Radio 3’s Ian McMillan was on a special edition of the Radio Today podcast all about the station the other day. Turns out he’s a connoisseur of the podcast form. He gave Trevor Dann a list of his favourites:
John Cooper Clarke showed up as (usually unannounced) support at practically all the gigs I attended… you know… back then. Or at least that’s how I remember it. Everything about his ‘angry coathanger’ on-stage persona led me to believe that he’d be a pretty prickly guest on Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday show a couple of weeks ago but when it came to it he was happy and open-minded, full of praise for younger artists and obviously still learning, still working. Really inspiring. Here’s the interview:
Poetry’s a drug on the market. You can’t move the stuff. No one reads it any more. The people who learnt it by heart at school are all dead or demented. The poems they treasured – stirring, descriptive, romantic – have fallen out of fashion. Poetry book sales are at an all time low. Various last great hopes – Martians, punks, rappers (and Pam Ayres) – are all now history. Without State sponsorship poetry would already have disappeared. Poetry’s a lost cause.
The people at American poetry publisher Knopf (part of Bertelsmann’s Random House) are acting like it’s not dead at all, though. Doing as they should: marketing the sublime with a sense of fun and visible joy in the product. Quite undefeated by sales figures and shifting public sentiment, obviously. They’ve filled their web site with neat stuff (although I think it’s a bit thin on community despite some obvious opportunities). I like the ‘broadsides‘, which are little poetry posters you can print out and the eCards make perfect sense and there are plenty of poems, some of them read out by the poets themselves.