Speedway & Swan Episode 4: Molly McKasson

Packing poetry in ziplocks. Memorize and seal.

Actor and former Tucson City Council Member Molly McKasson joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode that gathers around questions of God, godlessness, touch-wood devotionals, and practices of prayer. Selections from Marianne Moore, Theodore Roethke, Antonio Machado, Claudia Emerson, Tim Dlugos, Spencer Reece, others.

With music by Karen Dalton, Shirley Caesar (covering Dylan), Patty Griffin (covering Springsteen), Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingo, and more.

Antonio Machado | “Last Night As I Was Sleeping,” (tr. Robert Bly) Times Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado. Wesleyan University Press, 1983.

Claudia Emerson | “Common House Sparrows at JFK’s International Terminal,” The Opposite House. Louisiana State University Press, 2015.

Tim Dlugos | “Friends Service,” A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos. Nightboat Books, 2011.

Theodore Roethke | “Meditations of an Old Woman,” Collected Poems. Doubleday, 1961.

Marianne Moore | “What Are Years,” What Are Years. Macmillan, 1941.

Spencer Reece | “Hymn,” The Road to Emmaus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

Mary Oliver | “The Swan,” Winter Hours. Houghton-Mifflin, 1999.


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.