April is National Poetry Month! Listen to Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, 1960s writer and activist LeRoi Jones, 2013 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Sharon Olds, and enigmatic 1950s singer/songwriter Connie Converse, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Pinsky —as well as other anapestic treats.

Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey: Why I Write

Friday, July 06, 2012

Natasha Trethewey is the first African American to hold the title of Poet Laureate since Rita Dove in 1993. She will assume the post in September and will divide her time between Decatur, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

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'Embracing Geography': Does New York City Incubate Poets?

Monday, August 13, 2012


Poet, playwright, and novelist William Packard moderates this 1968 broadcast: Is there a New York poet?

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Samuel, The Concise Poet

Monday, December 28, 2009

Samuel Menashe of Greenwich Village writes poems. Really short poems.

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Amiri Baraka Reads "The Revolutionary Theater"

Monday, February 18, 2013


Amiri Baraka died January 9th after weeks of failing health. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters.  Speaking at the Overseas Press Club ( and airing on WNYC) in 1965 following the release of his Obie award-winning play The Dutchman, Baraka presented himself as a no-nonsense artist who was not about to compromise his message for anyone. The talk catches Baraka (still known as Leroi Jones) at the height of his radical voice in the 1960s and is critical because it was delivered just four days before the assassination of Malcolm X.


The writer and activist LeRoi Jones (who would later be known as Amiri Baraka) speaks here on February 17, 1965, four days before the assassination of Malcolm X, an event that catapulted him from a charismatic Greenwich Village maverick into a radicalized black nationalist in Harlem.

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Connie Converse Walking In the Dark

Sunday, November 25, 2012

During the 1950s Connie Converse lived in New York City writing and singing thoughtful, emotional, smart, witty, personal songs. She accompanied herself on guitar, a "singer/songwriter" before that term or style existed. The music industry of her day couldn't pigeonhole her, and didn't welcome her. Discouraged, Connie left New York in 1960, and in 1974 she wrote a series of farewell letters to her friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen Bug and disappeared. She has not been heard from since. This special edition of WNYC's Spinning On Air with David Garland, airs many of Connie's songs for the first time, and tells her story with interviews, commentary, and readings from her letters, journals, and poetry. 

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A Paradigm Shift For the Beat Generation

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kerouac breaths. Kerouac performs.
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Poetifully, Youngerly, Ogden Nash's Poetry Begs an Encore, Wonderfully

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Promoting his collection Parents Keep Out, poems aimed primarily at teenagers, the poet Ogden Nash displays the well-known rhyming ability and whimsical attitude of his widely appreciated, inimitable light verse at this 1951 Books and Authors Luncheon.

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Philip Levine reads "Mingus at the Half Note"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Philip Levine is set to become the nation's Poet Laureate this Fall, but he already was WNYC's Poet in Residence back in 2003. Listen to Levine read William Matthews' "Mingus at the Half Note," and how the poem relates personally to him.

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Poet In Residence

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Philip Levine Shares His Favorite Poems


Darwin: A Life in Poems

Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Origin of Species is 150 years old, but the work of Charles Darwin remains as influential as ever. Darwin's great-great-granddaughter, Ruth Padel, tells her famous ancestor's life story all in verse. One poem describes Darwin's awe at the sealife that washed up ...


Pushcart Prize-Winners at Le Poisson Rouge

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Four Pushcart Prize-winning writers took to the (very, very dim stage) at (Le) Poisson Rouge last month to read from their award-winning works.


April is Poetry Month

Monday, April 18, 2011

T.S. Eliot has said that April is the cruelest month. It’s also Poetry Month, and here at the Lopate Show we’ve been marking it in our own way. Last week we had poet Meghan O’Rourke and former Poet Laureate Billy Collins on to talk about their new works.

We also asked Leonard’s Facebook friends what their favorite poems are and got some great responses. >>>

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Talk To Me: Sharon Olds Shares The Love... With Family

Monday, March 08, 2010

Poet, author and NYU professor Sharon Olds was joined by her twin nephews Michael & Matthew Dickman at NYU's Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House on March 4th.


Eileen Simpson

Sunday, October 17, 1982

Fiction and non-fiction writer Eileen Simpson discusses her third book, Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir . It is based on her years of intimacy with some of the major writers of our time. John Berryman, Delmore Schwartz, Robert Lowell, and Edmund Wilson are just a few of the ...


Brooklyn Ferry Poets Cooperative

Monday, April 19, 1976

Poets from Brooklyn Ferry Poets Cooperative discuss their new book, Brooklyn Ferry.

WNYC archives id: 72998


Marianne Moore

Thursday, December 14, 1961

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Interview with: Marianne Moore, poet, author of "A Marianne Moore Reader."

Warren Bower introduces Marianne Moore and her new book, A Marianne Moore Reader. Moore ...


William Packard

Wednesday, April 29, 1981

William Packard discusses his book, Desire: Erotic Poetry Through the Ages. He talks about love poetry and erotic poetry. Packard reads selections of poems from the book.

WNYC archives id: 72922


Archibald MacLeish

Monday, April 22, 1968

Poet, writer, and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish discusses his poetry. MacLeish reads selections from his new book of poems, Songs of Eve.

WNYC archives id: 73136


Samuel Menashe

Sunday, March 06, 1983

Samuel Menashe discusses his poetry and its criticism.

WNYC archives id: 73197


Helen Morrissey Rizzuto

Wednesday, February 14, 1979

Helen Morrissey Rizzuto discusses her poetry book, Evening Sky on a Japanese Screen, and reads selections from it.

WNYC archives id: 73166


Robert Pinsky

Monday, December 05, 1977

Robert Pinsky discusses his critical work, The Situation of Poetry, and his collection of poems, Sadness and Happiness. He talks about how poetry can be anti-modern yet still contemporary. He also reads "Poem About People" from Sadness and Happiness.

WNYC archives id: 73164


Dylan Thomas

Tuesday, January 01, 1952

The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 1952-uu-uu.

Vivienne Koch interviews Dylan Thomas. He talks about his latest collection of poems, In Country Sleep, and reads selections from it.

WNYC archives id: 73072


Louis Untermeyer

Tuesday, January 01, 1963

The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 1963-uu-uu.

Louis Untermeyer talks about his close friend and poet Robert Frost and the book, The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer .

WNYC ...


Chuck Wachtel

Monday, September 26, 1983


A Revolution! A novel about the working class in 1983.

Chuck Wachtel talks about his third book and first novel, Joe the Engineer. The main character is a Vietnam veteran working as a water meter reader in Richmond Hill, Queens. Wachtel says the story is informed by ...


Poetry Society of America Dinner honoring Robert Frost

Friday, January 17, 1958

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Opens with Poetry Society news and the reading of telegrams expressing regrets from those unable to attend Frost's birthday celebration. Members of the head table are introduced, as are notable members ...


Poetry Today

Tuesday, January 28, 1947

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Three English professors (Phyllis Bartlett, Dwight Derling, John D. Koff) discuss the successes and failures of modern poetry. Compare poems to crossword puzzles. Use of vernacular and "simple" language.

Hosted by ...


Vladimir Nabokov's Passionate Reading of 'An Evening of Russian Poetry,' 1958

Monday, November 26, 2012

Before the controversy of the American publication of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov cuts a different figure at this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon.
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