Poetry Extra

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Episodes

TitleRepeatedComments
A Notebook On Aimă© Că©saire20160417 (BBC7)
20160418 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces A Notebook on Aimé Césaire, a portrait of Martinique's famous son.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with 'A Notebook on Aime Cesaire'

When poet and politician Aimé Césaire died at the age of 94 in 2008, it robbed the Caribbean island of Martinique of its most articulate and powerful voice. He was a prolific writer - of poetry, plays and essays - and served as Mayor of Martinique's capital Fort-de-France for over 50 years, as well as representing Martinique in the French National Assembly for 45 years. Aimé Césaire dedicated his life, in print and in public, to his people and his island.

Featuring Christian Lapousiniere, director of the CĂ©saire Study and Research Centre, filmmaker Euzhan Palcy, anthropologists Richard and Sally Price, and Dominique Taffin, director of the Martinique National Archive.

Includes readings by John Norton.

Producer: Martin Williams

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.

Cold War Poet20160508 (BBC7)
20160509 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra on how Dylan Thomas' poetry sustained a generation of East Germans.

Made for 4 Extra. Daljit Nagra introduces Cold War Poet, exploring how Dylan Thomas' poetry sustained a generation of East Germans. From October 2014.

Crazy For Love - Layla And The Mad Poet20160515 (BBC7)
20160516 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces Crazy for Love, one of the greatest Middle East love stories.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with 'Crazy for Love - Layla and the Mad Poet'.

The inspiration for Eric Clapton's seminal pop song, 'Layla and Majnun' is said to be the most beautiful poem in the Arab world and beyond.

Pre-empting Romeo and Juliet by centuries, Layla and Majnun is the classic Middle East love story. Sitting at the heart of pre-Islamic Arab culture, its message is universal and it has since crossed borders and transcended language barriers even spreading as far as India and Turkey.

Based on a tale of thwarted love and poetry sent on the wind, Anthony Sattin tells the tale of its creator - Majnun - whose name is the word for 'mad' or 'crazy' in Arabic and tries to find out if he, or the object of his love, were real or imagined, fact or fiction.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2010.

David Walliams On Philip Larkin20160529 (BBC7)
20160530 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces David Walliams on Philip Larkin.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with David Walliams on Philip Larkin.

Actor David Walliams is a great admirer of Philip Larkin's poetry, and to mark the 25th anniversary of the poet's death, he talked to former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, who wrote a widely acclaimed biography of Larkin, about why he finds this poetry so appealing.

Walliams chooses a selection of the poems he likes best, some well-known and some far less so, to explore the central themes that recur throughout Larkin's work. It's a fascinating three-way meeting of minds: the actor, the biographer and the poet they both admire.

The poems are read by Philip Larkin, Tom Courtenay and Patrick Romer.

Producer: Sara Davies

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2010.

Ko Un - The People's Poet Of Korea20160403 (BBC7)
20160404 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra looks abroad for inspiration and introduces Ko Un - People's Poet of Korea.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with 'Ko Un - The People's Poet of Korea'

In South Korea, former Zen monk Ko Un is revered as the people's poet. To mark his 80th birthday, Mike Greenwood explored his prolific output, in particular his epic masterwork, Ten Thousand Lives (Maninbo), in which he has written a poem about everyone he has ever met. Conceived when he was imprisoned in the 1980s for rebelling against the military dictatorships then controlling South Korea, Maninbo has been published in 30 volumes in Korean. Now, for the first time, the first 10 volumes have been translated into English.

Producer: Eve Streeter

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in 2013.

Lost Voices - Dom Moraes20160228 (BBC7)
20160229 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces Lost Voices featuring Indian poet Dom Moraes.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

'Lost Voices' features Dom Moraes - who arrived in 1950s Soho as an exotic novelty, a beautiful Indian-born poet with a classical English education. He quickly found an outrageous and untameable muse, Henrietta. Their married life together was stormy and ended with Dom literally walking out to buy a packet of cigarettes and moving back to India.

