The Echo Chamber

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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0101The Body2013022420130302

A new programme introduced by Paul Farley featuring the best of poetry now. The first in the series looks at the body in question - the shapes of poems and the people in them. How does a poet decide on the form of their poem? What do different poetic forms do the subject of a poem? The programme travels the country and anatomises its poetic body. With found poems and field-notes, a diary of failure and success, the sound of the world being taken down in rhyme, and a look into a hive of dead bees in midwinter. With new poems from Sean Borodale, Don Paterson and Alice Oswald. Producer: Tim Dee

0102Borders Met And Crossed2013030320130309

Adventures in strong language - performed and from the page - introduced by a master of poetic ceremonies, Paul Farley. Borders - met and crossed - are the theme of the day. The River Styx where the dead arrive and the shape-shifting places where people become other animals are among the subjects. Jo Shapcott, James Lasdun and Simon Armitage come to the edge and shout their poems across. Producer: Tim Dee

0103Translations2013031020130316

Adventures in strong language - the best of new poetry introduced by Paul Farley. The Echo Chamber has started to resound. Today it is listening to translations of all sorts and hoping to topple the Tower of Babel. Can you transplant a poem from one language to another? Can a man be a woman? A fox a thought? Featuring new poems by Robin Robertson, Leontia Flynn, and Jamie McKendrick and poems journeying into English from Ancient Greece, Rome, Italy, Spanish and German. Producer: Tim Dee

0104 LASTMiddle Age2013031720130323

Are the middle years tough for poets? Paul Farley listens to new poems on the subject. With Paul Muldoon, Kathleen Jamie and Hugo Williams. Producer: Tim Dee

0201Ancient Poem Kidnap2013110320131109

Lavinia Greenlaw and Simon Armitage have kidnapped three ancient poems and made them new.

Paul Farley returns with a new series showcasing the best of the latest poetry. Lavinia Greenlaw and Simon Armitage have been kidnapping three ancient poems and making them new, dub genius King Tubby has been remixing Dylan Thomas and Kaiti Soultana has taken Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to heart. Producer: Tim Dee.

0202City Streets And Seashores2013111020131116

Paul Farley meets Roy Fisher and Michael Longley: two of the greatest older poets at work in English today. City streets and the seashore sing loud in their poems. Roy Fisher's long sequence City about Birmingham is the best poetic account of modern urban life. Michael Longley has been writing lyric poems about a short stretch of the coastline of County Mayo for decades. Producer: Tim Dee.

Paul Farley meets poets Roy Fisher and Michael Longley

0203The Waste Remains2013111720131123

Paul Farley introduces new poems on the old theme of autumnal rot and mulch. New poems from Alice Oswald, Steve Ely, Maurice Riordan, Frances Leviston and a first British listening in on the American poet Robert Wrigley: a master observer of roadkill. Producer: Tim Dee.

Paul Farley introduces new poems on the old theme of autumnal rot and mulch.

0204 LASTThe Poet, The Poem, And The Savannah2013112420131130

Paul Farley talks to Glyn Maxwell about where poems come from.

Paul Farley in discussion with Glyn Maxwell, poet and author of On Poetry. White, Black, Form, Pulse, Chime, Space and Time are Glyn's chapter titles. How and why are poems written? With readings by Glyn of his own work, new and old. Producer: Tim Dee

Paul Farley brings more contemporary poets into the Echo Chamber to read and discuss their work.

0301Derek Walcott2014040620140412

Paul Farley returns with Radio 4's new poetry programme. Today's edition is devoted to a conversation (with poems and flying fish) with Derek Walcott at home on St Lucia. Walcott is now 84. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. The tropical island of St Lucia has been his home and has defined his work for many years yet he is reluctant to think of himself as a Caribbean poet. His work has travelled far away from his home and his own relationship with St Lucia has been rich but not entirely comfortable. He talks about why and speaks also of his love for the English poets, John Clare and Edward Thomas, whilst, looking out over the Caribbean sea, he recites Walter de la Mare. Producer: Tim Dee.

