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 (52 so far!). This is also a reaction to lists such as “the best poetry podcasts” and “podcasts you need to subscribe to in 2019” which are, quite frankly, an absolute nonsense. Anyway, below the list 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 (@Silent_Tongue) and I’ll pop you on.
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…
- 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 brought to you by the producers of Lunar Poetry Podcasts. Bringing you a poem a 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, current LPP features, and guest poets reading their own work.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ledbury Poetry Festival provides recordings of their festival events, free to download.
- 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.
- 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. Proudly working class. FULLY TRANSCRIBED.
- Lyric Poetry: Brought to you by the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.
- 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.
- Open Mic Podcast is a writing and reading podcast hoping to capture the intrepid energy of open mic reading nights.
- 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.
- 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.
- Poetry Koan: Poetry prescriptions for cracking open hearts & minds, bodies & souls.
- 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 Review 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- StAnza: Podcasts from Scotland’s international poetry festival.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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