Speedway & Swan Episode 23: Christopher Nelson

Poet and editor Christopher Nelson joins host Brian Blanchfield, for an episode of poetry of solidarity and grief and queer life, sudden loss and “durable reveries.” New poems by Evan Kennedy, Matthew Olzmann, and Fred Moten, and work from deeper in the stacks by Jorie Graham, Julian T Brolaski, W.H. Auden, Carolyn Forché, and Forrest Gander. And an archival voca recording from 1978 by Marina Rivera.

With musical selections by Bred Mehldau, Sturgill Simpson, Julius Brockington & The Magic Force, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and more.

Matthew Olzmann | “Letter Beginning with Two Lines by Czeslaw Milosz,” Poem a Day. The Poetry Foundation: www.poets.org, January 5, 2016. 


Evan Kennedy | “Concerning the Nativity” and “Cantico del Sole,” The Sissies. Futurepoem Books. 2016.


Marina Rivera | “Even,” Reading at The University of Arizona Poetry Center, November 1, 1978. voca audio and video archive: http://voca.arizona.edu.


Jorie Graham | “Pieta,” The End of Beauty, Ecco Press, 1987.


Fred Moten | from “All School Crit,” The Service Porch, Letter Machine Editions, 2016.


W. H. Auden | “The Fall of Rome,” Another Time, Random House, 1940.


Julian T. Brolaski | “after a fashion antonioni,” Gowanus Atropolis. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011.


Carolyn Forché | “The Lightkeeper,” The New Yorker, May 3, 2010.


Forrest Gander | “Exhaustible Appearance,” Science & Steepleflower. New Directions Press, 1998.


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. 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.