Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar
By Arji Manuelpillai
Arji's Poetry Pickle JarSep 05, 2023
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar X Poetry Book Society - a conversation with Daljit Nagra
Yes. Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar are so excited to collaborate with Poetry Book Society to bring you this exclusive interview with Daljit Nagra.
Daljit's book Indiom was the PBS Choice and so we invited him into the studio to talk about the process and journey. It's a brilliant little interview.
Daljit is as big as they come. He's had 4 poetry collections, all with Faber & Faber. He won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem and Best First Book, the South Bank Show Decibel Award and the Cholmondeley Award, and has been shortlisted for the Costa Prize and twice for the TS Eliot Prize.
Also... we have an exclusive deal from PBS to offer too -
To celebrate this special edition of Arji’s Poetry Pickle Jar, the Poetry Book Society is offering a FREE copy of INDIOM by Daljit Nagra to all new members. The Poetry Book Society is a unique poetry book club, founded by TS Eliot to share the joy of poetry. Every quarter their expert poet-selectors choose the very best new poetry books to deliver to members across the globe, alongside a lively quarterly poetry magazine. Annual Poetry Book Society Membership is the perfect way to keep up to date with all the latest poetry releases, discover new voices and inspirational world-class poetry. Join the Poetry Book Society today to start your year of poetry discovery and claim your freebie at www.poetrybooks.co.uk
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 40 - Rachel Long
What a pleasure it is to be here for the 40th Birthday. This week we have the brilliant Rachel Long. She is the author of My Darling from the Lions (Tin House, 2021; first published by Picador, 2020), a TIME Best Book of the Year also shortlisted for the 2020 Forward Prize for Best Collection. Long is the leader of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour.
Today she talks about a poem by Maggie Milner from her book called couplets.
You going to love this....
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 39 - Sarah Fletcher
an American-British writer. Her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, The White Review, and other publications. Today she speaks about a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt. It's old skool and super fun!
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep.38 - Emily Berry
I'm over the moon to have Emily Berry in the Pickle Jar. She is a poet, writer and editor living in London. She is the author of three books of poems published by Faber & Faber, Dear Boy (2013), Stranger, Baby (2017) and Unexhausted Time (2022), and a co-writer of The Breakfast Bible, a compendium of breakfasts.
Today we pickle a poem by Fran Lock called Melpomene. You can read it here - https://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/melpomene/
enjoy your meal!
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 37 - Jacqueline Saphra
Jacqueline is T.S. Eliot Prize nominated, award-winning poet, a playwright, editor, agitator, teacher and organiser. She is the author of ten stage plays, four chapbooks and five collections. Jacqueline is a keen performer and collaborator, working with composers, musicians, visual artists and other poets. She offers mentoring and teaches poetry in all kinds of settings including The Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. Her fifth collection Velvel’s Violin will be out from Nine Arches Press in July 2023.
Today she comes into the Pickle Jar to talk about a poem called 'Limits' By Raymond Carver.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 36 - Joe Carrick Varty
Today he talks about an awesome poem by Max Ritvo. The poem is called 'Poem to my dog, Monday, on night I accidentally ate meat.'
www.youtube.com/watch?v=geJeUXEQADo - here's a link to Max Ritvo reading it.
come get it!!
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 35 - Emma Jeremy
Today she brings in a firecracker of a poem by Katie O'Pray called 'in the dream'.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 34 - Dean Atta
Such a pleasure to invite educator, novelist and poet Dean Atta into the studio. He's had his second collection out with Nine Arches called There is (still) love here, he is a hugely successful Young Adults novelist with books including The Black Flamingo and Only on the Weekends. He is also a fantastic educator teaching young people across the country.
This is a wonderful resource for schools teachers as Dean brings in a poem called Acknowledgements by Keith Jarrett.
You going to love it!
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 33 - Meryl Pugh
Today she shares with us a poem by Mimi Khalvati called Overblown Roses. It's available online here - poetryarchive.org/poem/overblown-roses/
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 32 - Will Harris
Today he brings in a poem by Inger Christensen called Light. It is translated by Susanna Nied.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 31 - Liz Berry
Welcome to another series of Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar. Today we are joined by a wonderful woman and poet named Liz Berry. Her first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Liz's pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her new book The Home Child is just out and is GREAT.
