podcasts being produced in this part of the world. This is my attempt at that (107 so far!). This is also a reaction to lists such as “the best poetry podcasts” and “podcasts you need to subscribe to in 2020” which are, quite frankly, an absolute nonsense.
Anyway, the list below is simply in alphabetical order and presented for you to make up your own mind about what you’ll choose to listen to.
If your podcast is not on this list get in touch via the contact page or Twitter and I’ll pop you on. By way of definition – podcasts should be audio (or video) files available to download, not solely uploaded to YouTube.
Note: I was unsure whether or not to include podcasts that no longer produce episodes but the whole point of this medium is that as listeners we can find shows and listen at our own pace… so, the list below contains podcasts new and old…
Note, note: I’m very unlikely to start posting links to poets’ own SoundCloud pages (even my own!) in which they simply upload recordings of their own work.
The A.F. Harrold Limited Edition Kids Poetry Podcast (or AFHLEKPoPod for short) is an entirely free podcast for you to subscribe to and download. The idea is really, really simple – I read a poem, a single poem, each episode. Some of the poems will be from books that already exist, some will be from future books, some will be entirely new and unheard… all will have been written and read by me.
The first series is 21 episodes long, released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday from Monday 23rd March 2020.
- Alone Together is a weekly MicroPod of poems recorded remotely from isolation. an experiment in remote collaboration produced by VerseFirst.
- A Lovely Word Podcast is a Spoken Word poetry podcast based in Liverpool, but covering the growing scene across the UK. Based on the popular monthly night A Lovely Word.
- a poem a week is produced by Lizzy and David Turner, bringing you a poem each week, taking you back to the simple joy of having a poem read to you. We aim to provide a mixture of new poems we’re discovering, old favourites, and guest poets reading their own work.
- AskALLi Self-Publishing Poetry Podcast: This podcast is a safe space for poets to get advice about online poetry publishing and creative enterprise, and to get more attention for their work. You’ll find advice on how to self-publish poetry books for pleasure and profit, discussion about writing and publishing options for poets, and readings from self-publishing poets in the segment called Indie Poetry Please! Tune in for discussions on a different theme each month, with a focus on developing prosperity for poets through self-publishing poetry books and building a community of poetry lovers.
- Bedtime Stories For The End Of The World: An apocalyptic new poetry podcast about the power of myth and the politics of storytelling. Poets rewrite their favourite myths, legends and fairy stories for an age of crisis.
- Boundless & Bare is a weekly Irish Poetry podcast featuring the best Spoken Word artists in the country.
- Breaking Lines. Three poets – David Van-Cauter, Simon Cockle and Jay Ward – discuss all things poetry. A poetry podcast for people who seriously love poetry but don’t take poetry too seriously.
- The Burning Eye Podcast is brought to you by indie publishers Burning Eye Books who aim to dispel the assumption that performance poetry does not transfer well to page as well as give emerging and established artist opportunities to be published where they might be rejected from other traditional poetry publishers.
- Carcanet Audio Library: Regularly updated, this rich online resource includes Carcanet podcasts, recordings of poems and interviews from some of our most celebrated poets such as John Ashbery, William Carlos Williams, Edna St. Vincent Millay, C.K. Stead, Elaine Feinstein, Fred D’Aguiar and Gillian Clarke, as well as emerging voices such as Matthew Welton and Katharine Kilalea. Readers can also access transcripts of some of our interviews and podcasts, available free on the Carcanet Issuu webpage and on www.carcanet.co.uk.
- The Crunch is a multimedia poetry magazine, comprising an online repository of videos and a monthly podcast. Concerned with neither bibliography nor honour roll, The Crunch instead focuses on writing that promotes discussion and broadens horizons.
- Dead Darlings. A monthly podcast for the spoken word scene in London and beyond.
- Dual Poetry Podcast from The Poetry Translation Centre gives the best poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language, working with diaspora communities for whom poetry is of great importance.
- Emergent Poets with York Centre for Writing. Hear from three dazzling emergent poets, who are making waves in the contemporary poetry scene. They’ll each be giving a reading from their work, and then answering questions about the development of their work, how they got published, and what they make of the current poetry scene in the UK.
- Escape With A Poem. Produced by Norfolk Libraries.
- English A-Level Poetry Podcast: All your poetry needs.
- The Faber Poetry Podcast is produced by Rachael Allen, Jack Underwood and Hannah Marshall for Faber & Faber. Editing by Billy Godfrey at Strathmore Publishing.
- First World War Poetry Digital Archive: Podcasts created by the First World War Poetry Digital Archive Project at Oxford University. This project is digitising the manuscripts of the major British poets of WW1 and making them freely available online, along with a set of teaching resources. The project is funded by the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) – and run by Oxford University’s English Faculty and Computing Services.
- Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast. Absolute Radio presenter and comedian Frank Skinner talks about poems “like I talk about football” in his new podcast. Frank Skinner loves poetry. And he thinks you might like it too. Join Frank each week as he takes you through some of his choice picks of poems. There may be laughter. There may be tears. There will certainly be poetry. Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast is produced by Sarah Bishop. It is an Avalon production for Bauer Media.
- For The Benefit Of The Tape. A podcast, including words, music, poetry and the main feature Rivals. We are not here to waste anyone’s time.
- Friday Morning Meeting features Jamie McGarry, publisher at Valley Press in Scarborough, in conversation with Emma Wright, publisher at The Emma Press in Birmingham, and will reveal the realities of trying to make a living from running a small press. The podcast is an extension of the weekly phone call between the publishers, which began in 2014 as a form of peer mentoring. The phone call will now be recorded every other week and edited into a fortnightly podcast.
- From The Poets Mouth is a podcast all about poetry and the construction of poetry, straight from the poets mouth. I (your host, Abi Cook) deep dives into why the poet wrote the poem in the first place, and deconstructs every little piece. Be not afraid if you’re not a poetry fan, this will give you a whole new appreciation for the amazing art form.
- The Generation Poetry Project Podcast. Conversations on Generation Poetry with technologists and futurists, historians and artists, educators and social scientists. And poets.
- Have You Heard George’s Podcast? George the Poet is back with all new Have You Heard George’s Podcast? The kind of movies you only watch blindfolded! Returning to his lyrical best, the quick-witted wordsmith delves deeper into the dizzying new style of musical storytelling pioneered in this groundbreaking audio series.
- Helicon Poetry Podcast: We are Bristol’s premium creative arts magazine and this is our poetry podcast. Here, to coincide with our ICONS issue, we invite anyone to read and recite poems from a poet they love, whilst offering informal conversation and illumination of the poetry they have chosen to read.
- HiVis Press podcast publishes the offbeat, the idiosyncratic, the challenging, the humorous, the transgressive, the subversive. Real lives and real places.
Imaginary Advice podcast is a sketchpad for new ideas and new ways of telling stories. Some stories are true, some are fiction, some are closer to audio essays. Most episodes end up being a blend of all three. All episodes written, produced and presented by Ross Sutherland (“Stromschnellen” – Basler Zeitung).
- Indiefeed Performance Poetry: Cutting edge performance poetry! One performance per show. Brought to you by the same people who send you incredible independent music. Collect them all!
- The Irish Poetry Podcast: Take a dive into the poetry of the Emerald Isle like never before. This ambitious project by Mohammed Michael Harfoush, to bring Ireland’s greatest poems to life for listeners of all ages and cultures, is a truly admirable undertaking. Learn about the Irish people — their trials, tribulations, hopes and dreams — through the eyes, and pens, of the poets who knew them best, and felt most deeply what it was, and is, to be Irish.
- Kid’s Poetry Club is a whimsical world of escape, friendship, and fun that’s perfect for kids and grownups alike.
- Konch. “People reading poetry”.
- Ledbury Poetry Festival provides recordings of their festival events, free to download.
- Life in Lines: These five-minute podcasts are interviews with Nottingham people who were all asked the same question: tell us your favourite poem, and what it is about the poem that you love. Needless to say, the chosen poems are all absolute beauties, and the listener gets fantastic insights into the poems and also the hearts and souls of the people who chose them. Nottingham is a UNESCO City of Literature and this city-wide project, which celebrates the secret, inner world of poetry as people go about their daily lives in the city, is the first project of its kind. As the saying goes, ‘What Nottingham does today, the world does tomorrow…’.
- The Line Break is a podcast about writing poetry, hosted by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser for The Poetry School.
- Living in Poetry Podcast brought to you by the organisers of the Living in Poetry Festival – “We are surrounded by poetry, whether we realise it or not. In this podcast, we will bring you in-depth discussions about poetry and spoken word from different angles.”
- Living with the Poets: Life Lessons from the Romantics looks at the way in which nineteenth-century poets such as Wordsworth, Keats and Byron can help us live our lives in the twenty-first century. A podcast by Bath Spa University, UK, and Georgetown University, USA.
- The Loudcast – Join spoken word artist and I Am Loud Creative Director Kevin Mclean as he sits down to chat with a different guest each month about the arts industry and the role they play in it. He’ll be asking them about work that inspired them, current projects they’ve got going on, and anything else that comes up along the way.
