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Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast

Bauer Media


4.81.9K Ratings


Frank Skinner loves poetry. And he thinks you might like it too. Join Frank each week as he takes you through some of his choice picks of poems. There may be laughter. There may be tears. There will certainly be poetry. Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast is produced by Sarah Bishop. It is an Avalon production for Bauer Media.

71 Episodes

Martin Bell

Frank loves a hard-drinking, hard-smoking Polytechnic lecturer like Martin Bell, especially when he is offering poetic praise to Groucho Marx. The poems referenced are ‘Ode to Groucho’ by Martin Bell and ‘The Second Coming’ by W.B. Yeats.

Transcribed - Published: 28 February 2024

Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott sends Frank, an enthusiastic tree-hugger, into a sap-soaked frenzy. The collection referenced is ‘Of Mutability’. The poems referenced are ‘I Go Inside The Tree’, ‘My Oak’ and ‘Cypress’.

Transcribed - Published: 21 February 2024

Sasha Dugdale

Frank stands in awe as Sasha Dugdale sends a frighteningly honest Valentine’s message. The collection referenced is ‘Joy’ by Sasha Dugdale. The poems referenced are ‘Joy’ and ‘Valentine’s’.

Transcribed - Published: 14 February 2024

AE Housman

Frank is alarmed by AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.

Transcribed - Published: 7 February 2024

Jessica Traynor

The Irish poet, Jessica Traynor, explores one of Frank’s favourite subjects – ageing performers who don’t know when to quit. The collection referenced is ‘Pit Lullabies’ by Jessica Traynor. The cycle of poems referenced is ‘An Island Sings’. The poems referenced are ‘The Parent’s Song’, ‘Song of the Insomniac’ and ‘Nureyev in Dublin’.

Transcribed - Published: 31 January 2024

Billy Collins

American poet, Billy Collins, makes Frank question the whole Poetry Podcast experience. The poems referenced are ‘Introduction to Poetry’ and ‘American Sonnet’ by Billy Collins.

Transcribed - Published: 24 January 2024


Frank trembles at the fragmented beauty of Sappho, the superstar poet of Ancient Greece. The fragment translations are by Aaron Poochigian.

Transcribed - Published: 17 January 2024

T.S. Eliot

Frank explores The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. Nuff said.

Transcribed - Published: 10 January 2024

Series 9 Trailer

Series 9 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast begins on 10th January. See you there!

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

Elizabeth Bishop

Is it a man? Is it a moth? Frank has a strange night out with Elizabeth Bishop. The poem referenced is ‘The Man-Moth’.  

Transcribed - Published: 20 September 2023

Geoffrey Hill

Frank indulges his obsession with the Anglo Saxons as he reads Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns. 

Transcribed - Published: 13 September 2023

Robert Browning

Did he or didn't he? Frank investigates Robert Browning's ‘My Last Duchess’. The other poem referenced is ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ by Robert Browning.

Transcribed - Published: 6 September 2023

Jean Sprackland

Nature gets horny and reflective. Frank is excited about the poetry of Jean Sprackland. The collection referenced is ‘Green Noise’. The poem referenced is ‘April’ and the sequence referenced is ‘The Lost Villages’.

Transcribed - Published: 30 August 2023

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Frank examines statues and statutes with Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poems referenced are ‘England in 1918’ and ‘Ozymandias’. The essay referenced is ‘A Defence of Poetry’.

Transcribed - Published: 23 August 2023

Sylvia Plath

Frank howls at the moon with Sylvia Plath. The poems referenced are ‘The Moon and the Yew Tree’ and ‘Ariel’. TW: mentions of suicide.

Transcribed - Published: 16 August 2023

Don Paterson

Frank celebrates the razor-sharp poetic mind of Don Paterson. The poem referenced is ‘Rain’.

Transcribed - Published: 9 August 2023

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning shows Frank that it's hard to be a mother and a poet and a revolutionary. The poem referenced is ‘Mother and Poet’.

Transcribed - Published: 2 August 2023

Series 8 Trailer

Series 8 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming very soon...

Transcribed - Published: 26 July 2023

Alans at War

This week, Frank discovers two very different war poets, Alan Ross and Alan Seeger. The poems referenced are ‘Mess Deck’ by Alan Ross and ‘I Have a Rendezvous with Death’ by Alan Seeger.

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2023

Charlotte Mew

This week, Frank explains why the poet, Charlotte Mew, should, in his opinion, be a household name. The poems referenced are ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ and ‘Sea Love’.

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2023

Sinéad Morrisey

This week, Frank screams the praises of Sinéad Morrissey’s Beatlemania poems. The book referenced is ‘On Balance’. The poems referenced are ‘The Millihelen’ and ‘Perfume’.

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2023

Thomas Hardy

This week: Thomas Hardy’s poetry, featuring love, death and men that look like holly bushes. The poems referenced are ‘Exeunt Omnes’, ‘A Light Snow-Fall After Frost’ and ‘A Countenance’.

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2023

Selima Hill

This week, Frank enters the funny but unsettling world of Selima Hill. The collection referenced is ‘Men Who Feed Pigeons’.

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2023

John Keats

This week, John Keats talks to pottery. The poem referenced is ‘Ode on A Grecian Urn’.

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2023

John Masefield

This week, we look at a John Masefield poem from 1911, in which a naked drunk runs through a town at midnight, threatening firefighters with their own hose-nozzles. The poems referenced are ‘Sea-Fever’, ‘The Everlasting Mercy’, ‘Dauber’ and ‘Partridges’.

