Mary Ruefle podcast: swimming, paper clips and poetry phenomena

A black and white portait photograph of the US poet Mary Ruefle, who looks directly into the camera with a quizzical smile.
Mary Ruefle. Photo: Matt Valentine

The celebrated American poet Mary Ruefle is the subject of the latest edition in The Poetry Review podcast series.

In their funny and thought-provoking conversation by telephone, Mary Ruefle and Review editor Emily Berry discuss starting poems and first lines; working to commission and no longer facing the blank page; writing letters, writing prose, humour and sadness and not being afraid of the latter; pins, paper clips, swimming and getting comfortable with what we don’t know… Poetry is to be experienced as a phenomenon on earth, Ruefle says, “[it] is not be understood… it’s a little scary but it’s a matter of letting go”. She gives wonderful readings of her poems in the Review summer 2021 issue: ‘Lament’, ‘Conflict’, ‘My Life as a Scholar’ and ‘Empathy of Cod’.

Stay up to date with The Poetry Review podcasts by subscribing to the series via Soundcloud. Share diverse conversations and resonant readings from magazine contributors including Rachel Long, Selima Hill, Luke Kennard, Sandeep Parmar, Chelsey Minnis and Ishion Hutchinson.

Listen to the podcast with Emily Berry talking to Mary Ruefle

9 September 2021