Today, on National Poetry Day 2018, a ceremony took place to mark the tenth anniversary of the dedication of St Andrew Square as Edinburgh’s poetry garden, a city centre space for public enjoyment and quiet reflection. We recorded a mini-podcast about it with Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence.
Paula Meehan by The Irish Labour Party, under a Creative Commons licence
This month, Ryan talks to the Australian poet, Ouyang Yu. Born in China, Yu is a controversial figure within Australian literature, often exploring the dilemmas of transnational artists caught between different literary, cultural and linguistic traditions in a raw, uncompromising style that he has made his own (Yu himself refers to the ‘polished’ poem as 'an arse wiped clean'). In this interview, Ryan and Ouyang discuss language barriers, mis-prints and the importance of making 'creative mistakes'. Plus, more poetry sparks!
Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield is our guest this week. Jane reads from her work, and shares the body, heart and mind that informs her deceptively clear, attentive poetry, asking why 'how happy we are, how unhappy we are, doesn't matter'. And Ryan offers some more 'poetry sparks' to nourish your own ideas.
We're starting the New Year on a high. This month, The Line Break listens in on the wonderful Mark Doty, poet and author of Deep Lane, recently nominated for the T S Eliot Prize. And back with two more poetry sparks, host Ryan Van Winkle has you writing transcendentally about the mundane, and exploring the things you shouldn't say.
Is there joy in sorrow? Can tragedy ever be funny? This month, the Line Break's guest is Caroline Bird, a poet who delights in troubling sensibilities and leading her audience down the garden path before swiftly turning the hose on them.
The power of poetry comes partly from its ability to explode a language when it no longer feels adequate enough to explain the extraordinary times we live in. This month on The Line Break, Ryan Van Winkle talks to the Singapore-born poet, editor and translator – Alvin Pang – about multiculturalism and poetry as a force of resistance: against public expectations, political oppression and cultural efficiencies, as well as our own longings, ambivalences, lost hopes, fears and anxieties.
The Line Break is a monthly podcast that revisits Ryan Van Winkle’s interviews for the SPL, but with a new emphasis. Whereas before you were invited to enjoy an interview and reading by a contemporary poet, The Line Break will be especially appreciated by poets eager to learn more about their craft. Vintage interviews are broken up with a new commentary. At regular points, Ryan will drop ‘creative sparks’ into the listening experience, encouraging you to pause the podcast and try out a quick writing exercise.
For our third episode, Ryan talks to the American poet Mary Ruefle about finding the joy in the solitary act of writing poetry, the need to talk to yourself, and we hear Mary read from a selection of her incredibly distinctive work. And there’s more poetry sparks for you to try out, re-working found text with Tippex, and getting lost in language.
This month on The Line Break, Ryan re-visits an interview with poet and journalist Kwame Dawes and discusses the challenges of writing poetry about often painful world events, and how to find beauty, happiness and truth in the 'cesspools of experience' that follow. And Ryan sets out more of his 'poetry sparks', including how to write a blues poem.
The Line Break is a monthly podcast that revisits Ryan Van Winkle’s interviews for the SPL, but with a new emphasis. Whereas before you were invited to enjoy an interview and reading by a contemporary poet, The Line Break will be especially appreciated by poets eager to learn more about their craft. You’ll learn to listen with a pen and pad by your side.
Earbud Love 2 by Dan McKay, under a Creative Commons licence
An email arrived in the SPL’s inbox the other day.