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How do you choose a mentor?

Ian McMillan's guests include Margaret Cho and Tim Atack, and Hollie McNish introduces the poetry of Rosy Carrick.

This week on The Verb we're looking at writing mentors. How much different can a mentor make, how can we learn from their writing, and what kind of language should a mentor use?

Joining Ian is the comedian Margaret Cho, who was profoundly influenced by her friend and mentor Joan Rivers. Margaret is a groundbreaking American comic who has been Emmy and Grammy nominated five times, hosts the podcast 'Monsters of Talk' and is currently on tour with her latest stand-up show 'Fresh Off The Boat'.

Tim X Atack is a composer and sound designer who works across film, music and theatre; we commissioned him to create a audio piece inspired by the classical myth of Mentor and Athena.

The award winning poet Sarah Howe explores mentoring in the world of poetry.

This week Hollie McNish introduces us to the poetry of Rosy Carrick - who has been influenced by the Russian poet Mayakovsky.

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Available now

49 minutes

Tim X Atack

Tim X Atack

Writer and composer Tim X Atack performs a brand new commission, a soundscape mixed live in the studio inspired by the role of the mentor. For Tim, the best advice and guidance often comes in the form of a question. Tim designed the sound for Chris Goode’s adaptation of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, which will be performed at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2018, and is this year’s winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

American stand-up comedian Margaret Cho tells us what she learnt from her mentor, Joan Rivers; about the rhythm of her language and how to use self-deprecating humour. She also celebrates the comedy of Richard Pryor and the way he used ‘words as weapons’. As Margaret says, ‘sometimes it’s better to be offensive, rotten and raw’. Margaret Cho is on tour now.

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe delves into the famous mentor/mentee relationship between the poets Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, examining their detailed correspondence questioning the use of the word ‘rump’ in poetry. Sarah also considers the role of the the critic as gatekeeper, and discusses a new scheme which will mentor poetry critics from BAME backgrounds – to encourage diversity in the world of poetry reviewing. Sarah’s T.S. Eliot award winning collection ‘Loop of Jade’ is published by Chatto.

Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics

Hollie McNish introduces….Rosy Carrick

Hollie McNish introduces….Rosy Carrick

Hollie McNish has been at the receiving end of some rather odd mentoring advice in the past, and this week she introduces us to a poet whose mentor died over 80 years ago. Rosy Carrick was so fascinated by the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his poem ‘Cloud in Trousers’ that she taught herself Russian so she could understand him in the original. Rosy also reads her poem ‘Pain Specific’, and shares the best writing advice she has had – that we should not to be afraid to make ourselves seem ridiculous.  

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Ian McMillan
Interviewed Guest Margaret Cho
Interviewed Guest Sarah Howe
Interviewed Guest Timothy X Atack
Interviewed Guest Hollie McNish
Interviewed Guest Rosy Carrick

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