Today she discusses one hell of a poem by James Wright. Here's the poem if you fancy a look - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46481/a-blessing
Pickle Jar Special - Improvised Explosive Device
As part of the research for my new book I interviewed a number of people affected by radicalisation, extremism and violence. These interviews were so interesting and fruitful. I'm very proud of my book and all journey of how it came into being. So I decided to put together a podcast episode to help unpack some of the poems and the process.
Please purchase the books here - https://tinylink.net/W8XYc
Please Note - In this episode I refer to an 'ethnological approach' - that should be 'ethnographic approach'. I'm always learning these terms and trying to grow.
Special thanks to Nicola Benyahia, Ivan Humble and Hilary Pilkington for all their love, support and kindness.
Pickle Jar Special - Wayne Holloway-Smith's Living room Series
A special today recorded live at Wayne Holloway-Smith's house. Three wonderful poets share new work many of which have never been heard before! Presenting the brilliant Will Harris, known for his brilliant book Rendang. Also, the great Richard Scott who's published with Faber his book Soho was a game changer. And finally, Lucy Mercer whose debut book Emblem is something to behold. All of these great poets here to entertain you for 15 brilliant minutes.
Will Harris - https://willjharris.com/poems
Richard Scott - http://richardscott.info/poetry.html
Lucy Mercer - https://lucy-mercer.com/writing
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 30 - Clare Pollard
The final episode of this series features the wonderful Clare Pollard. She's a poet with more than 6 books under her belt, she's a novelist, she's a critic, she has judged more competitions that I could count and she is an immensely lovely person. Such a pleasure to share this with you all.
Today Clare brings in the powerhouse Anne Sexton with a poem called The Truth the Dead Know. You can read the poem here.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 29 - Deryn Rees-Jones
Another instalment this time with a poet so bloody brilliant it feels almost pointless to give her an introduction. She was named as one of Mslexia’s ‘top ten’ women poets of the decade, as well as being chosen as one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation poets. Her book ‘Burying the Wren’ was published in 2012; it was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and a Times Literary Supplement book of the year.
She has such a wealth of knowledge, I can honestly say I learnt a lot in this session!
Today we talk about Wild Iris by Louise Gluck.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 28 - John McCullough
This week we are joined by award-winning poet John McCullough whose poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Poetry London and Best British Poetry. His first collection The Frost Fairs (Salt, 2011) won the Polari First Book Prize and was Book of the Year for The Independent and The Poetry School. His last collection Reckless Paper Birds was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. Finally he has his new collection called Panic Response out with Penned in the Margins.
Today he gives us a poem by the brilliant Caroline Bird. We talk space, pauses and line-breaks in this fearless breakdown of an absolute belter.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep27 - Paula Harris
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep. 26 - Fran Lock
So excited to do this episode. Fran Lock is the author of several poetry collections, including Contains Mild Peril (2019), Raptures and Captures (2019), Ruses and Fuses (2018), Muses and Bruises (2017), Dogtooth (2017), The Mystic and the Pig Thief (2014), and Flatrock (2011).
Today she brings in a hefty poem called 'Through A Screen Darkly' by Golnoosh Nour from her debut collection Rocksong. It's a good poem, good enough for me to buy the whole book
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 25 - Maia Elsner
Excited to bring you yet another instalment of the Pickle Jar. A place where we invite the best poets to talk about their favourite poems. This week we are joined by Flipped Eye favourite Maia Elsner who brings in a little known poem called Five Men by Polish writer, Zbigniew Herbert. We talk politics in poetry, we discuss violence and how to portray it and we also share our thoughts on what makes this poem so special.
Come get it.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep24 - Daniel Sluman
It's a pleasure to be joined by the brilliant Daniel Sluman. Daniel’s writing first began to be published whilst studying at University, and in 2012 his debut poetry collection Absence has a weight of its own was published to critical acclaim by Nine Arches Press. He was named one of Huffington Post’s Top 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015, the same year his second book the terrible was released. His third collection, single window, was published through Nine Arches Press in September 2021, and was nominated for the T.S Eliot Prize.
Today we speak about a brilliant poem by James Dickey called The Lifeguard. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42717/the-lifeguard
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep23 - Kim Moore
This week we are joined by the brilliant Kim Moore. Her first full length collection The Art of Falling (Seren) won the Geoffrey Faber memorial prize in 2017. She won a New Writing North Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2012. Her latest book was recently released under Seren.