When Brian Patten met him and his third wife there in the mid-1980s, Dom had achieved a kind of peace, but in truth he seemed to be a man who was never quite at home either in India or England. Brian tells Dom's story and presents a selection of his poetry.

Producer: Christine Hall

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2009.

Lost Voices - Rosemary Tonks20160306 (BBC7)
20160307 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces Lost Voices featuring Rosemary Tonks.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

'Lost Voices' features Rosemary Tonks. For a female poet in the 1960s Rosemary Tonks was unusually candid about adventures in steamy cafes and illicit hotel bedrooms. She published two extraordinary books of poetry which were heavily influenced by the eroticism of 19th century French poets. And then she fell silent. By the end of the 1970s, she'd disappeared from public life. Brian Patten talks to some other poets about Tonks's writing and asks if it has survived the 1960s. Then, right at the end of the programme, he receives some new information.

Producer: Christine Hall

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2009.

Lost Voices - Wh Davies20160221 (BBC7)
20160222 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces Lost Voices featuring the travelling, nature-loving poet WH Davies

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

'Lost Voices' features WH Davies - a very successful poet in the early 20th century, but now remembered, if at all, for one poem - What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. But as Brian Patten explains, Davies lived an amazing life as a traveller, a tramp, a dreamer and a lover of the natural world. All this is reflected in his poetry which was admired at the time by George Bernard Shaw and Edward Thomas and which later inspired the 15 year old Brian Patten to write.

Producer: Christine Hall

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2009.

Paul Celan In Mapesbury Road20160522 (BBC7)
20160523 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces Paul Celan in Mapesbury Road - Europe's master elegist.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with 'Paul Celan in Mapesbury Road'.

What brought one of the most compelling modern European poets to a perfectly ordinary street in North London? Who did he visit there? And what made him write a poem about the experience? Writer Toby Litt investigates this most improbable of brief encounters between Paul Celan, the master elegist of 20th century Jewish experience and Britain at the end of the Sixties.

Producer: Zahid Warley

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2010.

Poetry Of History - Di Great Insohreckshan20151115 (BBC7)
20151116 (BBC7)

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'The Poetry of History' written in the aftermath of great historic events, Jonathan Bate brings us close to our own times and the Brixton riots of 1981. He talks to Linton Kwesi Johnson whose poem Di Great Insohreckshan now stands alongside TV and radio archive as a primary source, helping future generations understand the cultural and political upheaval that spilt onto the streets of south London in April 1981.

Producer: Tom Alban

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2007.

Linton Kwesi Johnson's poem explains Brixton's cultural and political upheaval of 1981.

Jonathan Bate talks to Linton Kwesi Johnson, whose poem explains Brixton's cultural and political upheaval of April 1981.

Poetry Please: Altered States20151129 (BBC7)
20151130 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces an edition featuring poetry to take you into altered states.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'Poetry Please', Roger McGough presents poetry to take you into altered states, reveries and waking dreams - including Tennyson's strange and magical Lotus-Eaters and Coleridge's Kubla Khan.

The readers are Tim Pigott-Smith and Indira Varma.

Producer: Beth O'Dea

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015.

Poetry Please: Goblin Market20151122 (BBC7)
20151123 (BBC7)

An edition featuring works by Christina Rossetti, including Goblin Market.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'Poetry Please' Roger McGough features the poems of Christina Rossetti. Shirley Henderson gives a beguiling rendition of what is arguably Rossetti's most famous poem 'Goblin Market', published in 1862. It's a heady fairy tale about temptation involving two sisters, Laura and Lizzie. The poem has a sexual undertone and a menacing quality that lurks among the persistent pleas of the fruit selling Goblin men to 'come buy, come buy.' Visits to your greengrocer may never be the same again.

There is also a reading of another of Rossetti's much requested and moving poems 'Remember,' as well as a lesser known poem of pilgrimage, 'Up-hill'.

