1 - 20 of 23 results


Mark Grist, poet

A tour of the Archive

with Mark Grist, poet

Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in, the more I’ve developed a palette for playful use of language; particularly...
Sherrie Talgeri, Foyle Young Poet finalist

A tour of the Archive

with Sherrie Talgeri, Foyle Young Poet finalist

Poetry is life with line-breaks – a personal matter – and I hope that this six poem mixtape I’ve chosen will resonate with you. This guided tour shall be filled to the brim with hapless word-beauty...
Catherine Olver, Foyle Young Poet finalist

A tour of the Archive

with Catherine Olver, Foyle Young Poet finalist

I think it's defensible to say that there's something about any poem worth the title that asks to be read aloud. Perhaps it's to do with the origin of poetry, as part of oral traditions, or perhaps...
Sarah Tremlett, artist and writer

A tour of the Archive

with Sarah Tremlett, artist and writer

I may be a closet listophile. Just as I have always been fascinated by the way that unlikely groupings of authors often rub shoulders amongst the nicknacks and flotsam of domestic bookshelves, so I...
Robert Cole, poet

A tour of the Archive

with Robert Cole, poet

Poetry springs to life in recordings such as those curated in the Archive. Poems have a perfectly respectable existence lying largely undisturbed between the pages of short-run volumes. But here,...
Rachel Redford, writer

A tour of the Archive

with Rachel Redford, writer

Over the last few years I have listened to many of the Poetry Archive recordings and my six poems are taken from those voices, literal and poetic, which stood out and have remained with me. I wanted...
Frank Cottrell Boyce, children's author and film-maker

A tour of the Archive

with Frank Cottrell Boyce, children's author and film-maker

I had the great joy of being part of the creative team for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics - a multi-media extravaganza that was streamed, tweeted, favourited and blogged about across the...
Julia Copus

A tour of the Archive

with Julia Copus

I've avoided poems that other writers here have recommended, but which otherwise would certainly have been on my list (such as Richard Wilbur's superb 'A Barred Owl', chosen by Andrew Motion). There...
Roger Stevens, author and poet

A tour of the Archive

with Roger Stevens, author and poet

I really enjoyed listening to all the poems in the Archive. It's fantastic to hear poets reading their own work. It took me a long time to choose my favourites - I think it would be much easier to...
Connie Ruzich, Professor of English Studies

A tour of the Archive

with Connie Ruzich, Professor of English Studies

As a university teacher who lives in an inland city surrounded by mountains, streams, and rivers, I sometimes have a longing for the ocean, to see and smell and hear its rhythms. When I don't have...
David  Almond, author

A tour of the Archive

with David Almond, author

I love this archive. It's an important reminder that all literature has its roots in the human voice. Black print on white paper is not remote and abstract stuff but grows out from 'ordinary'...

A tour of the Archive

with Stephen Fry, actor and writer

Stephen Fry is a man of many talents: actor, novelist, comedian, librettist, thinker and wit. In an interview with Michael Parkinson, he was described as being "a man with a brain the size of Kent"....
Monica Ali, novelist

A tour of the Archive

with Monica Ali, novelist

On my initial visit to the Poetry Archive, the historical recordings caught my attention first. I did not know that recordings of Tennyson, for instance, existed. Although some of the following lines...
Jean Sprackland

A tour of the Archive

with Jean Sprackland

There are so many good poems in the Children's Poetry Archive, it's hard to know where to start! I'd like to share with you just a few of my favourites. I've chosen six very different poems: some are...
Dr  Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

A tour of the Archive

with Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Poetry happens at a sort of junction in the mind when new combinations start up, words and pictures start connecting in unexpected ways. It takes you into what can feel like anarchic territory, and...
Stephanie Anderson, writer and coach

A tour of the Archive

with Stephanie Anderson, writer and coach

On my first visit to the Poetry Archive I dipped in to see what was there, and discovered there was far more to hear than I had imagined. I returned for flying visits, listening to one poet after...
Rachel Smith, chef and poet

A tour of the Archive

with Rachel Smith, chef and poet

Visiting the Poetry Archive feels like browsing through your favourite bookshop and finding that all the books are now talking to you!
Helen Gray, teacher

A tour of the Archive

with Helen Gray, teacher

As a secondary schoolteacher in London for the past thirty years, it has been my privilege to have had a job which at its core, involves getting teenagers to fall in love with poetry. I have made my...
Clive James

A tour of the Archive

with Clive James

The writer and broadcaster Clive James introduces a few of his favourite poems in the Poetry Archive.
Andrew Motion

A tour of the Archive

with Andrew Motion

My short tour of the Poetry Archive is designed to show its range, as well as the strength-in-depth of its holdings. And also to demonstrate how the pleasures and meanings of poetry depend as much on...

Starting points

Not sure where to start? Who to listen to? What to read? The links below will help to get you on your way.

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A tour of the Archive with Dr Rowan Williams

Poetry happens at a sort of junction in the mind when new combinations start up, words and pictures start connecting...

Featured Guided Tours


Enjoy new recordings of classic poems from the past read by contemporary poets

A Shropshire Lad XXXI:...

A E Housman

read by Alan Brownjohn

The Charge of the Heavy...

Alfred Tennyson

read by Alfred Tennyson