Robin Houghton & Peter Kenny
Love poetry? Join Robin and Peter and their guests as they read poems, chat about all things poetry and generally explore the bedazzling world of Planet Poetry.
Planet Poetry | Trailer
Oct 16 2020
Distance | Desolation - with J.O. Morgan
Strap in! We're going boldly into interplanetary space -- and returning to see our own planet through alien eyes. J.O. Morgan tells us about his lates poetry collection The Martian’s Regress from Cape Poetry -- an epic, gripping sequence about a martian and his pale companion investigating a dead and sterile earth. Next... Time travel. We'll whisk you back to those passionate Victorians, with Robin sampling the obsessive melancholy of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s long poem In Memoriam A.H.H. And Peter continues his quest into American poetry, and finds huge amounts to admire in the poem 'Prayer' from Jorie Graham’s vibrant collection Never published by Carcanet in 2002.
May 5 2022
1 hr 1 min
Joy | Grief - with Sasha Dugdale
Then what angelic vision is this? It's Sasha Dugdale sharing poetry from her award-garlanded Carcanet collection Joy including an excerpt from the title poem in the voice of William Blake's wife Catherine. And in her latest work Deformations Sasha tackles, among other things, the conflicted legacy of Eric Gill. Plus Robin pines for more work by Sam Willetts, reflecting on his collection New Light for the Old Dark while Peter manages a complete U-turn about Mary Oliver and we dip back into Twitter for another thorny issue.
Apr 7 2022
Memory | Minutiae - with Jeremy Page
You remember us. Of course you do! It's your pals at Planet Poetry! Fascinating in-depth conversations with poets and poetry lovers, bardic banter and more . Now spring is in the air, we have a spanking new episode featuring writer and poet Jeremy Page. With him we'll delve into The Naming a collection that braves the shifting sands of unreliable memories and the words we use to describe them. Plus we hear what keeps Jeremy as engaged as ever, after decades of his editorship of the The Frogmore Papers - now nearing 100 issues. Plus Robin and Peter mull over their personal reading: from marvelling at the flying worm in the poetry of William Blake to slithering an exploratory tendril into Kay Syrad's collection of lusciously mossy poetry what is near.
Mar 17 2022
Collaboration | Undercurrents - with Joolz Sparkes & Hilaire
Ding-ding. All aboard! In this episode we ride a big red bus into the heart of London's hidden histories. Robin meets poetical dynamic duo Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire whose beautifully researched collaboration London Undercurrents gives voice to women at pivotal moments in their lives. We catch glimpses of criminal forgers, a clippie tasting heady freedom as she traverses the Thames and a girl dreaming of football glory. Meanwhile Peter absorbs the A4 format delights of PN Review and The Rialto pausing to read a poem by Tim Craven while Robin revisits Ian Duhig's spellbinding poem The Lammas Hireling.
Feb 17 2022
Eels | Elements - with Janet Sutherland
Welcome home! Now slip off your raincoat and settle down in the flickering firelight. Listening to Janet Sutherland will suggest summer snakes hissing in the hay, as you explore the rural upbringing that has shaped the quietly-magnificent world of her four Shearsman Books collections: Burning the Heartwood, Hangman’s Acre, Bone Monkey and Home Farm. Meanwhile, your pals Robin and Peter begin 2022 eyeing a patriarchal statue in a beautiful poem by Eavan Boland from her New Collected Poems from Carcanet . And devouring C+nto and othered poems by Joelle Taylor to find it an elegiac, barnstorming celebration - and a just winner of the T.S. Eliot prize too.
Jan 27 2022
Publisher | Poets - with Sharon Black & Di Slaney
We see you. Covered in tinsel and cavorting with Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and the rest of those red nosed reindeers. Luckily here is a treat you can open immediately! Our interview with two inspiring poet publishers - Sharon Black of Pindrop Press, and Di Slaney of Candlestick Press - who share the proximity of goats but have distinct approaches to publishing. Plus Di Slaney treats us to a poem from Herd Queen (Valley Press) and Sharon Black shares a poem from her perfectly-formed pamphlet Rib (published by Wayleave Press). Over a mince pie, Peter and Robin chat about the early life of one-time poet laureate John Masefield and his children's Christmas classic The Box of Delights - while Robin is so uplifted by Sasha Dugdale's new Carcanet collection Deformations she's invited her on the podcast for next year. Happy holidays everyone :-)
Dec 21 2021
Sympathy | Uncensored - with Alireza Abiz
You know us. At Planet Poetry we are always mooning around thinking about poetry instead of doing the laundry. But imagine if you had to haggle with a censor just to get your words read... Or had to account for your personal morality to an interrogator. Discovering the subtly devastating poetry of The Kindly Interrogator by Alireza Abiz (Shearsman books translated by the author and W.N. Herbert) will remind you of the fragility of the freedom many of us take for granted.Plus you can expect a bit of Santa banter, pedantry and crows. We discuss Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter (Faber) as well as the intriguing pamphlet Articles of Twinship (Bare Fiction) by Peter Wallis.
