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On Form

Ian McMillan looks at form with guests Claudia Rankine, Don Paterson and AL Kennedy.

Claudia Rankine's book 'Citizen: An American Lyric' (Penguin) won the 2015 Forward Prize for poetry. Her prose poetry style has raised questions about what poetry is. For Claudia, poetry is any writing concerned with the structure of feelings rather than events. The writer AL Kennedy publishes her new novel 'Serious Sweet' (Jonathan Cape) in May. For AL Kennedy being a writer means 'saying something you have to say in the best possible way'. The poet Don Paterson believes that form is always up for revision. Don Paterson won the Costa Prize for Poetry with his collection '40 Sonnets' (Faber).

Producer: Cecile Wright.

Release date:

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 19 Feb 2016 22:00

Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine

The poet Claudia Rankine is the author of the award winning collection ‘Citizen: An American Lyric’ (Penguin). The style of Claudia’s book, which uses prose poetry and images, has raised questions about what poetry is. For Claudia, a poem is any piece of writing interested in the structure of feeling and her work examines the feelings under the event. Claudia’s 2015 Free Thinking Lecture is available to listen to here.

Don Paterson

Don Paterson

Don Paterson’s latest collection is ‘40 Sonnets’ (Faber), the winner of the Costa Poetry Award. Don explains that he feels at home with the Sonnet form, which allows him to stretch and experiment with it. Form, he says is always up for revision, and should never be limited by cultural expectations.

AL Kennedy

AL Kennedy

For A. L. Kennedy, writing is saying something you have to say in the best possible way you can. She has noticed that in the rhythms of stand up comedy, audiences can appreciate poetry forms without even realising it.  Her new novel, ‘Serious Sweet’ (Cape) will be published in May.


A. L. Kennedy on Twitter

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