Poetry + Podcasts: An Unlikely Combo That Actually Makes Total Sense.
A few years ago, an audition video went viral. A young man full of swagger and commitment had auditioned for the role of Billy Hargove on Netflix hit Stranger Things; and the rest was history for actor Dacre Montgomery.
His character is, um...not that nice; and no one know that the antagonist of one of the biggest shows on television is a soft-spoken poet in real life. Montgomery's podcast, which is entitled DKMH and has a few installments out now, features him narrating original poetry with a naturally gentle, soft voice that most of us haven't heard from the actor. The episodes are short, easy to listen to, and perfect for filling in a spare moment.
And really, it's kind of the perfect way to share his poetry with his massive social media audience. If I could get my hands on audio of Emily Dickinson reading her poetry, I'm pretty sure I would feel even more connected to the emotions she's sharing in her words; and that's saying something. For a medium once relegated to books and by many, stereotyped as an art form of days past, this may be the new way we consume poetry. Where tumblr created a haven for teens to share their emotions; and Instagram ushered in a new wave of best-selling poets; perhaps podcasts will be the platform of choice for writers young and old.
Not only that, but poetry is often populated with introverted souls who have historically remained buried behind their words; and a podcast allows them to step into the spotlight. Through the intimate format, listeners can finally feel like they are getting to know the people writing these relatable concepts; thus, enhancing an already strong bond to the material.
We collected a list of our favorite poetry podcasts, in no particular order. Find your favorites, and get to listening!
Kevin Young, poetry editor of The New Yorker, facilitates readings and conversation with a variety of prominent guests in the poetry space.
The New Books Network produces this podcast, speaking to writers about their latest poetry publications.
The incredible Tracy K. Smith - who happened to be the US poet laureate from 2017 to 2019 - hosts a podcast released each weekday that, as she describes it, discusses “the very real and natural ways that poems speak to the daily experience of being alive.”
I can't even describe this one because technically, it's a huge collection of podcasts under The Poetry Foundation umbrella. Each one I've listened to is great, so head over to their site and find one that speaks to you! (Pro top: VS is a popular choice, so that's a great place to get started.)