- Lunar Poetry Podcasts is a multi-award-nominated series of discussions, interviews and live recordings with poets from the UK and abroad in which we examine the writing process. Est. Oct 2014 in south-east London by David Turner. FULLY TRANSCRIBED.
- Lyre Lyre celebrates ballads, epic poems and storytelling. May’s series – Longfellow in Lockdown features readings of the poems and translations of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, exploring what his work gives to us during lockdown.
- Lyric Poetry: Brought to you by the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.
- Mind The Gap: Produced by Angela Dye.
- Modern Poetry in Translation Magazine brings you recordings from upcoming issues of their magazine.
- The Mouth: a poetry showcase for South West poets.
- The National Poetry Library is the largest public collection of modern poetry in the world. Based at Southbank Centre, we are free and open to all.
- No Bindings is an experiment in print, community and audio. Listen and discover the audio components of our multimedia productions.
- Open Mic Podcast is a writing and reading podcast hoping to capture the intrepid energy of open mic reading nights.
- Overhear Podcast – “We’ve started a podcast to talk about poetry, location and the inner workings of Overhear. Tune in and let us know what you think.”
- Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Podcasts: The Poetry Centre podcasts focus upon the work of one poet or feature discussion about poetry with poets and academics. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the link for the audio you would like to hear, or click on the iTunes link on the right in order to subscribe to the podcast series.
- Penned in the Margins: Readings and discussions from Penned authors.
- The Penteract Poetry Podcast is the official podcast of Penteract Press, an international poetry publisher specialising in the formal and experimental. This podcast features interviews with poets and publishers from all over the world, with in-depth discussions about both the craft of poetry and the present and future state of the artform.
- People’s Poetry Podcast: A podcast showcasing poetry and spoken word. We travel the UK to talk to rising stars as and established poets. Submissions always welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Poem Place brought to you by Matt Chamberlain.
- Poem of the Week invites you to listen to contributors recite some of their favourite poems and talk about what these poems mean to them. Presented by Morgan O’Reilly, this podcast series, originally broadcast on Near FM 2017/18, features some of Ireland’s most exciting new voices such as Jessica Traynor, Kate Dempsey, Kenneth Nolan and Alan Jude Moore alongside local people and community activists from the North Dublin area, this series offers a unique and diverse range of contributors. Each week the featured poem will also commemorate a significant date in the calendar year fostering new and challenging perspectives into poems you thought you knew. The poems have been selected with the advice and support of Ireland’s outgoing Professor of Poetry Paula Meehan.
- The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed Poet Laureate Simon Armitage writes in the shed in his garden, and in this podcast he invites guests to join him to talk about life, language, the human voice, accents and the environment.
- Poetry and English Literature.Random unqualified persons read and discuss English Poetry.
- Poetry at Inn Deep Podcast. Hosted by Jack & Sam from Speculative Books.
- Poetry Non-Stop is a podcast featuring leading contemporary poets in conversation. In each episode a guest poet discusses their work with presenter Patrick Widdess and reads some of their poems.
- Poetry Pause: Here’s a podcast for poetry addicts, who crave inspiration and want to write better poems. One of us champions a poem, we discuss it, and then have a go at writing responses.
- Poetically Proven Podcast: “I’ve had this idea in my mind for a while that it would be nice to bring more marketing chat to poetry conversations, and more poetry chat to marketing conversation. Poetically Proven Podcast was therefore born!” – Claire Trévien.
- Poet in the City podcasts: audio adventures and conversations about poetry, from UK arts charity Poet in the City.
- Poetry as F*ck is a spoken word podcast, containing three different shows: ‘Poets Against Humanity’ – a Creative Commons remix of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ where poets desecrate each others’ work in a panel show format. ‘Lies, Dreaming’ – a digital open mic night based around a theme, with recorded spoken word submitted by listeners. ‘Eight Poems That, If You Had To Be Trapped In Some Way For a Prolonged Period Of Time With Little Hope of Rescue, You’d Quite Like to Bring Along For Coping Purposes’ – which is like Desert Island Discs but with poems and more existential terror.
- Poetry Exchange Podcast explores the idea of poems as friends. Through conversations, events and our podcast, we gather and share connections between people and poems.
- The Poetry Extension was founded and is curated by Natalya Anderson. It brings poets and dancers together from around the world through transatlantic readings and interviews.
- Poetry File. Leading Irish poets read their own work. In association with Poetry Ireland, broadcast on Evelyn Grant’s Weekend Drive, Saturday (4-7pm) and Sunday (4-6pm) on RTÉ Lyric FM.