Dec 2 2021
Cinematic | Demotic - with Martina Evans
Fabulous stories, overheard conversation and a panoply of characters? It's the sound of Planet Poetry basking in the glowing Technicolor of Martina Evans's funny, moving and brilliantly inventive new collection American Mules (Carcanet). Meanwhile a croaky-with-Covid Robin props herself up on one elbow to re-read a favourite collection by Kei Miller. As Cop26 is in the news, Peter considers eco-poetry in the light of work by novelist Richard Powers and philosopher Timothy Morton's 'All Art is Ecological'. But wait... Where's that self-promotional trumpet? The new website at planetpoetrypodcast.com is finally UP! (And if you could tell absolutely everyone about it, that really would be awfully decent of you.)
Nov 11 2021
Empathy | Affirmation - with Ashanti Anderson
Want to face the future with strength and empathy? Of course you do! So hop aboard Planet Poetry and jet over to New Orleans to meet Ashanti Anderson and hear from her exceptional debut, Black Under. We'll also feature Robin's encounter with the work of Scottish poet George Mackay Brown, whose centenary is celebrated by Dark Horse magazine, while Peter is won over by the excellence of The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus. Plus we praise the fabulous The History of English podcast by Kevin Stroud, and Dave Bonta's Via Negativa blog... All this and a couple of severed heads for the win. Bargain.
Oct 21 2021
Season 2 opener: Kim Addonizio
Kerpow! Planet Poetry is back for a second season, replete with box-fresh poetical guests, an assortment of musings on the muses – and even a new intro tune.We whiz across the Atlantic to meet Kim Addonizio and hear about her Vulcan mind meld with Shakespeare and Dante - and we can guarantee she will transform how you think about Florida forever. Kim's poems are featured in her Bloodaxe collection Wild Nights. Fresh from a damp sojourn in Wales, Peter talks about being thunderstruck by R.S. Thomas and reads a poem from The Collected Later Poems. While Robin admires Shane McCrae’s collection Sometimes I Never Suffered. It's great to be back. We missed you!
Sep 30 2021
Selfhood | Sovereignty - with Rishi Dastidar
Is that a fanfare of brazen trumpets? Why? Well, it's our season finale! Join our audience with the regal Rishi Dastidar who tells us about the declaration of sovereignty made by his eponymous hero Saffron Jack - a hugely impressive long poem, glittering with biting satire, postcolonial thinking, humour and logical inevitability. Then, a tad wistfully, Robin and Peter wind up Season 1, with your poetic pals taking a few moments to reflect on what they’ve learnt from making seventeen bedazzling episodes of your favourite podcast. Thank you for listening! We'll be back...
Jul 15 2021
Real | Surreal - with Helen Ivory
Welcome back, poppets! Join us as we peer into the dreamlike cabinet of curiosities that is Helen Ivory’s The Anatomical Venus where women are labelled witches and hysterics, pathologised by medical science and surreally transformed into demure models with visible innards. Meanwhile, Robin enjoys the primal force of Nobel-winning poet Thomas Tranströmer in The Half-Finished Heaven and Peter feels improved after experiencing the warmth and humanity of Robert Hamberger's Blue Wallpaper. Plus your podcast pals hear about a poetry rejection received a mere two-and-a-half years after submission. Enjoy!
Jun 18 2021
Playfulness | Persistence - with John McCullough
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Planet Poetry is swooping through the air with Hawthornden Prize winner John McCullough tucked under its origami wing. John entices us with his three poetry collections: The Frost Fairs (Salt Publishing), Spacecraft and Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins), and praises the virtues of playful language and learning your craft. We'll take in roof-removing storms, vanished Old English letters and Lady Gaga. Plus Peter is enticed into Babylonian shenanigans by The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Robin beguiles us with how to extricate yourself a magical debut collection from Laura Theis.