Today she shares a great poem by Vicki Feaver called 1974. We talk sexism, self-reflection and all things poetry.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 22 - Chrissy Williams
This week we are joined by the super woman Chrissy Williams. She is the author of Bear (Bloodaxe Books, 2017) and more recently Low. She's had an array of cross-art, creative excavations which have resulted in visual art, poetry pamphlets, and everything in between. She also curates and edits the online journal Perverse.
She introduces me to a poet I hadn't heard of before called Oli Hazzard
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep. 21 - Jack Underwood
So proud to be back, not least because now I have a child and am doing some extreme juggling. To open this series I've got the amazing Jack Underwood. His double pamphlet Solo for Mascha Voice/Tenuous Rooms was published by Test Centre in 2018. Happiness was published by Faber & Faber in 2015. He is senior lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He comes into the studio to talk about metaphysics, Awards culture and the wonderful Natalie Shapero.
This week's poem is The Sky by Natalie Sharpero. you can read it here - https://poets.org/poem/sky-0
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 20 - Ella Frears
The final episode of the second season and it is a special one. We are joined by the wonderful Ella Frears. She is a poet and artist based in London. Her debut collection, Shine, Darling, (Offord Road Books, 2020) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.
She has had poetry published in the LRB, Poetry London, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Ambit, The Rialto, and the Moth among others.
Today she brings in two strange, short poems. One by Dianne Williams called The Idea of Counting. The other is by Michael Earl Craig and it's called Tomatoes Disrespect us.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 19 - Indran Amirthanayagam
this week we are off across the waters again joined by Poet, essayist, and translator Indran Amirthanayagam. He is a Sri Lankan born poet raised in Colombo London, and Honolulu. He’s the author of numerous poetry collections, including The Elephants of Reckoning (1993), Ceylon, R.I.P. (2001), The Splintered Face (2008), Uncivil War (2013), and Coconuts On Mars (2019). He writes, translates, and publishes poetry and essays in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Kenyon Review, the New England Review, and many other magazines.
Today we dissect a poem called City of Tailors by Mervyn Taylor. You can read it here http://mokomagazine.org/wordpress/2020/10/28/mervyn-taylor/
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 18 - Charlotte Ansell
Another brand-spankingly new episode of the Pickle Jar. This week we speak to Charlotte Ansell. Charlotte performs her poems regularly and her work has appeared in Poetry Review, Mslexia, Butcher’s Dog, Prole, Algebra of Owls and various anthologies; most recently ‘These are the hands’ – an anthology of poems by NHS workers. She has won various competitions (Red Shed, BBC Write Science competition in 2015, Watermarks in 2016, commended in Yorkmix in 2016 and shortlisted in the Poetry in film category of the Outspoken prize for poetry in 2017). Her latest collection Deluge was a PBS Winter choice and is out with Flipped Eye.
Today we dig deep into a Sylvia Plath poem called Stillborn. You can have a read of it here - https://hellopoetry.com/poem/695/stillborn/
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 17 - Deborah Alma
Deborah Alma is a UK poet, with an MA with distinction, in Creative Writing from Keele University. She is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology, The Everyday Poet- Poems to live by (both Michael O’Mara), and #Me Too – rallying against sexual harassment- a women’s poetry anthology (Fair Acre Press, March 2018). Her True Tales of the Countryside was published by The Emma Press in 2015 and her first full collection Dirty Laundry was published by Nine Arches Press (May 2018).
Deborah is also the Emergency poet and owner of The Poetry Pharmacy in Shropshire.
Today she joins me to look at a Seamus Heaney poem called Postscript. Read it here - https://poems.com/poem/postscript/
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 16 - Amy Acre
This week we are joined by poet and performer Amy Acre. She has two pamphlets both of which were Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choices, she also won the Verve poetry Prize with a memorable poem called every girl knows, but bigger than that, she is the editor of one of the biggest and wildest small presses in the country, BAD BETTY PRESS.
