KUSP's Poetry Show

Stories of History and Poetry



On this week’s Poetry Show, host Dennis Morton and history geek (also broadcast engineer) Carey Casey discuss the big pileup at the intersection of poetry and history. The two writing forms are sometimes seen as representing mutually exclusive ways of looking at the world.

Not so, says Carey. They are merely two different ways of telling a story. History has often inspired poetry, and poets are often called on to commemorate historical events. Poets often use historical events as a starting point for an exploration of larger questions, as in The Right Foot of Juan de Oñate, by Martín Espada.


Katrina's sundial



On the other hand, sometimes poetry has an interesting history. One example is the poem Time Is, by Henry van Dyke. The 1901 composition, which has become a standard for memorial services, is also known by the title For Katrina’s Sundial, which is a clue to its unusual story.

For the Poetry Show’s second segment, Dennis takes note of (and reads selections from) five new poetry books published by Pitt Poetry Series:

  • New and Selected Poems, by Barbara Hamby
  • The Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog, by Alicia Ostriker
  • Tiger Heron, by Robin Becker
  • Bloom in Reverse, by Teresa Leo
  • Keeper, by Kasey Jueds


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