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Muriel Spark/Sean Taylor/New American Gothic/Kenneth Steven/BBC Introducing

Presented by Ian McMillan. Featuring the work of Muriel Spark, singer songwriter Sean Taylor on the blues, writer Diane Roberts on American Gothic fiction and poet Kenneth Steven.

Ian McMillan presents Radio 3's cabaret of the word.

The poetry of Muriel Spark

Best known as the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark began her writing life as a poet, and went on to edit Poetry Review before coming to fiction in her 40s. As her autobiography Curriculum Vitae is re-published for the first time since her death, Paul Farley and Elaine Feinstein consider Spark the poet and Spark the editor of poetry.

Sean Taylor

As his latest album, the highly-rated Calcutta Grove, is released, the singer-songwriter discusses the lyrics of the blues and why it's a form uniquely adaptable to documenting contemporary concerns.

New American Gothic

Writer and critic Diane Roberts considers the resurgence of the Gothic in contemporary American fiction, and recommends the best of American Gothic fiction, old and new.

Diane's Reading List...

Wieland, by Charles Brockden Brown
Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff
Invisible, by Paul Auster

A Song Among the Stones

Poet Kenneth Steven presents a new cycle of poems, written specially for the programme. Sixth-century monks - known as the Papar - are thought to have made the perilous journey by sea from Scotland to Iceland as a kind of religious quest, centuries before Scandinavians would undertake the same voyage in reverse. A Song Among the Stones imagines what they found, and what drove them to risk their lives for their faith.

Other works by Kenneth Steven include Iona and Making the Known World New.

BBC Introducing

Thanks for continuing to send your poetry, spoken word and songs to BBC Introducing. The Verb's always on the look out for talented new writers, and this week we've particularly enjoyed the work of performer Mac Dunlop and singer-songwriter Sam Sallon. More details on them below.

45 minutes


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