Today we talk about this exert from Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk you can download it here
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 15 - Lewis Buxton
Another week Arji’s pickling the poems you'll love. This week’s guest is a poet, producer and workshop leader. His poems have appeared in Ambit Magazine, Oxford Poetry and Ink, Sweat and Tears. He is the director and co-founder of TOAST Poetry, an organisation dedicated to the professional development of poets. Lewis Buxton has his new book Boy in Various Poses out with Nine Arches Press. Today we are looking at beautiful piece by Ellen Bass. You can read it here - https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/02/04/what-did-i-love
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 14 - Carlos Andrés Gómez
This week we travelling to the states to hit you up with Carlos Andrés Gómez. He's a Colombian American poet, speaker, actor, author of Fractures, Hijito, and the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood. This man has too many awards to fit into this bio, he's star on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and TV One’s Verses and Flows and today he is bringing in a poem by Rachel Eliza Griffiths called Seeing the body. You can read it here : https://poets.org/poem/seeing-body
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 13 - Vidyan Ravinthiran
In today's Pickle Jar we're joined by Vidyan Ravinthiran. He's a poet who grew up in a mixed area of Leeds (in the North of England), studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and is now an Associate Professor of English Literature at Harvard. He's the author of two books of verse. Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe, 2014) was shortlisted for several first collection awards, with individual poems appearing in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Financial Times. The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here (2019) won a Northern Writers Award, was a PBS Recommendation, and was shortlisted for the Forward and the T.S. Eliot Prizes. Harvard,
Today we talk about this piece by Lakdasa Wikkramasinha
Don’t Talk To Me About Matisse
Don’t talk to me about Matisse, don’t talk to me
about Gauguin, or even
the earless painter van Gogh,
& the woman reclining on a blood-spread . . .
the aboriginal shot by the great white hunter Matisse
with a gun with two nostrils, the aboriginal
crucified by Gauguin—the syphilis-spreader, the yellowed obesity.
Don’t talk to me about Matisse . . .
the European style of 1900, the tradition of the studio
where the nude woman reclines forever
on a sheet of blood.
Talk to me instead of the culture generally—
how the murderers were sustained
by the beauty robbed of savages: to our remote
villages the painters came, and our white-washed
mud-huts were splattered with gunfire.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 12 - Natalie Whittaker
On today's show we are joined by Natalie Whittaker poet and secondary school teacher from South East London. Her debut pamphlet Shadow Dogs was published by Ignition press in 2018. And She is one of London Library’s emerging writers for 2020 / 2021. Her poems have been widely published in UK magazines and anthologies. Her latest pamphlet Tree is just OUT on Verve Publishing. It is writing dealing with her personal experience of stillbirth and the mental illness that can follow such a traumatic event.
We look closely at a poem by Jack Underwood. You can read it here https://poetryarchive.org/poem/man-dragging-dead-dog/
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 11 - Katrina Naomi
Back for series two. This week we are joined by Poet, Mentor and Facilitator Katrina Naomi. She has four collections under her belt. these include Wild Persistence, published by Seren and Typhoon Etiquette, published in 2019 by Verve Poetry Press. She has also had her poetry appear on on Poems on the Underground, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and Poetry Please, and in The TLS, The Poetry Review and Modern Poetry in Translation. Today she is bringing Ink-Light by Natalie Diaz. It is a wonderfully magical poem so come have a listen.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 10 - Cecilia Knapp
For this tenth instalment of the Pickle Jar we invite Cecilia Knapp into the jar. She's a poet, playwright and novelist and the current Young People’s Laureate for London. Her poems have appeared in The White Review, Magma and Bath, She’s a former resident artist at The Roundhouse and a Ted X speaker, and her debut novel is forthcoming from The Borough Press (Harper Collins.) as well as all this she is a great facilitator and advocate for poetry for all people
Today she brings a brilliant poem by Rachel Long called Self-portrait with a baby.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 9 - Jo Bell
Today we are joined by poet, performer, playwright, project manager, programmer, producer and former Canal Laureate of the UK, Jo Bell. She devised the immensely successful online poetry group 52 which is a good reflection of her personal mission to use social media as a stimulus to encourage new writers into the fray. She also has a collection called Kitch published with Nine Arches Press.
Today she brings us a sweet little poem about doing a shit in a wood, it's called Giant Puffballs and it's by Neil Rollinson. Have a read of it here:
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 8 - Abi Palmer
In this episode we are joined by artist and amazing human being Abi Palmer. She is an artist and writer exploring the relationship between linguistic and physical communication. her latest book on Penned in the margins is Sanatorium—a fragmented memoir that jumps between a luxury thermal pool and a blue inflatable bathtub.
