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Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar

Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar

By Arji Manuelpillai
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar is a place where we pickle the poems you'll love. Each week we invite a published poet into the studio to share a poem they love. We dismantle and dissect it, we open it up so you the listener can see it in a completely new way. This podcast is for newcomers and professionals, for teachers, young people and for everyone in between.
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Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 20
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.
June 01, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 19
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
May 25, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 18
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 -
May 18, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 17
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 -
May 11, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 16
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
May 04, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 15
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 -
April 27, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 14
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 :
April 13, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 13
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.
April 06, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 12
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
March 30, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 11
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.
March 23, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 10
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. 
February 02, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 9
Today we are joined by poet, performer, playwright, project manager, programmer, producer and former Canal Laureate of the UK. 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:
January 26, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 8
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.
January 19, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar - Episode 7
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:
January 12, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 6
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 :
January 05, 2021
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 5
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
December 22, 2020
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 4
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
December 15, 2020
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 3
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 -
December 08, 2020
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 2
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
December 01, 2020
Arji's Poetry Pickle Jar Episode 1
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 -
November 23, 2020