Speedway & Swan Episode 20: Samuel Ace

Poet and photographer Samuel Ace joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode of poetry that spans decades of queer world-making in poetry and samples new poetry re-making myth, sifting ideas of paradise. Featuring work by Trace Peterson, Judy Grahn, Ari Banias, Eileen Myles, Ocean Vuong, John Wieners, Cynthia Cruz, Stephen Kuusisto, and Nick Twemlow—and a recording of Danez Smith reading his own work.

With musical selections by The Annuals, The Tough Alliance, Bill Withers, Superchunk, and more.

Trace Peterson | “Everybody Is a Little Trans,” PEN Poetry Series, 2016.

Nick Twemlow | “Looking at Schnabel’s ‘The Death of Fashion’ with My Son.” Lana Turner #7, 2015.

Stephen Kuusisto | from Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening. WW Norton, 2016.

Danez Smith | from “summer, somewhere,” The Poetry Foundation, from Poetry, January, 2016.

John Wieners | “My Mother,” Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Times, ed. Carl Morse and Joan Larkin. St Martin’s Press, 1988.

Ocean Vuong | “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong,” Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

Eileen Myles | “The Sad Thing Is,” I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems. Ecco, 2015.

Judy Grahn | “Nadine, Resting on Her Neighbor’s Stoop,” from “The Common Woman,” Edward the Dyke and Other Poems, The Women’s Press Collective, 1971.

Cynthia Cruz | “The Summon,” How the End Begins. Four Way Books, 2016.

Ari Banias | “Solve for X,” Anybody. WW Norton, 2016.

The FCC made me do it: Apologies to Nick Twemlow for omitting a few words from his poem. The correct, uncensored passage in the middle of the poem is “& then David Salle / Went on to snort / The entire decade / Into his Rectum…”

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.