0302Jen Hadfield On Shetland2014041320140419

Paul Farley meets the poet Jen Hadfield at home and out and about in Shetland taking some of her new poems from her book Byssus back to where they were written, their source. Byssus is the name given to a mussel's beard, it is what anchors the shellfish to its rock. Many poems in the book explore both molluscs and bivalves but also what a home might mean to other creatures including poets. Half the poems need wellington boots, the others a good raincoat, but the Spring is here too and life grows afresh. Producer: Tim Dee.

03032014042020140426

In Belfast, Paul Farley and fellow poets remember Seamus Heaney six months after his death. With contributions from Michael Longley, Don Paterson, Leontia Flynn and Ciaran Carson. Producer: Tim Dee.

0304 LASTCross-dressing Poets2014042720140503

Paul Farley asks some poets, Kate Clanchy Adam Foulds and Patrick McGuinness, about their trafficking in prose. What does moving from one to the other do to each? Meanwhile the artist Richard Long reads some of his walks in words. Producer: Tim Dee.

0304 LASTCross-dressing Poets20140427

Paul Farley asks some poets, Kate Clanchy Adam Foulds and Patrick McGuinness, about their trafficking in prose. What does moving from one to the other do to each? Meanwhile the artist Richard Long reads some of his walks in words. Producer: Tim Dee.

0401Extinctions20141130

Paul Farley listens to old and new poetry of extinction one hundred years after the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon. With poems from Fleur Adcock, Sean O'Brien, W.S. Merwin and David Harsent and the sounds of X-ray audio, the samizdat music of the Soviet Union that used black-market plates of skulls and ribcages to capture the beginnings of rock and roll. Producer: Tim Dee.

0401Extinctions20141130

Paul Farley listens to old and new poetry of extinction one hundred years after the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon. With poems from Fleur Adcock, Sean O'Brien, W.S. Merwin and David Harsent and the sounds of X-ray audio, the samizdat music of the Soviet Union that used black-market plates of skulls and ribcages to capture the beginnings of rock and roll. Producer: Tim Dee.

0401Extinctions2014113020141206 (R4)

Paul Farley listens to old and new poetry of extinction.

Paul Farley listens to old and new poetry of extinction one hundred years after the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon. With poems from Fleur Adcock, Sean O'Brien, W.S. Merwin and David Harsent and the sounds of X-ray audio, the samizdat music of the Soviet Union that used black-market plates of skulls and ribcages to capture the beginnings of rock and roll. Producer: Tim Dee.

0402The Knowledge2014120720141213 (R4)

Paul Farley does the Knowledge, collecting taxi poems and sounds from all over London.

Paul Farley does the Knowledge, collecting taxi poems and sounds from all over London. Including poems by John Challis, Sean O'Brien and David Harsent and songs, prose texts and other performances from a recent series of art events held in the capital's surviving cabbies shelters. Producer: Tim Dee.

0403Michael Donaghy2014121420141220 (R4)

Paul Farley remembers the poet Michael Donaghy with other poets, ten years after his death

Paul Farley remembers the poet Michael Donaghy with other poets ten years after his death. Greta Stoddart, Sean O'Brien and Don Paterson read his poems and read poems of their own that speak to their memory of the poet and teacher. Producer: Tim Dee.

0404 LASTSolsticial20141221

Paul Farley introduces a new poem called Tithonus for the year's midnight from Alice Oswald - a poem which lasts as long as dawn - and with music from nykelharpist Griselda Sanderson. Producer: Tim Dee

0501Clive James20150802

talks to Paul Farley and reads his new staring-death-in-the-face poems. The Echo Chamber returns with new poems on the old subjects. Clive James has been a poet throughout his life as well as a literary critic, memoirist and television pundit. He didn't expect to be alive to see his new collection Sentenced to Life after illness and old age took him in their grip a couple of years ago. But, against the odds, he's still with us. And his recent poems are extraordinarily clear-eyed and fearlessly moving. He manages to be light throughout whilst remaining, as one critic put it, deadly serious. Producer: Tim Dee.

