Speedway & Swan Episode 6: Tyler Meier

University of Arizona Poetry Center Executive Director Tyler Meier joins host Brian Blanchfield for an hour of poetry on the radio that, among other things, posits what might constitute a monsoon poetics (buildup, wait, release if it so pleases); listens in on elegies by and for writers and artists we miss; and samples the early work of Bernadette Mayer now collected in a new edition from Station Hill Press. Also featured are James Tate, Prageeta Sharma, Cecily Parks, Jena Osman, Dean Young, Carl Phillips, G.C. Waldrep, George Oppen, and W.B. Yeats. Special Voca archival performance by Anne Carson from 2001.

Balanced and buoyed with music by Joe Bataan, 16 Horsepower, The Three Degrees, José Gonzales, Betty Harris, and more.

William Butler Yeats | “Sailing to Byzantium,” The Tower, 1928.

George Oppen | “Longitude, Latitude,” Selected Poems. New Directions, 2002.

Jena Osman | “Hale v. Henkel,” Corporate Relations. Burning Deck, 2014.

Cecily Parks | “Self-Portrait as Rain Gauge,” Field Folly Snow. Virginia Quarterly Review Press, 2008.

Carl Phillips | “After the Thunder, Before the Rain.” Double Shadow, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.

GC Waldrep| “Transubstantiation Rag.” Disclamor, BOA Editions, 2007.

Bernadette Mayer | “Misnamed My Study,” Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Collected Early Books of Bernadette Mayer. Barrytown/Station Hill Press, 2015.

Anne Carson | “Short Talk on Homo Sapiens,” and “Short Talk on Housing.” voca archive selection: Reading, The University of Arizona Poetry Center, Tucson, February, 2001.

Prageeta Sharma | “Exhaustion From Those Forms Within,” Undergloom. Fence Books, 2013.

James Tate | “The Lost Pilot,” The Lost Pilot, Harper Collins, 1967.

Dean Young | “How I Get My Ideas,” 31 Poems, 1988-2008. Forklift, Ink., 2009.

The FCC made me do it: Turns out it’s not worth the risk of repeating three times the phrase “denying orgasm,” which Bernadette Mayer ascribes to both the patrician name and the crouch of longtime MLB catcher Carlton Fisk in her poem “Carlton Fisk Is My Ideal.” Check it out anyhow, now collected in Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Collected Early Books of Bernadette Mayer.


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.