- The Poetrygram is a new monthly podcast for poetry lovers. Each episode will be packed with news, views and writing prompts designed to provoke thought and discussion. Whether you are sweet on spoken word or have a taste for the traditional, there’ll be content to inspire in this monthly burst of verse.
- The Poetry In Aldeburgh Podcast. Conversations from the Aldeburgh poetry festival.
- Poetry Koan: Poetry prescriptions for cracking open hearts & minds, bodies & souls.
- The Poetry of Science: Every Monday Dr Sam Illingworth provides insight into new scientific research via the medium of poetry.
- Poetry Postcards: BBC Radio Scotland brings you poetry from around the Commonwealth. A poem from every competing nation and territory sent to Glasgow for the 2012 Commonwealth Games, capturing the essence of the Commonwealth.
- The Poetry Society Podcast: “Listen to our expanding audio library of both readings by poets and the fascinating exchanges between editors of The Poetry Review and contributors, past and present, as they explore ideas and themes generated by the issue.”
- The Poetry Show: A weekly podcast that transforms that thing you hated at school into something exciting, interesting and relatable.
- Poetry with Simon Armitage: Poet, playwright and novelist, Simon Armitage was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in 2015. This series features his public engagements. Series image credit Paul Wolfgang Webster.
- Poets in Bed. Amy Key brings you poets reading poems. In bed.
- Poets Reading Poetry: A selection of poets reading their own work. Poets include Stephen Spender, Robert Graves, T.S Eliot, C.Day Lewis, John Betjeman, W.H Auden, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, Herbert Read and Ruth Pitter.
- Poet Waffle. Poet Dan Cockrill chats with other poets to explore the visceral space between fact and fiction.
- Prophetic Poetry Podcast. Stories of the Prophets retold in rhyming couplets for easier listening- as an introduction to Qasasul Ambiya.
- Pucker Poets started out in 2016 as a monthly poetry night at Cafe Kiss in Plymouth. It went on to host the first Plymouth City Literature Festival slam, and the Spoken Word tent at Glas-Denbury Festival in Devon. Host Alexander Rhodes is reviving the brand as a poetry podcast. He aims to bring you a diverse range of UK poets and performers, recorded in the van which doubles up as his home. The show is produced by www.joinedupthink.co.uk for Lockdown Productions.
- Punk and Poetry Podcast. Editor of the ‘Paper and Ink’ zine, Martin Appleby brings you poetry and punk.
- Rich Seams is produced by New Writing North. Award-winning poet Andrew McMillan takes a deeper look at the poetry of the North, as part of Rich Seams, a brand new podcast series celebrating the best of new and emerging poetry in the North of England.
- Rusty Sonnets. In the words of the show’s host, Niall O’Sullivan, Every week, I grab an old poem, read it out, give it a thorough going over before I “go off on one…”
- The Rylands Brief explores the unopened John Rylands exhibition Carcanet at 50, and features editors, poets, archivists and friends of Carcanet Press. Produced by the Centre for New Writing, Creative Manchester and The University of Manchester Library.
- Say Owt Podcast’s mission is to promote and platform live snappy spoken-word in York. So we’re getting together with our favourite poets to have a lovely chat over a nice cup of tea. Talking experiences, inspirations and taking you behind the scenes of what poetry truly means to them. http://www.sayowt.co.uk/
- School of Poetry is a podcast dedicated to discussing and analysing the good – and the not so good – within the world of poetry. With fresh poems and new themes to discuss in each episode, Loughborough University’s Dr Oli Tearle and other guest academics will bring their knowledge and expertise to this fun, yet educational, new show.
- Scottish Poetry Library Podcast. The Scottish Poetry Library is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. We are passionately committed to bringing the pleasures and benefits of poetry to as wide an audience as possible. Physically and virtually, the Scottish Poetry Library’s doors are open. There’s poetry here for everyone, and we can help you find the poem you’ll want to keep.
- The Seamus Heaney Podcast. The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s is home to some of the UK and Ireland’s foremost poets, novelists, scriptwriters, and critics. Each episode features readings, performances, interviews, and coffee-drinking with staff, students, alumni and friends.
- StAnza: Podcasts from Scotland’s international poetry festival.
- The Stanza: News from the Poetry World. Edward Garvey-Long talks about the news and weather from the world of poetry. Competitions, controversies, new books, publishing houses, and whether a poem is really a poem if it looks like a paragraph of text on a page.
- Staying Alive: Poetry and Crisis ‘a podcast series on contemporary poetry and crisis, hosted by Adriana Jacobs. Each episode of Staying Alive will feature a conversation with a contemporary poet with whom I will discuss the relation between poetry and crisis.’