Producer: Sarah Langan

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

Poetry Please: The Ballad Of Reading Gaol20151206 (BBC7)
20151207 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces an edition featuring Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'Poetry Please', Roger McGough introduces Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol, read by Alex Jennings.

In May 1897 Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol. That month he began to write The Ballad of Reading Gaol - to express his horror and outrage at what he had witnessed during his years in prison. The poem memorialises a fellow prisoner, who was hanged for murder in 1896.

Wilde wrote it in exile in Dieppe, then Naples. He finished it in October that same year, and it was published the following year, 1898. The author's name was given simply as C. 3. 3., Wilde's number in Reading Gaol, his cell being the third on the third floor of Block C.

Producer Beth O'Dea

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2012.

Poetry Please: The Eve Of St Agnes20151213 (BBC7)
20151214 (BBC7)

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'Poetry Please', Roger McGough introduces Keats's erotic and magical poem The Eve of St Agnes read by actress Lindsay Duncan.

January 20th is the Eve of St Agnes.

Producer Beth O'Dea

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2009.

Daljit Nagra introduces Lindsay Duncan reading Keats's erotic and magical poem.

4 Extra Debut. Daljit Nagra introduces Poetry Please in which actress Lindsay Duncan reads Keats's erotic and magical poem The Eve of St Agnes. Presented by Roger McGough.

Radio Heaney20160410 (BBC7)
20160411 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces the County Derry poet Seamus Heaney and his love for the wireless.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

'Radio Heaney' is a compilation of many of the poet's greatest radio moments.

In his acceptance speech as newly-anointed Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney recalled how vital a role the wireless had played in his early life growing up on a farm in Mossbawn Co. Derry. On the radio, he heard dispatches from the front line during the Second World War, was gripped by Dick Barton Special Agent and revelled in the musicality of the Shipping Forecast.

As an up and coming published poet, Heaney wrote and presented many programmes for schools in Northern Ireland, exploring and celebrating fellow writers and the local landscape. He also made for a compelling contributor and interviewee to any discussion on the purpose of poetry and was ultimately crowned with the medium's greatest accolade, an invitation to Radio 4's Desert Island.

Presented by John Toal.

Producer: Owen McFadden

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in 2014.

Rilke's Sonnets To Orpheus - Dancing The Orange20160424 (BBC7)
20160425 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces the story of a great modern masterpiece.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive with Rainer Maria Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus - Dancing the Orange.

Leading us through the nuances of their meaning, Karen Leeder alerts us to the beauty and power

of one of the great modernist works of literature of 1922.

After a lifetime wandering about Europe Rilke was at last able to settle when his patron, Werner Reinhart, bought the Château de Muzot in the Swiss Valais so that he could live there, and write. His aim was to complete his monumental work, 'The Duino Elegies'. But this plan was interrupted in February when, 'completely unexpected' the 'Sonnets to Orpheus' broke upon him'. Within three weeks he had completed 55 poems, of great variety, but all sonnets.

Rilke didn't like English and never visited Britain. Yet the 'Sonnets to Orpheus' have fascinated English language readers and writers ever since they appeared - with translations every decade.

With writers Martyn Crucefix and Don Paterson, plus German scholar and poet Rüdiger Görner, Karen Leeder teases out the major issues the poems address; death, love and, the creation and role of poetry - for Rilke a song of praise for life, and even death, in a creation without God, through which meaning is accomplished.

Karen visits the Château de Muzot and with Nanni Reinhart, who lives there now, to considers its impact on the composition of the poems.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.

The Echo Chamber - Clive James20160103 (BBC7)
20160104 (BBC7)

Clive James reads his staring-death-in-the-face poems with Paul Farley.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'The Echo Chamber', Clive James talks to Paul Farley and reads his staring-death-in-the-face poems.

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 for this collection, 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.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015.

