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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 19 December 2008

Ian McMillan's weekly cabaret of language includes poet Kenneth Steven, who was written a brand new poem for the programme, lamenting the vanished snow of Christmases past.

Plus French singer-songwriters Herman Dune discussing their unique brand of Leonard Cohen-influenced pop.


    In the festive mood, comedian Alex Horne takes a look at the Christmas cracker joke and the peculiarly awful (and yet special) place it has in our heart.

    For more information about Alex Horne visit his website.

    The French band, Herman Dune, are the musical guests.this week. They bring their particular brand of quirkiness to their songs, finding new ways to illuminate perennial emotions such as love, hope and despair.

    Herman Dune's latest album Next Year in Zion is out now on the City Slang label.


    Ian McMillan's book of the year is poet Jon Glover's latest book, Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Jon joins Ian to read some of his poetry and discuss his influences and the challenges of writing poetry.

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Jon Glover is published by Carcanet.


    A storyteller in the Jewish tradition, Shonaleigh Cumbers learned stories from her grandmother, a holocaust survivor. Her storytelling is a living art. Shonaleigh is on the shortlist for next year's Arts Foundation storytelling prize.

    For more information about the storytelling prize and a list of the other shortlisted nominees visit the Arts Foundation website.

    Arts Foundation website

    Louise Stern is a visual artist who has exhibited all over the world. Her new work is a departure using the smaller canvas of a lined notebook. Louise, who is deaf, takes the notebook into pubs and bars and invites people to have a written conversation with her which she turns into something that is half story and half visual poem. Josh Darcy reads an extract.

    Louise was accompanied to the studio by her interpreter, Oliver Pouliot.


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  1. Image for The Verb Presented by Ian McMillan

    The Verb Presented by Ian McMillan

    The Verb, words and performance with poet Ian McMillan : language at its most creative interviews,…

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