Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast

Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast

By Bauer Media

Frank Skinner loves poetry. And he thinks you might like it too. Join Frank each week as he takes you through some of his choice picks of poems. There may be laughter. There may be tears. There will certainly be poetry. Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast is produced by Sarah Bishop. It is an Avalon production for Bauer Media.


Martin Bell

Frank loves a hard-drinking, hard-smoking Polytechnic lecturer like Martin Bell, especially when he is offering poetic praise to Groucho Marx. The poems referenced are ‘Ode to Groucho’ by Martin Bell and ‘The Second Coming’ by W.B. Yeats.
28/02/2445m 53s

Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott sends Frank, an enthusiastic tree-hugger, into a sap-soaked frenzy. The collection referenced is ‘Of Mutability’. The poems referenced are ‘I Go Inside The Tree’, ‘My Oak’ and ‘Cypress’.
21/02/2454m 18s

Sasha Dugdale

Frank stands in awe as Sasha Dugdale sends a frighteningly honest Valentine’s message. The collection referenced is ‘Joy’ by Sasha Dugdale. The poems referenced are ‘Joy’ and ‘Valentine’s’.
14/02/2433m 56s

AE Housman

Frank is alarmed by AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.
07/02/2447m 55s

Jessica Traynor

The Irish poet, Jessica Traynor, explores one of Frank’s favourite subjects – ageing performers who don’t know when to quit. The collection referenced is ‘Pit Lullabies’ by Jessica Traynor. The cycle of poems referenced is ‘An Island Sings’. The poems referenced are ‘The Parent’s Song’, ‘Song of the Insomniac’ and ‘Nureyev in Dublin’.
31/01/2440m 48s

Billy Collins

American poet, Billy Collins, makes Frank question the whole Poetry Podcast experience. The poems referenced are ‘Introduction to Poetry’ and ‘American Sonnet’ by Billy Collins.
24/01/2444m 37s


Frank trembles at the fragmented beauty of Sappho, the superstar poet of Ancient Greece. The fragment translations are by Aaron Poochigian.
17/01/2435m 54s

T.S. Eliot

Frank explores The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. Nuff said.
10/01/2457m 46s

Series 9 Trailer

Series 9 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast begins on 10th January. See you there!

Elizabeth Bishop

Is it a man? Is it a moth? Frank has a strange night out with Elizabeth Bishop. The poem referenced is 'The Man-Moth'.
20/09/2354m 4s

Geoffrey Hill

Frank indulges his obsession with the Anglo Saxons as he reads Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns.
13/09/2347m 19s

Robert Browning

Did he or didn't he? Frank investigates Robert Browning's 'My Last Duchess'. The other poem referenced is 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' by Robert Browning.
06/09/2351m 12s

Jean Sprackland

Nature gets horny and reflective. Frank is excited about the poetry of Jean Sprackland. The collection referenced is 'Green Noise'. The poem referenced is 'April' and the sequence referenced is 'The Lost Villages'.
30/08/2344m 25s

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Frank examines statues and statutes with Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poems referenced are 'England in 1918' and 'Ozymandias'. The essay referenced is 'A Defense of Poetry'.
23/08/2352m 45s

Sylvia Plath

Frank howls at the moon with Sylvia Plath. The poems referenced are 'The Moon and the Yew Tree' and 'Ariel. TW: mentions of suicide.
16/08/2338m 47s

Don Paterson

Frank celebrates the razor-sharp poetic mind of Don Paterson. The poem referenced is 'Rain'.
09/08/2344m 56s

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning shows Frank that it's hard to be a mother and a poet and a revolutionary. The poem referenced is 'Mother and Poet'.
02/08/2340m 38s

Series 8 Trailer

Series 8 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming very soon...

