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FREDERICK SPEERS Not Your Usual Valentine's Love Poems

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Frederick Speers' poems "Deerskull," "Interlude Blues," and "Star Jasmine" are not your usual love poems. Featuring loss, death, and decay, they explore the darker side of love. In his interview with Kirun Kapur, Speers talks about how his work originates, about his relationship with love poetry, and about how his work fits or doesn't into the long tradition of poems about love. (28:00)

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LESLIE WILLIAMS Two Poems and an Interview

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"XOX" begins with a fake-leather belt and concludes with thoughts on the sincerity of greetings and the limits of our reaching out to those in trouble. In both this poem and in "Teach Us to Number Our Days," Leslie Williams works within a surprising complexity to bring musicality and meaning together--topics she discusses in her interview with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur. (15:31)

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LAURA JONES Death Fears Him

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Mustang Wanted is one of a small group of young men who hang by their bare hands from the tops of skyscrapers. Without ropes. Laura Jones' essay "Death Fears Him" delves into this subculture, exploring the dangerous and fascinating intersection of risk and fame. (16:24)

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CINDY HOUSE Dear Deer

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A woman, her two sons, her ex, and a deer. Add to this the knife the ex is using to gut the animal and you have a family crisis of compelling drama. Cindy House's "Dear Deer" doesn't skimp on the suspense but finds humor too in this confrontation over much more than one hunted animal. (18:45)

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HANNAH ONOGUWE The Housewife

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A Nigerian woman's domination by her new husband forms the narrative of Hannah Onoguwe's "The Housewife" as, step by step, Aramide faces more and more restrictions--on what she can wear, whom she can visit, and finally where she can go. But confined to her house, visited only by the generator repairman, and allowed out only to have her fidelity tested by priests, Aramide discovers ways to subvert her husband's authority. Onoguwe's story brings surprise and delight in its lively telling. (24:40)

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TESS TAYLOR Poems and an interview

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Tess Taylor reads four poems and speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur about how her poems originate and about her new collection Work and Days. Tendinitis, farm work, Hesiod, and hearing music in a phrase--all these and more topics come up in conversation. (20:38)

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