The Echo Chamber - Middle Age20151227 (BBC7)
20151228 (BBC7)

Are the middle years tough for poets? With poems from Muldoon and Kathleen Jamie.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'The Echo Chamber', Paul Farley asks whether the middle years are tough for poets. With Paul Muldoon, Kathleen Jamie and Hugo Williams.

Producer: Tim Dee.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.

The Echo Chamber - Solsticial20160117 (BBC7)
20160118 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces The Echo Chamber with Alice Oswald's poem 'Tithonus'.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'The Echo Chamber', Paul Farley introduces a poem called Tithonus for the year's midnight from Alice Oswald - a poem which lasts as long as dawn - plus music from nykelharpist Griselda Sanderson.

Producer: Tim Dee.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

The Echo Chamber - The Knowledge20151220 (BBC7)
20151221 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces The Echo Chamber in which Paul Farley does the Knowledge.

Daljit Nagra introduces The Echo Chamber in which Paul Farley does the Knowledge, collecting taxi poems and sounds from all over London.

The Echo Chamber - The Poet, The Poem, And The Savannah20160110 (BBC7)
20160111 (BBC7)

Glyn Maxwell, poet and author of On Poetry, discusses his work. Presented by Paul Farley.

Daljit Nagra introduces The Echo Chamber, with Glyn Maxwell, poet and author of On Poetry, discussing his work. Presented by Paul Farley.

Walking With Whitman20160327 (BBC7)
20160328 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces the father of American Literature, Walt Whitman.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

'Walking With Whitman' features the father of American Literature who blew away the cobwebs of dusty imitation.

The Lancashire Moors are the unlikely setting for a celebration of the acclaimed poet, Walt Whitman. Every year Whitman's devotees gather for the annual Whitman Walk, to recite his works and share from the loving cup. Stuart Maconie joins this happy band of walkers and Whitmanites to discover why the American, who never visited this northern mill town, is still celebrated around Bolton some 120 years later.

Producer: Russell Crewe

A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2009.

We Real Cool - The Poetry Of Gwendolyn Brooks20160501 (BBC7)
20160502 (BBC7)

The poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks with the voices of her friends and family.

4 Extra Debut. Daljit Nagra introduces We Real Cool: The poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks with the voices of her friends and family. From April 2015.

With Great Pleasure - Don Paterson20160124 (BBC7)
20160125 (BBC7)

Daljit Nagra introduces 'With Great Pleasure' from the Summer 2006 Ledbury Poetry Festival

Daljit Nagra introduces 'With Great Pleasure' from the Summer 2006 Ledbury Poetry Festival with poet-in-residence Don Paterson.

With Great Pleasure - Jo Shapcott20160131 (BBC7)
20160201 (BBC7)

Poet Jo Shapcott's favourite literature read by Christian Rodska and Mark Meadows.

BBC Radio 4's Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra revisits the BBC's radio poetry archive.

In 'With Great Pleasure' from the 2003 Ledbury Poetry Festival, Jo Shapcott presents some of her literary favourites read for her by Christian Rodska and Mark Meadows.

Her choices range from medieval poem Piers Plowman to war poet Ivor Gurney via Galileo, Emily Dickinson and the ascent of Kilimanjaro.

Producer: Viv Beeby

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2003.

With Great Pleasure - Les Murray20160214 (BBC7)
20160215 (BBC7)

Les Murray's pick of prose and poetry read by Sean Barrett and Sally Cookson.

4 Extra Debut. Daljit Nagra introduces 'With Great Pleasure'. Les Murray's pick of prose and poetry read by Sean Barrett and Sally Cookson.

With Great Pleasure - Sean O'brien20160207 (BBC7)
20160208 (BBC7)

Sean O'Brien's pick of prose and poetry read by Julia Watson and Deka Walmsley.

4 Extra Debut. Daljit Nagra introduces 'With Great Pleasure'. Sean O'Brien's pick of prose and poetry read by Julia Watson and Deka Walmsley.