Alans at War

This week, Frank discovers two very different war poets, Alan Ross and Alan Seeger. The poems referenced are ‘Mess Deck’ by Alan Ross and ‘I Have a Rendezvous with Death’ by Alan Seeger.
10/05/2341m 19s

Charlotte Mew

This week, Frank explains why the poet, Charlotte Mew, should, in his opinion, be a household name. The poems referenced are ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ and ‘Sea Love’.
03/05/2342m 21s

Sinéad Morrisey

This week, Frank screams the praises of Sinéad Morrissey’s Beatlemania poems. The book referenced is ‘On Balance’. The poems referenced are ‘The Millihelen’ and ‘Perfume’.
26/04/2345m 50s

Thomas Hardy

This week: Thomas Hardy’s poetry, featuring love, death and men that look like holly bushes. The poems referenced are ‘Exeunt Omnes’, ‘A Light Snow-Fall After Frost’ and ‘A Countenance’.
19/04/2341m 24s

Selima Hill

This week, Frank enters the funny but unsettling world of Selima Hill. The collection referenced is ‘Men Who Feed Pigeons’.
12/04/2332m 7s

John Keats

This week, John Keats talks to pottery. The poem referenced is ‘Ode on A Grecian Urn’.
05/04/2346m 26s

John Masefield

This week, we look at a John Masefield poem from 1911, in which a naked drunk runs through a town at midnight, threatening firefighters with their own hose-nozzles. The poems referenced are ‘Sea-Fever’, ‘The Everlasting Mercy’, ‘Dauber’ and ‘Partridges’.
29/03/2336m 43s

Kay Ryan

This week: why do so many of us stagger through life leaving a trail of chaos and confusion? American poet, Kay Ryan, reveals it’s because we are carrying an invisible ladder. The poems referenced are ‘We’re Building the Ship As We Sail It’, ‘Carrying A Ladder’ and ‘Blandeur’.
22/03/2334m 45s

Richard Wilbur

This week, American poet, Richard Wilbur, explains why stones aren’t very ambitious. The poems referenced are ‘A Dubious Night’ and ‘Two Voices in A Meadow’.
15/03/2342m 52s

Ada Limón

This week, American Poet Laureate, Ada Limón heads for the safe haven of the parental raincoat. The poems referenced are ‘The Contract Says: We’d Like the Conversation to be Bilingual’, ‘The Raincoat’ and ‘Before’.
08/03/2333m 16s

Ted Hughes

This week, Ted Hughes shows us that writing a poem is like a stinking fox walking across a snow-covered field. The poem referenced are ‘The Thought Fox’ and ‘The Jaguar’.
01/03/2343m 9s

Simon Armitage

This week, our Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, writes a brilliant poem about what some might think is an unlikely subject. The poem referenced is ‘The Patriarchs – An Elegy’.
22/02/2335m 43s

Carol Ann Duffy

This week, Carol Ann Duffy considers the profound, prayer-like quality of the Shipping Forecast. The poems referenced are ‘Death of a Teacher’ and ‘Prayer’.
15/02/2333m 2s

John Betjeman

This week, John Betjeman gets a tennis-based humiliation from the girl of his dreams. The poem referenced is ‘A Subaltern’s Love Song’.
08/02/2343m 56s

Series 6 Trailer

Series 6 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast begins on 8th February. See you there!

Sir Thomas Wyatt

At last, our first jousting poet - Frank meets Sir Thomas Wyatt, head-on. The poems referenced are They Flee From Me and Farewell Love and All Thy Laws For Ever by Sir Thomas Wyatt.
06/07/2235m 43s

Emily Dickinson

Frank went on holiday with Emily Dickinson and came back in love with her poetry. The poems referenced are ‘After great pain, a formal feeling comes’, ‘One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted’ and ‘A Wind That Rose’ by Emily Dickinson.
29/06/2242m 18s

Clare Pollard

Vampires and mermaids - Frank falls under the spell of Clare Pollard’s fabulous poetry. The collection referenced is Changeling by Clare Pollard and the individual poems referenced are Zennor and Whitby.
22/06/2243m 3s

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Frank meets Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott and finds out why Camelot is a bit of a lottery. The poems referenced are The Charge Of The Light Brigade and The Lady Of Shalott both by Tennyson.
15/06/2237m 9s