0502Liz Berry and Helen Mort20150809

0502Liz Berry And Helen Mort2015080920150815 (R4)

Two of the most striking and original first poetry collections in the last few years have been Division Street by Helen Mort and Black Country by Liz Berry. Both books are steeped in the places they were made in: West Yorkshire and the West Midlands. With Paul Farley for The Echo Chamber both poets have travelled towards one another and taken some poems back to their source. Helen Mort in the Peaks, on Sheffield streets, and then the memorably twisted spire of the church in Chesterfield. Liz Berry in a Black Country pigeon loft, an echoing canal tunnel and an ancient geological treasure trove. The heart of England is remade in these new poems. The poets end up half way between one anothers' places in a hotel that W. H. Auden (great poet of the unloved world) said served the best martinis in the land. Producer: Tim Dee.

0502Liz Berry And Helen Mort20150809

Two of the most striking and original first poetry collections in the last few years have been Division Street by Helen Mort and Black Country by Liz Berry. Both books are steeped in the places they were made in: West Yorkshire and the West Midlands. With Paul Farley for The Echo Chamber both poets have travelled towards one another and taken some poems back to their source. Helen Mort in the Peaks, on Sheffield streets, and then the memorably twisted spire of the church in Chesterfield. Liz Berry in a Black Country pigeon loft, an echoing canal tunnel and an ancient geological treasure trove. The heart of England is remade in these new poems. The poets end up half way between one anothers' places in a hotel that W. H. Auden (great poet of the unloved world) said served the best martinis in the land. Producer: Tim Dee.

0503Mark Doty And Andrew Mcmillan2015081620150822 (R4)

Paul Farley listens for ghosts and feels for flesh with Mark Doty and Andrew McMillan.

Paul Farley listens for ghosts and feels for flesh in the new poems of Mark Doty and Andrew McMillan. Among the subjects are baby mammoths and men working on their muscles in gyms. The body and absent bodies bring a veteran American poet and a young newcomer together across the Atlantic. Prodcuer: Tim Dee.

0504Tony Harrison2015082320150829 (R4)

Paul Farley hears Tony Harrison read his new poem Polygons.

Paul Farley hears Tony Harrison read a new long poem called Polygons - a poem set in Delphi in Greece, that richly draws together many of the poetic preoccupations of his life: Greek tragedy, the wild landscapes of ancient human sacred sites, the deaths and passing of poetic mates, and the comforts of water and of wine. Producer: Tim Dee.

06James Fenton20151213

Paul Farley meets the poet James Fenton who has, in his varied life, also been a war reporter, a gardener and and a lyricist. He has just received the 2015 Pen Pinter prize for his writing. His poems of exile, emigration and conflict written over forty years of travelling into assorted bad lands remain extraordinarily telling documents. Producer: Tim Dee.

06Kathleen Jamie20160103

06Kathleen Jamie2016010320160109 (R4)

2014 was a momentous year in Scotland. The poet Kathleen Jamie decided to keep a poetic diary and wrote a poem each week. The poems have just been published in a collection called The Bonniest Companie. She shares some of them with Paul Farley. Producer: Tim Dee.

06Kathleen Jamie20160103

2014 was a momentous year in Scotland. The poet Kathleen Jamie decided to keep a poetic diary and wrote a poem each week. The poems have just been published in a collection called The Bonniest Companie. She shares some of them with Paul Farley. Producer: Tim Dee.

06Sam Riviere and Emily Berry20151227

06Sam Riviere And Emily Berry2015122720160102 (R4)

Paul Farley hears new poems from two new poets, Sam Riviere and Emily Berry. Producer: Tim Dee.

06Sam Riviere And Emily Berry20151227

Paul Farley hears new poems from two new poets, Sam Riviere and Emily Berry. Producer: Tim Dee.

06Wendy Cope And Lachlan Mackinnon20151220
06Wendy Cope And Lachlan Mackinnon20151220

Paul Farley hears new poems from Wendy Cope and Lachlan Mackinnon at their home in Ely. Since 'Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis', her first collection, was published in 1986, Wendy Cope has been among the most popular of poets in Britain and her poems have lent ideas to the national imagination. Her husband, Lachlan Mackinnon, has published four highly regarded collections too and is a great poet of love and loss as well as being as funny as his wife. Producer: Tim Dee