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Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

New critical biographies of Plath and Heaney and a reissue of Anne Sexton's poems prompt a conversation about the poetic life. Plus Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's new novel.

New critical biographies of Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney and a reissue of Anne Sexton's poems prompt a conversation for National Poetry Day about our image of a poet. Shahidha Bari is joined by New Generation Thinkers Sophie Oliver and Peter Mackay and biographer Heather Clark. And she talks to Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi about her new novel, which mixes modern feminism and Ugandan folk beliefs in the story of Kirabo becoming a woman and moving from village life to the city during the period when Idi Amin expelled the Ugandan Asian minority from the country.

The First Woman is out now. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and her other books are Kintu and the short story collection Manchester Happened.

Mercies: Selected Poems by Anne Sexton is being issued in the Penguin Modern Classics series in November 2020
On Seamus Heaney by Roy Foster is published by Princeton University Press
Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark is out October 2020 from Vintage.

Sophie Oliver teaches at the University of Liverpool researching women and modernist writers including Jean Rhys. She also writes for TLS, Burlington Magazine and The White Review.
Peter Mackay teaches at the University of St Andrews and has published on Sorley MacLean, an anthology An Leabhar Liath: 500 years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse and his own collection of poems Gu Leòr / Galore.

Free Thinking has a playlist of conversations about prose and poetry on the website all available to download as Arts & Ideas podcasts.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p047v6vh

Producer: Emma Wallace

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44 minutes

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  • Thu 1 Oct 2020 22:00

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The Arts & Ideas Podcast

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