(Audio) Mimi Khalvati Interview: Poetry as Discovery

by Mark McGuinness on 6 July, 2018

I’ve just released an interview with Mimi Khalvati on my 21st Century Creative podcast, where she reads some of her poems and talks about her creative process.

My own poetry has benefitted hugely from Mimi’s teaching and feedback over many years, so I’m delighted to feature her on the podcast. She has a lot of wise and interesting things to say about poetry and creativity, and about the surprisingly creative potential of your critical faculty.

The poems Mimi reads in the interview are all from her latest book, The Very Selected Mimi Khalvati, published by smith|doorstop – a distillation of her collections from Carcanet, and a great place to start exploring her poetry.

My podcast features leading creators from the arts and creative industries. Mimi’s interview is part of Season 2 of the show – you can find all the episodes on iTunes or on my website.


‘Hiroshima’ and Other Poems – Now on My Website

September 29, 2017

Now that Oxford Poetry XVI.III has sold out, I’ve taken the opportunity to add my poem from the issue, ‘Hiroshima’, to the poetry page of my website, and refresh the selection of my poems there. Here are the links for the individual poems: Hiroshima The Illusionist The Future Proem from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (translation) […]

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Poem: ‘Hiroshima’, in Oxford Poetry

March 7, 2017

Even though I was expecting it, as the bullet train pulled into the platform it was still a shock to see the word ‘Hiroshima’ on the sign, in the same everyday font used for station names all over Japan. I will never forget the things I saw in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, or the […]

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My Chaucer Translation – Third Place in the Stephen Spender Prize

December 4, 2016

I’m delighted to report that a passage from my translation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde has been awarded third prize in this year’s Stephen Spender Prize, as announced in the Guardian. I’ve been working on the translation for over two years – the poem is over 8,000 lines long – and it’s great to receive […]

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The New Yorker Poetry Podcast

October 29, 2016

Supposing you were sitting in a New York diner, and you couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between two men in the booth behind you. As you tuned into the American and Northern Irish accents, you realised you were eavesdropping on John Ashbery and Paul Muldoon shooting the breeze about poetry. Ashbery read a poem by […]

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The Canterbury Tales – Mamas and the Papas Version (Plus reading in London Monday 17 November)

November 13, 2014

In a parallel universe, the Canterbury Tales were written and performed by the Mamas and the Papas. This video gives us a glimpse of that universe. Beautiful and mad. Courtesy of Lucian James. If you’re in London next Monday 17th November, you might like to pop along to the Troubadour where I’ll be reading a […]

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Poem: ‘The Illusionist’, in The Rialto

June 26, 2014

My poem ‘The Illusionist’ has just been published in Issue 80 of The Rialto, which has been one of my favourite poetry magazines for years. The poem is loosely based on an experience of watching the filming of a TV magic show, one of those rare instances of what might be called poetic déjà vu: […]

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Lark in the Morning: The Verses of the Troubadours

March 31, 2014

We all know vaguely who the troubadours were: those minstrels with (in Ezra Pound’s words) “trunk-hose and the light guitar” who wandered through the middle-ages, serenading ladies outside their windows and dodging jealous glances (and arrows) from the lord of the castle. They mastered the game of courtly love, or fin amor, and inspired generations […]

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Machi Tawara, Mount Fuji Tanka Calendar

January 10, 2014

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Machi Tawara when she visited the UK to read at the Ledbury Festival. She kindly gave us a copy of her latest book Mount Fuji Tanka Calendar – a collection of tanka for children and adults, with illustrations of Mount Fuji by U.G. Sato. From the publisher’s […]

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Charmless and Interesting: Robert Archambeau on Conceptual Poetry

August 3, 2013

There’s a thought-provoking article article on the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, by Robert Archambeau: What Conceptual Poetry Lacks And What It’s Got. In case you, like me, were wondering what he means by conceptual poetry, it turns out to be very similar to the more familiar (ahem) concept of conceptual art, i.e. work in which […]

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