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2023

Kay Ryan

This week: why do so many of us stagger through life leaving a trail of chaos and confusion? American poet, Kay Ryan, reveals it’s because we are carrying an invisible ladder. The poems referenced are ‘We’re Building the Ship As We Sail It’, ‘Carrying A Ladder’ and ‘Blandeur’.

Transcribed - Published: 22 March 2023

Richard Wilbur

This week, American poet, Richard Wilbur, explains why stones aren’t very ambitious. The poems referenced are ‘A Dubious Night’ and ‘Two Voices in A Meadow’.

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2023

Ada Limón

This week, American Poet Laureate, Ada Limón heads for the safe haven of the parental raincoat. The poems referenced are ‘The Contract Says: We’d Like the Conversation to be Bilingual’, ‘The Raincoat’ and ‘Before’.

Transcribed - Published: 8 March 2023

Ted Hughes

This week, Ted Hughes shows us that writing a poem is like a stinking fox walking across a snow-covered field. The poem referenced are ‘The Thought Fox’ and ‘The Jaguar’.

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2023

Simon Armitage

This week, our Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, writes a brilliant poem about what some might think is an unlikely subject. The poem referenced is ‘The Patriarchs – An Elegy’.

Transcribed - Published: 22 February 2023

Carol Ann Duffy

This week, Carol Ann Duffy considers the profound, prayer-like quality of the Shipping Forecast. The poems referenced are ‘Death of a Teacher’ and ‘Prayer’.

Transcribed - Published: 15 February 2023

John Betjeman

This week, John Betjeman gets a tennis-based humiliation from the girl of his dreams. The poem referenced is ‘A Subaltern’s Love Song’.

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2023

Series 6 Trailer

Series 6 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast begins on 8th February. See you there!

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2023

Sir Thomas Wyatt

At last, our first jousting poet - Frank meets Sir Thomas Wyatt, head-on. The poems referenced are They Flee From Me and Farewell Love and All Thy Laws For Ever by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

Transcribed - Published: 6 July 2022

Emily Dickinson

Frank went on holiday with Emily Dickinson and came back in love with her poetry. The poems referenced are ‘After great pain, a formal feeling comes’, ‘One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted’ and ‘A Wind That Rose’ by Emily Dickinson.

Transcribed - Published: 29 June 2022

Clare Pollard

Vampires and mermaids - Frank falls under the spell of Clare Pollard’s fabulous poetry. The collection referenced is Changeling by Clare Pollard and the individual poems referenced are Zennor and Whitby.

Transcribed - Published: 22 June 2022

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Frank meets Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott and finds out why Camelot is a bit of a lottery. The poems referenced are The Charge Of The Light Brigade and The Lady Of Shalott both by Tennyson.

Transcribed - Published: 15 June 2022

Leontia Flynn

Drunken nights and floppy discs - Frank gets excited about the poetry of Leontia Flynn. The collection referenced is Profit and Loss by Leontia Flynn and the individual poems referenced are Anecdote and The Floppy Disk.

Transcribed - Published: 8 June 2022

The Mersey Sound

Frank explains why the first poetry book he ever bought, The Mersey Sound, changed his life forever. The poems referenced are Without You and The New ‘Our Times’ by Adrian Henri, Where Are You Now, Batman, Party Piece and After Breakfast by Brian Patten, and On Picnics, Café Portraits and Let Me Die A Youngman’s Death by Roger McGough.

Transcribed - Published: 1 June 2022

Series 5 Trailer

Series 5 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming very soon...

Transcribed - Published: 30 May 2022

Robert Hayden

Frank shares a cold, sad Sunday morning with Robert Hayden. The poems referenced are Those Winter Sundays and The Whipping by Robert Hayden.

Transcribed - Published: 2 March 2022

Michael Symmons Roberts

Frank explores the poetic treasure-trove that is Michael Symmons Roberts’ collection, Drysalter. The poems referenced are Face to Face, Through a Glass Darkly and Discoverers by Michael Symmons Roberts.

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2022

Wordsworth Revisited: The Leech-Gatherer

Wordsworth revisited: the leech-gatherer. The poem referenced is Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworth.

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2022

Nick Laird

Frank loves Nick Laird’s poetry. And manual typewriters. The collection referenced is On Purpose by Nick Laird and the poem referenced is The Underwood No. 4.

Transcribed - Published: 9 February 2022

Walt Whitman

Frank loves Walt Whitman, right down to his comfortable shoes… The poems referenced are Poets to Come, To You, Song of the Universal and Song of Myself by Walt Whitman.

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2022

Jen Hadfield

Frank heads North with the amazing Jen Hadfield. The collection referenced is The Stone Age by Jen Hadfield. The individual poems referenced are Hardanger Fiddle & Nyckelharpa, (Lighthouse) and (Erratic) by Jen Hadfield.

Transcribed - Published: 26 January 2022

John Milton

Batman, Captain America and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2022

Caroline Bird

Frank celebrates Caroline Bird and wonders if he should have saved this one for Valentine’s Day. The collection referenced is The Air Year by Caroline Bird. The individual poems discussed are Temporary Vows and I Am Not a Falconer, both by Caroline Bird.

Transcribed - Published: 12 January 2022

Series 4 Trailer

Series 4 of Frank Skinner's Poetry Podcast coming soon...

Transcribed - Published: 10 January 2022

WH Auden

Frank meets WH Auden in an art gallery and falls in love all over again. Poems referenced: Musée des Beaux Arts - WH Auden Funeral Blues - WH Auden

Transcribed - Published: 7 July 2021

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