Episode 1

If you thought poetry was irrelevant or worse still, dead, this programme will show you the reverse is true.

Leading poets contemplate the role of poetry in their countries - Russia and South Africa.

Each sets out to discover how the poetry of their country interprets nationhood, nationalism and patriotism.

In part one we meet internationally renowned poet, Irina Ratushinskaya who was incarcerated for 12 years in a labour camp for writing "anti-Soviet" verse.

Part two features South African, Lebo Mashile, a young, forward-looking female poet.

She writes performance poetry, which means her work reaches an audience regardless of whether they can read or afford to buy the books.

Both Irina and Lebo interview fellow poets and unravel the nuts and bolts of the craft - revealing tradition, history and future hopes in the process.

Available now

25 minutes

Last on

Sat 19 Mar 2011 01:05 GMT


The Space Race

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

70 Years On: Partition Stories


Memories and stories of Partition in 1947 and the legacy Partition leaves with us today

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are