Speedway & Swan Episode 22: Richard Siken

Poet Richard Siken joins host Brian Blanchfield, curating an episode of new and recent poetry, including a portfolio of work that is inflected by conflict and war. Poems by Rick Barot, Camille Rankine, John Koethe, Ocean Vuong, Wislawa Szymborska, Jamaal May, Jacqueline Waters, Phil Estes, James Allen Hall, and C. D. Wright.  


With musical selections by Major Lance, E.S.G., Arthur Russell, Bobby Konders & the Massive Sound, Marshall Crenshaw, and more.


Wislawa Szymborska | “The Joy of Writing,” tr. Clare Cavanagh from No End of Fun, 1967. Poems New and Collected. Mariner Books, 2000.


John Koethe | “The Long Dissolve,” The Swimmer. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2016.


Rick Barot | “The Wooden Overcoat,” Chord. Sarabande Books, 2015.


Jamaal May | “Pomegranate Means Grenade,” Hum, Alice James Books, 2013.


C. D. Wright | “What Do You Think’s In the Shed?,” The Oxford American, Winter, 2016.


Phil Estes | “Everything is Alright,” High Life, Horse Less Press, 2016.


James Allen Hall | “A Fact Which Occurred in America,Now You’re the Enemy. University of Arkansas Press, 2008.


Jacqueline Waters | “A Ploy,” One Sleeps and the Other Doesn’t, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011.


Camille Rankine | “Symptoms of Doctrine,” Incorrect Merciful Impulses. Copper Canyon Press, 2015.


Ocean Vuong | “Threshold,” Night Sky With Exit Wounds. Copper Canyon Press, 2016.


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 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. HIs third book, Proxies: Essays Near Knowing, was the winner of a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. 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.