Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

The Q Special

Ian McMillan presents a celebration of the letter Q. He is joined by novelist Toby Litt, American poet Sharon Olds, musician Leafcutter John and conceptual poet Ira Lightman.

Ian McMillan presents Radio 3's Cabaret of the Word - in this programme he is joined by Toby Litt, Ira Lightman, Leafcutter John and Sharon Olds who will be celebrating the letter Q.

Toby Litt is an acclaimed novelist whose books are named in alphabetical order. It was his idea to celebrate the letter Q on The Verb, and to that end he has been commissioned to write a poem in quatrains almost entirely composed of Q-words.

Sharon Olds is one of the leading voices in US contemporary poetry; her new collection Stag's Leap has just been shortlisted on this side of the Atlantic for the TS Eliot Prize. Sharon reads a poem called Q and explores the significance of the letter Q in Stag's Leap - which details the break-up of her marriage.

Leafcutter John is a musician and artist who has created a Q soundscape especially for The Verb, incorporating samples of many voices saying Q words, Q in morse code and a baby's first Q.

Ira Lightman is a conceptual poet who also makes public art and performance pieces. He explores the Q-ness of the French writer Raymond Queneau for The Verb.

This programme was first broadcast on 26th October 2012.

45 minutes


35 Years of Spoken Word

35 Years of Spoken Word

A season of Poetry and Performance from Hull.

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

Explore the BBC Arts website and discover the best of British art and culture.

The Dylan Thomas Collection

The Dylan Thomas Collection

Listen to programmes, poetry readings and commentary from Radio 3's Dylan Thomas Day.