Faber Poetry Podcast

Faber Poetry Podcast Review | LET’S TALK… PODCASTS

In 2018, I was sent a bundle of books by Faber after winning a giveaway on Twitter that was promoting this podcast. I was not asked to post about the giveaway or the podcast by Faber at any point and all opinions given are my own and unaffected by having been sent this bundle.

Welcome back to culture Mondays! Today I wanted to go back to something that hasn’t featured in this section for a while: podcasts! This is one that hasn’t been active for a while, but it’s one I enjoyed listening to. I’m always hopeful that it’ll get brought back, as it was always intended to be released in seasons rather than non-stop. There are currently 2 seasons available, with 6 episodes (plus one bonus episode at the end of season 1) available so there’s not an overwhelming amount, but enough to get into! The podcast in question, if you weren’t sure from the title of the post, is the Faber Poetry Podcast. Obviously Faber are a publishing house, and they have quite a prolific list of poetry.

This podcast is a bit of an amalgamation of interview, discussion, readings and more. There are two hosts, Jack Underwood and Rachel Allen, and episodes feature two guest poets as well. The studio guests have the opportunity to discuss not just their own poetry, but other poems they enjoy, and the writing processes behind their poems and their inspirations. The studio guests are different each episode, which makes the podcast really different each time. Guests have included Emily Berry (Dear Boy and Stranger, Baby), Sophie Collins (Who Is Mary Sue?), Richard Scott (Soho), Ilya Kaminsky (Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa), Daljit Nagra (Look We Have Coming to Dover) and many more. The diversity of the guests makes the podcast really interesting: they all come from different backgrounds and have very different style of poetry, so there’s something for everyone on this podcast.

As well as having studio guests, the podcast also features ‘audio postcards’, a pre-recorded reading of a poem. These readers are usually, if not always the author of the poem being read. The audio postcards sadly don’t allow for the reader of the poem to engage in conversation as it’s pre-recorded and sent in, but it does mean that a wider variety of poems can be heard on the podcast, and allows poets that couldn’t get to the recording studio for whatever reason to participate in the podcast. I really enjoy these little interludes, because it’s often a poet I’ve not heard of, so it’s great to get a taste of what their poetry is like to see if they’re someone I might want to look into further.

Studio guests also bring in a ‘talisman’, something related to their writing practises. These talismans are explained by the guest, and then discussed by the hosts and other guest. This extra section breaks up the poetry and more formal interview, often giving it a bit more of a light-hearted, jokey atmosphere rather than the Literary atmosphere that a lot of the podcast has! Talismans are always quite personal to the poet so it gives you a really interesting behind-the-scenes kind of look into their writing processes and how their relation to writing and poetry works.

The discussions that the guests and hosts have are really interesting and insightful, thinking about language, poetry, communication, meaning, literature, anything and everything related to poetry really! The discussions are really eye-opening and usually bring up things I’ve never thought about before, so it’s great to have something to take away and think about after the podcast is over.

Usually, I think season 3 would probably have been coming out around now, but because of lockdown I’m not sure they would have been able to record it! I really hope a new season does get recorded and released though, because it’s such a good way to be introduced to poets I may otherwise not have heard of. Let me know in the comments if there are any poets you think I should check out because I’m always looking for more! Do you listen to any literary podcasts?

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