The KUSP Poetry Show for February 9, 2014 began and ended with selected readings by host Dennis Morton. Dennis read several poems from the latest issue of Poetry (January 2014). Following were several selections from an anthology titled Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life, edited and introduced by Robert Hass (1998, out of print).
Following the opening segment, we hear the latest recording sent to us from the University of Leicester (UK) by our occasional British correspondent Gwynne Harries. Regular followers know that Gwynne has accumulated quite a catalog of contributions to the Poetry Show. This time, it’s an interview with PhD candidate and poet Kris Siefken.
Mr. Siefken’s area of study is Victorian-era writing, including both in the UK and in the US. In connection with those studies, he has traveled quite a bit in the US. Within that context, several poems by American writers are read and discussed, including a relatively contemporary work by Martin Espada titled My Father as a Guitar.
It’s interesting for an American audience to hear this discussion, from a British perspective, of the poetry of Espada – a Puerto-Rican American living in New York. It’s a demonstration, as if another is needed, of poetry’s ability to transcend differences of geography, history, culture and life experience.
Kris also reads a couple of his own poems, published in the University of Leicester English department journal (vol. 53, 2004), and one by a Scottish poet named John Burnside.
Note: To find past Poetry Show contributions by Gwynne Harries, go to the “Guest Poet Listing” page.