Speedway & Swan Episode 26: Corina Copp

Poet and playwright Corina Copp joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode of “painted poetry,” fast as New York, with “a musical brightness and a gesture outward.” Nimble new poems by Feliz Lucia Molina, Simone White, Robert Ostrom, and Miles Champion, and—from deeper in the stacks—Jean Day, Friederike Mayröcker, Stephen Rodefer, Denise Riley, and the late, beloved Ted Greenwald. Too, a 1972 recording of Philip Whalen reading his 1958 poem "If You're So Smart Why Ain't You Rich."

With musical selections by The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Can, Gene Pitney, Renee Geyer, and more.


Jean Day | from “Works and Days, or Industry and Idleness,” Daydream. Belladonna, 2008.

Stephen Rodefer | “Codex,” from Four Lectures (1982), Call It Thought. Carcanet, 2008.

Feliz Lucia Molina | “Please Listen to I’ll Remember by Madonna While Eating a Salad at Denny’s or Sizzler While Reading This,” Crystal Marys. Scary Topiary Press, 2016.

Friederike Mayröcker | “our daughterssons in the paper handkerchiefs would now be thirty,” Raving Language: Selected Poems, 1946-2005. Carcanet, 2008.

Simone White | “They Say Can Fill Me Up with a Baby,” Of Being Dispersed, Futurepoem, 2016.

Ted Greenwald | “Whiff,” Common Sense. L Publications, 1978.

Philip Whalen | “If You’re So Smart, Why Ain’t You Rich?” Dial a Poem (vinyl record, produced by Jean Giorno, 1972) http://ubuweb.com.

Denise Riley | “A Misremembered Lyric,” Mop Mop Georgette. Reality Street Editions, 1993.

Robert Ostrom | “In Pine Barrens,” Ritual and Bit. Saturnalia Books, 2016.

Miles Champion | “Lolita in Wonderland,” How to Laugh. Adventures in Poetry, 2014.


The FCC made me do it x4:

The uncensored line in Stephen Rodefer’s “Codex” reads: “Ripeness is all right but the lip is a couplet and nobody knows fuck-all about it.”

And the censored passage in Feliz Lucia Molina’s poem ought to read: “With its own fan page your life has become / so full of text and battery, so full // of shit / and endless things // to agree and disagree with / as you sit alone, wherever you are // gliding up and down / the Alps of Social News”

Simone White, from “They Say They Can Fill Me Up with a Baby”: “Something of boxwood and piss must be true / or all childhood was a lie / in the name of a bowdlerized peace, a black peace.”

Miles Champion, from “Lolita in Wonderland”: “There’s ample space for a negative image but it’s quiet and uptight, like when a self-made reclining nude said fuck you to Picasso.”


Errata to redress wrongs of our own making:

Common Sense (1978) was Ted Greenwald’s eleventh (or by some counts twelfth) book, certainly not his first.

Max Ernst lived in Sedona with Dorothea Tanning, not Leonora Carrington.


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.