poetry

This is an excerpt from a longer interview that was originally broadcast on Oct. 19, 2011.

A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called "What the Living Do," the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.

April is National Poetry Month — and at Code Switch, we like poems. We will be exploring a set of broad issues of race and ethnicity in modern poetry for the duration of the month.

About Face cover
Floating Bridge Press

Poet Ann Gerike combined years of research with an empathetic imagination to write "About Face: World War I Facial Injury and Reconstruction." Her poems bring to life the stories of terribly disfigured soldiers and surgeon Major Harold Gillies, whose wartime innovations helped restore their faces.

Garrison Keillor's book, "O, What A Luxury."

Steve Scher talks with Garrison Keillor about his first collection of original poetry, "O, What A Luxury: Verses Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound.”

This interview originally aired on November 6, 2013.

Kim-An Lieberman
Matt Corddry

The gravitational pull of one generation on another resounds throughout Kim-An Lieberman's second collection of poetry, "In Orbit." As in her first collection, "Breaking the Map," Lieberman mines the complexities of her Vietnamese and Jewish heritage to evoke a multi-layered identity.

A Belated Valentine From RadioActive

Feb 27, 2014
KUOW Photo/Jenny Asarnow and Sophie Ding

In honor of Valentine’s Day, RadioActive hosts Ann Kane and Sophie Ding bring you stories of young love. We find out what love means to preschoolers and retired folks, hear what the Greeks had to say about love and enjoy a love poem written to the world. Plus, Nina Tran plays a love song for her wisdom teeth on the banjo.

Michelle Obama and 2013 National Student Poets
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Elizabeth Austen features Nathan Cummings, a senior at Mercer Island High School, as he reads his poem "Proteus" and describes what being named as one of five National Student Poets in 2013 has meant to him.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman sits down with "America's most popular poet" Billy Collins about his new book "Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems." And, he treats us with a reading of one of his new pieces.

This interview originally aired on November 4, 2013.

Elizabeth Austen Named 2014 Washington State Poet Laureate

Jan 28, 2014
Courtesy of Fat Yeti Photography

Elizabeth Austen has been bringing poetry to KUOW listeners since 2001. Now, her audience is going to get even bigger.

Austen was recently named Washington’s next poet laureate. An accomplished poet herself, her goal in the new role is to reach out to all 39 counties in the state with workshops, readings and poet interviews: to “celebrate and highlight” the wealth of resources available in Washington to writers and readers alike.

Cover of Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems from William Stafford
William Stafford's collection "Ask Me."

This year marks the centennial of the birth of William Stafford, a much beloved poet and lifelong pacifist who taught at Lewis and Clark College in Portland for nearly 40 years. To celebrate the occasion, Graywolf Press has released a collection of his poems titled, "Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems."

Poet Kate Lebo
Courtesy of Shawn Arntz

Poet Kate Lebo's newest collection, "A Commonplace Book of Pie," opens with an epigraph from Carl Sagan: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." 

The Poetry Of Rock And Roll

Dec 18, 2013
AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price

Not every rock song is poetry, but Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon argues that some are. Ross Reynolds talks with the New Yorker poetry editor and professor at Princeton about poetry, songs, his band Wayward Shrines, and his new book, "Word On The Street: Rock Lyrics."

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Poet Sherman Alexie knows who to credit for his success as a writer.

“Independent bookstores are the reason why I have a career,” he told Steve Scher on KUOW’s The Record. “When this started out, a book of poems and stories by a Spokane Indian would have never fit anybody’s algorithm. This was a very specific case of a very specific group of people: The white liberal women of independent bookstores promoting my career."

Nancy Pearl's Picks: Poetry And Football

Nov 22, 2013
"The Art of Losing" and "The System"

Steve Scher sits down with everyone's favorite librarian Nancy Pearl for her book recommendations of the week including the collection “The Art Of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing” edited by Kevin Young, and “The System: The Glory And Scandal Of Big Time College Football” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyain.

Courtesy of Jack Straw Productions/Sherwin Eng

It seems every family has at least one "wild card" relative — that person who is reliably unreliable, in one way or another.  Seattle writer Anne McDuffie's poem "Conditions" tells the wryly comical story of trying to prepare her young children to meet one such relative.

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