Today she is taking us on a long poem ride of a life time as we look at this whopper from Matthea Harvey. Come get it.
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Ep 7 - Carole Bromley
This week we are joined by Carole Bromley. Carole’s pamphlets (Unscheduled Halt and Skylight) and collections (A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off!) are available from Smith/Doorstop Books
Her newest poetry pamphlet about her recent experience of brain surgery is called Sodium 136, by Calder Valley Poetry.
Today, we discuss the Hugo Williams Dialysis Days. You can read the poem here:
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 6 - Anthony Anaxagorou
In today's Pickle Jar we are joined by the brilliant Anthony Anaxagorou. His recent collection After the Formalities (Penned in the Margins, 2019) was nominated for a TS Eliot Prize. In today's episode he shall be bringing in a little known poem by Robin Beth Schaer called Holdfast.
check out the poem here : https://poets.org/poem/holdfast
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 5 - Jonathan Edwards
This week we travel to Wales to talk to Poetry Wales Editor and amazing poet Jonathan Edwards. He's a Costa Prize winner for his debut collection and more recently he has brought his second collection Gen to rave reviews.
He brings with him a poem called 'In the Green Baize' by Alan Perry. A snooker poem guaranteed to get you potting the black. Come have a listen and a learn
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 4 - Simon Mole
In today's Pickle Jar we are joined by Children's Poet Simon Mole. Simon has shared the bill with Simon Armitage, John Cooper Clarke and Kate Tempest. He has also been featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb. Simon co-founded Chill Pill Collective, curating and hosting popular poetry nights at Soho Theatre and the Albany, and was the first ever Poet Laureate for the London borough of Brent. Simon is an experienced facilitator with over 10 years’ experience working with rap and poetry in community and education settings.
Today's episode looks at a wonderful poem by poet Kate Wakeling. Kate Wakeling grew up in Yorkshire and Birmingham. A pamphlet of her poetry, The Rainbow Faults, is published by The Rialto and her first collection of poems for children, Moon Juice (illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa) is published by The Emma Press, won the 2017 CLiPPA Prize and was nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal.
If you are a primary school teacher looking to use poetry in your classroom, this ONE is for you
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 3 - Hannah Lowe
In today's Pickle Jar we are joined by the brilliant Hannah Lowe. She is a poet, memoirist and academic. Her first poetry collection Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013) won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection. Her family memoir Long Time, No See (Periscope, 2015) featured as Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Her second collection, Chan, is also published by Bloodaxe. Her latest brand new collection is expected out in 2021. She undertook her AHRC-funded PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and now lectures in Creative Writing at Brunel University.
Hannah is blessing us with a Marie Howe poem called 'What the living do.' You can read the poem here - https://poets.org/poem/what-living-do
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 2 - Peter Kahn
Another instalment of the Pickle Jar, this week we are joined by amazing teacher and poet Peter Kahn.
Peter Kahn was commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009 and 2017. He is a founding member of Malika’s Kitchen and co-founder of the London Teenage Poetry Slam. He has been a school teacher and university lecturer, as a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths-University of London, he founded the Spoken Word Education Training Programme. Peter holds an MA in English Education from The Ohio State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Along with Patricia Smith and Ravi Shankar, Peter edited The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Peter wrote and judged the Young Poets Network Golden Shovel challenge in 2019.
We look at this absolute blazer by Terrance Hayes called Carp poem. You can check it here :
Sound editing by Arji Manuelpillai
Music by BpMoore, Cinematiks and Raspberrymusic
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Ep 1 - Rishi Dastidar
The opening episode of Arji's Poetry Podcast. Each week we bring in some of the world's best poets to discuss the poems they truly love.
Today we're joined by poet Rishi Dastidar. Rishi's poetry has been published by Financial Times, New Scientistand the BBC amongst many others. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press, and a poem from it was included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2018. He is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, and his latest collection Saffron Jack has received rave reviews.
Today he brings the brilliant poem 'Lousy with unfuckedness, I dream' by Amy Key.
You can read the poem here - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/145170/lousy-with-unfuckedness-i-dream