Leontia Flynn

Drunken nights and floppy discs - Frank gets excited about the poetry of Leontia Flynn. The collection referenced is Profit and Loss by Leontia Flynn and the individual poems referenced are Anecdote and The Floppy Disk.
08/06/2235m 15s

The Mersey Sound

Frank explains why the first poetry book he ever bought, The Mersey Sound, changed his life forever. The poems referenced are Without You and The New ‘Our Times’ by Adrian Henri, Where Are You Now, Batman, Party Piece and After Breakfast by Brian Patten, and On Picnics, Café Portraits and Let Me Die A Youngman’s Death by Roger McGough.
01/06/2236m 43s

Series 5 Trailer

Series 5 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming very soon...

Robert Hayden

Frank shares a cold, sad Sunday morning with Robert Hayden. The poems referenced are Those Winter Sundays and The Whipping by Robert Hayden.
02/03/2230m 15s

Michael Symmons Roberts

Frank explores the poetic treasure-trove that is Michael Symmons Roberts’ collection, Drysalter. The poems referenced are Face to Face, Through a Glass Darkly and Discoverers by Michael Symmons Roberts.
23/02/2230m 38s

Wordsworth Revisited: The Leech-Gatherer

Wordsworth revisited: the leech-gatherer. The poem referenced is Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworth.
16/02/2230m 7s

Nick Laird

Frank loves Nick Laird’s poetry. And manual typewriters. The collection referenced is On Purpose by Nick Laird and the poem referenced is The Underwood No. 4.
09/02/2244m 10s

Walt Whitman

Frank loves Walt Whitman, right down to his comfortable shoes… The poems referenced are Poets to Come, To You, Song of the Universal and Song of Myself by Walt Whitman.
02/02/2239m 40s

Jen Hadfield

Frank heads North with the amazing Jen Hadfield. The collection referenced is The Stone Age by Jen Hadfield. The individual poems referenced are Hardanger Fiddle & Nyckelharpa, (Lighthouse) and (Erratic) by Jen Hadfield.
26/01/2249m 59s

John Milton

Batman, Captain America and Milton’s Paradise Lost.
19/01/2246m 26s

Caroline Bird

Frank celebrates Caroline Bird and wonders if he should have saved this one for Valentine’s Day. The collection referenced is The Air Year by Caroline Bird. The individual poems discussed are Temporary Vows and I Am Not a Falconer, both by Caroline Bird.
12/01/2236m 6s

Series 4 Trailer

Series 4 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming soon...

WH Auden

Frank meets WH Auden in an art gallery and falls in love all over again. Poems referenced: Musée des Beaux Arts - WH Auden Funeral Blues - WH Auden
07/07/2144m 8s

Ellen Hinsey

Frank finds out when the Illegal Age began, with Ellen Hinsey. Please note this podcast has some disturbing content. Poem referenced: The Illegal Age - Ellen Hinsey
30/06/2132m 36s

Matthew Arnold

Frank spends a dark night on Dover Beach with Matthew Arnold and, hold on, isn’t that Sophocles over there? Poems referenced: Dover Beach - Matthew Arnold Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse - Matthew Arnold
23/06/2137m 7s

Tracy K Smith

Frank reads Tracy K Smith and finally gets his priorities right. Collections referenced: Wade in the Water - Tracy K Smith Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman Poems referenced: Political Poem – Tracy K Smith
16/06/2139m 17s

Peter Riley

Frank hits the high notes with Peter Riley and accidentally arrives at his favourite-ever definition of poetry. Collection referenced: Passing Measures – Peter Riley Poems referenced: The Little Watercolour at Sligo – Peter Riley Do It Again – Peter Riley
09/06/2129m 18s

Denise Levertov

Frank explores the wonders and horrors of city-life, with Denise Levertov and two dogs of disproportionate size. Poems referenced: The Rainwalkers by Denise Levertov The Mutes by Denise Levertov
02/06/2135m 14s

