John Ashbery reads Charles Simic and chats with Paul Muldoon: New Yorker “Poetry Podcast”

John Ashbery and Charles Simic (2009)

Yesterday, the New Yorker posted its most recent “Poetry Podcast,” a new series hosted by poetry editor Paul Muldoon.  As Muldoon explained it in December, “Each podcast consists of a conversation between myself and a guest poet. In each, the guest reads not only a poem of hers that has appeared in The New Yorker but also introduces, and reads, a poem by another contributor to the magazine that she particularly admires.”

This latest installment features John Ashbery, who chooses to read and discuss “The Lunatic,” a short poem by Charles Simic.  He and Muldoon engage in a brief, interesting chat about the poem and what qualities drew Ashbery to it, as well as the fascination with everyday language that both Simic and Ashbery share.  Then Ashbery reads and briefly discusses his own poem, “Gravy for the Prisoners,” which appeared a few months ago in the New Yorker (and which I posted about here).

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