May 27 2021
Publishing | Not Publishing - with JT Welsch
To publish or not to publish? Join us as we venture into the shadowy world of poetry publishing. Do instapoets endanger traditional publishing or help it to quietly flourish? Is the whole thing shapeshifting into something new and exciting? The person clutching the torch and heading into the dark is poet and academic JT Welsch who has written the first book-length study of the contemporary poetry industry. And the good news is it's not all bad news. Meanwhile Peter is still wistful about seizing the means of poetry production and trying to ignite a revolution, while Robin confesses that it's all about seeing her poems in glorious print. Plus, we'll dip a tentacle into the surreal world of Guillaume Apollinaire and Robin enjoys an irreverent poem that stealth bombed its way into The North.
May 13 2021
Untold | Unspoken - with LeAnne Howe
We’re back! In this episode we encounter esteemed poet, writer and scholar LeAnne Howe — who talks about the extraordinary Norton anthology of Native Nations poetry ‘When The Light of The World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through’ she edited with Joy Harjo and Jennifer Elise Foerster which highlights the untold stories of people from the Native Nations. She also gives us an insight into how her Chocktaw heritage enriches her own poetry. Plus Robin and Peter share their opinions about a venerable UK poetry magazine, terrible haikus and Nothing in particular.
Apr 29 2021
Time | Translation - The Sarah Maguire Prize with Alireza Abiz, Yang Lian & Brian Holton
Welcome to our translation special! Join Robin and Peter as we take a deep dive into the Sarah Maguire Prize 2020. We ask Chairman of the judges, the Persian poet and translator, Alireza Abiz about poetry from Iraq, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Syria and and ponder the nature of time, Mandarin and poetry with the legendary Chinese poet Yang Lian. Plus we speak to his long-term translator Brian Holton to celebrate the work of the translator.
Apr 8 2021
Xs & Os | zeros and ones - with Kathryn Maris
Enigmatic hey? That's Planet Poetry for you. Welcome back! This week we are delighted to hear from exiled New Yorker Kathryn Maris who shares her strange and sometimes hilarious tall tales (full of unheroic and unreliable protagonists) from her collection The House with Only an Attic and a Basement. Plus Robin gets a bit starry and stripy reading US magazines Rattle and Poetry -- and uncovers a can of worms. Peter, meanwhile, thinks he's glimpsed poetry's gleaming future, and it's bleeping brilliant! Robin remains strangely underwhelmed.
Mar 25 2021
Colonialism | Reconciliation - with Inua Ellams
In this episode Inua Ellams talks to us about his extraordinary book The Actual (Penned in the Margins, 2020), a powerful, personal and often very funny collection that pokes a sharp stick at the legacy of British Empire, foolish machismo, hero culture, relationships and much more. Also, Peter sketches for us the story of the Négritude movement and its poets Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor, and we finish as ever with a bit of banter over those 'banned' words... speaking of which, **please note that this episode contains expletives.**
Mar 4 2021
Arrivals | Departures - with Rhona McAdam
Itching to get away? Then hop aboard Planet Poetry and we'll catapult you to Canada, where we chat with Rhona McAdam and delve into the many treasures of a back catalogue punctuated by the arrivals and departures of a life spent between two continents -- and we'll sneak a morsel of her forthcoming collection 'Larder'. Plus Robin and Peter discuss their reading of Rachael Boast and Jackie Wills. Amid the bardic bandinage your hosts also make time to share ill-informed opinions about what constitutes an emerging poet... Get a wiggle on! That's your name they're calling, isn't it?
Feb 18 2021
Camouflage | Revealing - with Mary Jean Chan
This week, hear Mary Jean Chan discuss and read from Flèche, her award-winning debut collection of growing up and coming out. Cultures clash, family expectations are questioned and identity is explored. What happens when the protective gear comes off? We're going into combat, but in a spirit of peace-keeping and love. Meanwhile Peter is in awe of feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde and Robin celebrates white jeans and wonders why Hubert Moore isn't better known. Plus, fancy a guest moment on Planet Poetry? We've got a new idea we'd like to try, and it involves you!
Feb 4 2021