- The Spoken Word Show with Dave Lordan presents the strongest voices on Ireland’s spoken word scene.
- The Stinging Fly podcast: Discussions and recordings with poets in Ireland.
- The Sugar and Dread Podcast. Sugar and Dread, the creative coming together of Jeremiah ‘SugarJ’ Brown and Gabriel Akamo to bring you all forms of poetic edification and general banter. A podcast that aims to appreciate and support poetry.
- Talking Ink Podcast. Stories, poems and ways of thinking. A podcast by Lucy Smith. Talking Ink showcases flash fiction writers and poets from Cardiff and beyond and features original music by local artists. In association with Seren Books, Wales’ leading independent publisher. Talking Ink is currently running a series based on interviews at the 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival with music by local musician Martyn White.
- This Podcast Is Lit. Brought to you by the Prospect School English Department covering all things English Literature related.
- The Thunder Mutters is a podcast in love with music, and with the music of words. Presented fortnightly by poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow, it takes its name from the poem by John Clare. We will be exploring the connections between music and poetry, concentrating for the first year of the podcast on Clare’s The Shepherd’s Calendar and on the tune books Clare gathered. Every month, we will bring you the appropriate section of the Calendar interspersed with relevant tunes that Clare himself collected and played. We will discussing the provenance of the tunes and leavening the academic with a healthy dose of poetry and music in performance.
- Tiny In All That Air by The Philip Larkin Society. This is the podcast for anyone who is interested in Philip Larkin. We will bring you new insights into Larkin’s life and writing by talking to people with fascinating stories to tell and unusual connections to the great poet himself.
- Tell Me The Truth About Life. Introduced by poetry lover and BBC presenter Cerys Matthews, features Susannah Herbert, Executive Director of the Forward Arts Foundation, in conversation with writer and poet Nikita Gill, War Horse author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, comedian and TV producer Henry Normal, actor Jade Anouka, and teacher and author Kate Clanchy.
- Unfinished Edits: a podcast on editing poems. Unsure what it’s doing; likes finding out. – Unfinished Edits is a poetry editing workshop run in Barbican Young Poet Anna Kahn’s living room and then put in the internet (because her living room is too small for all of you.) We try to be generous and thoughtful editors, and sometimes we succeed.
- University of Oxford Professor of Poetry Podcast. Alice Oswald gives her lectures on poetry, language, literature, beauty and life every term. The Professor of Poetry lectures were conceived in 1708 by Berkshire landowner Henry Birkhead and began after he bequeathed some money so it could be a valuable supplement to the curriculum. He believed ‘the reading of the ancient poets gave keenness and polish to the minds of young men as well as to the advancement of more serious literature both sacred and human’.
- Unlatched Open Mic Podcast is an ongoing project hosted by Amy Hodkin. Bringing together performers and listeners in a way that respects the importance of social distancing, the podcast aims to offer a space to relax, share and hopefully distract yourself from the world for a few minutes.
- Unlaunched Books podcast is a weekly virtual festival, masquerading as a podcast. Every Thursday we introduce new books of poetry to readers and listeners isolated by the current pandemic. We talk to poets, festival directors, readers and critics about the books they would have been expecting to launch this spring and summer…
- The Verb Radio 3’s cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance.
- Verse First Podcast is a monthly Podcast hosted by writer and poet Think/Write/Fly and produced and edited by Kallen Daynes and Gavin Randhawa, exploring the themes that resonate in contemporary poetry. Audio essays featuring interviews with your next favourite poet on the creation of their work, the craft of verse.
#WEARETHEPOETS POETRY JUKEBOX. Laureate na nÓg in collaboration with Word On The Street and Poetry Jukebox presents a showcase of young Irish poets reading their own work as part of Laureate Sarah Crossan’s #WEARETHEPOETS project. These poems are featured on the Poetry Jukebox located at EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin from March 2020 until further notice.
- Words Lightly Spoken is a weekly podcast of poetry from Ireland. In each episode we bring you a poem, with an introduction.
- WordSpoken is a brand new podcast looking to showcase some of the finest talent on the Spoken Word scene in the UK. Each episode will feature a different spoken word artist performing 3 different pieces. Not only will we get to hear these poets perform but we will also get a chance to talk about some of the issues and these raised in their work.
- Writing Poetry produced by The Open University. Poets Jackie Kay, Paul Muldoon, W.N. Herbert and Jean Breeze talk about their respective approaches and attitudes to poetry. They explore many aspects of their craft, from the initial spark of inspiration and rewriting to more technical matters such as rhyme, using real speech and narrative poetry.
I’ve definitely missed podcasts off this list so if you know of any do get in touch and let me know! – David xx