Robert Frost

Frank celebrates one of his all-time favourite poems: The Star-Splitter by Robert Frost.
26/05/2139m 46s

Ella Frears

Frank discovers Ella Frears at a motorway services and shares some intimate notes. Collection referenced: Shine, Darling by Ella Frears Poems referenced: Midpoint by Ella Frears The Film by Ella Frears
19/05/2135m 38s

Alexander Pope

Couplets, cruelty and the occasional caning. Frank enters the poetical world of Alexander Pope. Poems Referenced Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot - Alexander Pope
02/11/201h 1m

Rita Dove

Rita Dove teaches Frank the art of poetry and how to pull. Poems Referenced: Ars Poetica - Rita Dove Flirtation - Rita Dove
26/10/2035m 56s

William Wordsworth

Frank walks the untrodden ways with William Wordsworth. Poems Referenced: She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways - William Wordsworth Spring – Alexander Pope The Tables Turned – William Wordsworth Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known – William Wordsworth A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal – William Wordsworth Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower – William Wordsworth
19/10/2033m 20s

Tadeusz Dabrowski

Never mind the poetry, here’s the white bits. Frank has a wild night out with the Polish poet, Tadeusz Dabrowski. Poems Referenced: I Believe All Round the Clock - Tadeusz Dabrowski (translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones) Soiree - Tadeusz Dabrowski (translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones) Bunny Slope - Tadeusz Dabrowski (translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones)
12/10/2033m 57s

Cathy Park Hong

Frank has always had a fascination with the Wild West. In this episode he explores the macabre Western ballads of Cathy Park Hong. This podcast contains some disturbing images. Poems Referenced: Abecedarian Western - Cathy Park Hong Ballad in I – Cathy Park Hong The Song of Katydids – Cathy Park Hong From ‘Fort Ballads’ Ballad of the Range – Cathy Park Hong Ballad of Fort Mann – Cathy Park Hong Ballad of Grace – Cathy Park Hong
05/10/2035m 38s

Liz Berry

Frank begins series 2 with a poem that made him cry in a hotel room. Poems Referenced: Bird – Liz Berry Birmingham Roller – Liz Berry The Sea of Talk – Liz Berry
28/09/2029m 45s

Series 2 Trailer

Series 2 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming soon...

Gerard Manley Hopkins

In the last of the series, Frank showers in the word-waterfall that is the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
25/05/2032m 14s

Caroline Knox

Frank is often attracted to a poem by its title. This week he discusses 'Famous Bigshots' by Caroline Knox.
18/05/2031m 21s

Philip Larkin

Frank tells how Philip Larkin’s ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ gave him a massive panic attack. Poems referenced: Philip Larkin – Wild Oats Philip Larkin - Dockery and Son Philip Larkin - An Arundel Tomb
11/05/2039m 12s

Donna Stonecipher

Frank Skinner takes us on a guided tour of Donna Stonecipher’s ‘Model City’. Poems Referenced: Richard Harris Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby) - The Lay of Saint Cuthbert From Donna Stonecipher’s ‘Model City’: Number 8 Number 47 Number 19 Number 14 Number 69 Number 51
04/05/2030m 56s

The Beat Poets

Frank Skinner celebrates the Beat Poets – a generation of poets in the 1940s and 50s who rebelled against American conventions, championed ‘spontaneous writing’, and won over Frank in a school assembly. Poems referenced include: Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Sometime During Eternity Gregory Corso - Man About to Enter Sea Allen Ginsberg - Sunflower Sutra William Wordsworth - I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud Lawrence Ferlinghetti – He Plus Frank argues that Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is a poem too.
27/04/2034m 53s

Stevie Smith and William Carlos Williams

Frank Skinner delves into Stevie Smith's 'Not Waving But Drowning', and William Carlos Williams' 'Dance Russe'. There will be no guests, just Frank exploring different poems every week.
20/04/2031m 40s


Absolute Radio presenter and comedian Frank Skinner talks about poems “like I talk about football” in his new podcast.
15/04/201m 1s
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