Speedway & Swan Episode 13: Chris Nealon

Poet and scholar Chris Nealon joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode that features poetry conjoining contradictory affect—rage and tenderness, or gratitude and independence, stridency and caprice. Poems by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Tory Dent, Peter Culley, Roger Reeves, Sandra Simonds, Jasmine Gibson, Jean Valentine, and James Schuyler, and featuring a voca recording from an April 2005 Michel Deguy reading in Tucson. With musical selections by The Tough Alliance, Bill Withers, Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou, Punch Brothers, The Morning Benders, and more.

Roger Reeves | “According to Scholars, Everything” King Me. Copper Canyon Press, 2013.

James Schuyler | “A Stone Knife,” Selected Poems. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

James Schuyler | “Freely Espousing,” Selected Poems. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Sandra Simonds | “Poem for Landlords” Steal It Back. Saturnalia, 2015.

Peter Culley | “The Book of Hugh,” The Capilano Review, vol 2, 17-18, 1996.

Tory Dent | “Poem for a Poem,” Collected Poems. Sheep Meadow Press, 2015.

Jasmine Gibson | “Henrietta Lacks,” Drapetomania. Commune Editions, 2015.

Michel Deguy | “Passim,” tr. Clayton Eshelman. voca recorded reading, April 11, 2005. University of Arizona Poetry Center.

Jean Valentine | “Song,” Shirt in Heaven. Copper Canyon Press, 2015.

Pier Paolo Pasolini | “The Day of My Death,” Roman Poems. tr. Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Francesca Valente. City Lights Press, 2001.


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. 

Each show also features 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 will archive 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. A poetry editor of Fence, he teaches creative writing at the University of Arizona and runs the downtown Tucson reading series Intermezzo. Contact: speedwayandswan@gmail.com.