Speedway & Swan Episode 8: Karen Brennan

“Hart Crane called his parrot Attaboy,” begins a dicey little poem by the inimitable Stephen Rodefer, who passed away last week. In this episode, poet and fiction writer Karen Brennan joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode that finds itself concerned with conscious homages and re-do’s, avatars, repetition and replication, mantra, and satire. Here and there bumping up against something like grace. Presentations of work by Rodefer, Laura Riding, Cole Swensen, Cathy Wagner, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Marianne Boruch, Elaine Kahn, Thalia Field, Jean Valentine, and Frank O’ Hara. Closing with a recorded performance by Caroline Bergvall.

With musical selections by Timi Yuro, The Muffs, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Paolo Nutini, Inga Swearingen, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and more.

Frank O’Hara | “For Grace, After a Party,” The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara, University of California Press, 1995.

Laura Riding | “The Sad Boy,” A Selection of the Poems of Laura Riding. Persea Books, 1994.

Elaine Kahn | “Be a Friend,” Women in Public. City Lights Books, 2015.

Thalia Field and Abigail Lang | “Machine for What Counts,” A Prank of Georges. Essay Press, 2012.

Catherine Wagner | “Unclang,” Nervous Device, City Lights Books, 2012.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade | “The Time of Love,” Multitudinous Heart: the Selected Poems of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, tr. Richard Zenith. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015.

Jean Valentine | “Sex,” Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003. Wesleyan University Press, 2004.

Stephen Rodefer | “Hart Crane.” Call It Thought: Selected Poems. Carcanet, Press, 2008.

Marianne Boruch | “The Suffering of the Masters, Chekhov Wrote,” The Book of Hours. Copper Canyon Press, 2011.

Cole Swensen | “Here,” Try. University of Iowa Press, 1999.

Caroline Bergvall | from “Via” | Via: Poems, 1994-2004. Contemporary Poetic Research Centre. PennSound online archives.



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.