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[SPL] March 2015: Jacob Polley
March 25, 2015 07:08 AM PDT
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This podcast was recorded at and in partnership with the 2014 StAnza International Poetry Festival. Jennifer Williams talks to Jacob Polley about meaning and lack thereof, about resisting the idea of ‘home’, about remaining open to possibility when you’re writing and much more.

Jacob Polley is the author of three acclaimed poetry collections, The Brink, Little Gods and, most recently, The Havocs, as well as a Somerset Maugham Award-winning novel, Talk of the Town. Born in Cumbria, he lives in Scotland where he teaches at the University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to James Iremonger for the music in the podcast:

Image by Mai Lin Li

[SPL] March 2015: David Harsent
March 13, 2015 09:48 AM PDT
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David Harsent is one of the UK's leading poets, as his recent T.S. Eliot Prize-win for his collection Fire Songs (Faber) re-affirmed. In August 2014, while up in Edinburgh for Book Festival, Harsent took some time to speak to the SPL. In a wide-ranging conversation, Harsent spoke about harrier hens, the heat death of the universe and the time he met Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić.

Image: David Harsent by Writers Centre Norwich, under a Creative Commons licence.

[SPL] March 2015: Thomas Lux
March 03, 2015 10:00 PM PST
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Ryan Van Winkle talks with poet Thomas Lux on this week's episode. Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a Guggenheim fellowship as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Thomas was at the SPL for our Sympoetry event last year. We get the opportunity to hear some of Thomas's work and he discusses his approach to writing and his inspiring thoughts on teaching creative writing. His recently published Selected Poems is available now from Bloodaxe Books. This episode is presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser

[SPL] February 2015: Sasha Dugdale
February 08, 2015 10:17 AM PST
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Ryan Van Winkle talks to the poet Sasha Dugdale, who is also editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. She tells us about how some of her poems come from 'failed translations' and she discusses how sound plays a much more important role in her own writing than other factors. She also discusses the problems involved with being a poet and a poetry translator. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser

[SPL] January 2015: Jem Rolls
January 29, 2015 05:11 AM PST
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Performance poet Jem Rolls tells all about the page/stage debate, what it takes to make a living from performing poetry and how rhyme helps you remember.

January 2015: Salma
January 09, 2015 08:13 AM PST
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In this first SPL Podcast of 2015, Jennifer Williams, SPL Programme Manager, speaks to Salma, Indian poet and crusader for women’s rights. They talk about Salma’s strength and bravery in the face of oppression, her commitment to writing and publishing under extremely challenging circumstances and even *gasp* the use of the ‘v’ word in contemporary poetry! We hope this will be an inspiring and entertaining podcast to kick off your poetic new year.
Salma was born in a small village in Southern India, and overcame many obstacles to publish her poetry and fiction, now recognised as an important contribution to Tamil writing.

Salma came to Scotland as part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Commonwealth Poets United project.

As part of the cultural programme surrounding the XX Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Poets United was an international exchange project between six Scottish poets and poets from six Commonwealth nations: Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa. It established relationships between artists, organisations and communities through a culturally enriching poetry exchange.

The project was supported by Creative Scotland and the British Council, and partnered by BBC Radio Scotland.
Commonwealth Poets United

OR Books:
Music by James Iremonger with many thanks:

[SPL] December: Donna Stonecipher
December 23, 2014 04:07 AM PST
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Ryan Van Winkle caught up with poet Donna Stonecipher in Berlin. They discuss her fascination with Model Cities and how the changing nature of Berlin has affected her poetry. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser

[SPL] December: After Lermontov
December 11, 2014 04:49 AM PST
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This year marks the bicentenary of the birth of the Russian novelist and poet Mikhail Lermontov. A new book, After Lermontov, features a number of the Russian's poems translated into English. Many of the poets involved are Scottish because Lermontov traced his ancestry back to Scotland and was a great admirer of Ossian and Walter Scott. Our latest podcast looks at After Lermontov in the company of its editor and contributors: Peter France, Robert Crawford, Sasha Dugdale and Alexander Hutchison. We also take a look at the short, turbulent life of the poet, a controversial figure in his day who may have been the victim of a fatal conspiracy at the age of 27.

Image: lino_Lermontov by Andrey under a Creative Commons licence

[SPL] December 2014: Quaich
December 04, 2014 07:42 AM PST
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In this podcast Jennifer Williams talks to Madeleine Campbell, A C Clarke, Christine De Luca and Haris Psarras about poetry translation in Scotland and about the innovative new book Quaich: An Anthology of Translation in Scotland Today.

Purchase Quaich here:

Music by James Iremonger

[SPL] November: Anita Govan
November 20, 2014 08:22 AM PST
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Anita Govan has been involved in performance poetry for many years, long before it became as widespread as it is today, both as a performer and an organiser of events. Sceptical of the competitive aspects of slams, she still takes part in them and organises them for young people as she recognises their part in giving people a forum in which to share their experiences. In this podcast, SPL Programme Manager Jennifer Williams talks to Govan about her time as the Stirling Makar, coping with dyslexia, and standing up for young people.

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