Speedway and Swan Episode 31: Mathias Svalina

Poet and Dream Delivery Service founder Mathias Svalina joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode of poetry at thresholds, summoning courage, bearing witness, crossing in the dark. Featuring poetry by Arthur Sze, Natalie Scenters-Zapica, Lucille Clifton, Arthur Rimbaud, Marianne Boruch, Monica Youn, Audre Lorde, Kim Sowol, Idea Vilariño, Larry Levis, Jana Prikryl, and Joy Harjo.

With musical selections by Little Richard, Gal Costa, Throwing Muses, The Melvins, Timi Yuro, and more.



Kim Sowol | “Optimism,” tr. David McCann, Azaleas. Columbia University Press, 2007.

Audre Lorde | “Separation” New York Head Shop and Museum. Broadside Press, 1975.

Monica Youn | “Interrogation of the Hanged Man” and “Portrait of a Hanged Woman” Blackacre. Graywolf Press, 2016.

Natalie Scenters-Zapica | “The City Is a Body Swallowed,” The Verging Cities. The Center for Literary Publishing, 2015.

Lucille Clifton | Untitled [“each morning I pull myself”], The Book of Light, Copper Canyon Press, 1992.

Arthur Sze | from “Before Completion,” The Redshifting Web. Copper Canyon Press, 1998.

Arthur Rimbaud | “The Seekers of Lice,” tr. Wallace Fowlie. Complete Works of Arthur Ribaud. University of Chicago Press, 1966.

Marianne Boruch | from “When I Think About the First Pope to Quit,” Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing. Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

Joy Harjo| “Song for the Deer and Myself to Return on,” In Mad Love and War. Wesleyan University Press, 1990.

Larry Levis | “The Threshold of the Oblivious Blossoming,” The Darkening Trapeze. Graywolf Press, 2016.

Jana Prikryl | “Argus, or Fear of Flying,” The After Party. Tim Duggan Books, 2016.

Idea Vilariño | “The Witness,” tr. Unknown. Poesia Completa. Lumen, 2008.

SPEEDWAY & SWAN is a fortnightly, one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections.  Culling from the exceptional libraries of his partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, creator and host Brian Blanchfield is joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brings to the hour a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. 

Most episodes also feature a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963. SPEEDWAY & SWAN represents a partnership between the Poetry Center, which archives the show in listenable format with an annotated playlist, and KXCI, where the show streams live.   

Since 1983, KXCI 91.3 FM has been committed to connecting Tucson and Southern Arizona to one another and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming.

Brian Blanchfield is a poet and writer whose two books of poetry, Not Even Then and A Several World, have won him The James Laughlin Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, and recognition as longlist finalist for the National Book Award. His third book, Proxies: Essays Near Knowing, was the winner of a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. Contact: speedwayandswan@gmail.com.