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The Verb

A weekly Poetry, Society and Culture podcast
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Episodes of The Verb

Ian McMillan explores diaries and writing inspired by day-to-day life with Michael Rosen, whose book 'Many Different Kinds of Love' recounts his experiences in hospital with coronavirus and features extracts from the diaries of his nurses, doct
Ian McMillan explores and delights in pretentiousness - in language and in writers. What do we mean when we say a piece of writing or a performer is pretentious? Ian's guests include the poet Luke Wright who shares a tour de force poem in defe
Ian McMillan meets Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo to explore her poetry, her essays and her fiction - to find out about her writing process and how it has evolved, her sources of inspiration and her influences.
As energy prices rise, electric cars charge, and the COP summit in Glasgow burns the midnight, er, electricity, we turn up the voltage on the language generated by that invisible force and think about our relationship with it. Ian's guests are
Ian McMillan on the language and poetry of puddings - with Lorraine Bowen, Joseph Coelho, Kate Fox, Frances Atkins and Fariha Shaikh. Singer, comedian and songwriter Lorraine Bowen is known to many as the 'Crumble Lady' - her song about cookin
The Verb celebrates Orkney and the work of George Mackay Brown in his centenary year. One of Scotland's greatest 20th century writers, George Mackay Brown was a poet, novelist, columnist and chronicler of Orcadian life. Ian McMillan is joined
For the last of our programmes recorded at the Belgrade Theatre for the Contains Strong Language Festival of poetry and performance, Ian McMillan is joined by Simon Armitage & LYR, Theresa Lola, Romalyn Ante and Andrea Mbarushimana for a progra
Ian McMillan is joined by an audience at the Belgrade Theatre as he explores Coventry's green places and the river that ghosts through the city with poets David Morley, John Bernard, Sujana Crawford and Olga Dermott-Bond. He is also joined by m
The Verb is Live at the Contains Strong Language festival of poetry and performance at the 2021 City of Culture, Coventry. Ian McMillan is in front of a studio audience at the Belgrade Theare and will be joined by just a few of the festival gue
We reveal our new 'Rules for Writing' - six ideas to inspire, excite, and to break! The musician and songwriter Damon Albarn - and award-winning poets Don Paterson and Elizabeth-Jane Burnett - all join Ian McMillan to illustrate these prov
Ian McMillan is joined by Anita Sethi, Kate Fox, Ira Lightman, and Tom Chatfield to explore the language of time, listening and uncertainty and to celebrate the most compelling ideas that have been gathered into the Verb's 'keepnet' over the l
What makes a good manifesto? Are they better if they are sloganeering or questioning? Radio 1's Greg James and co-writer Chris Smith's new book is like a manifesto for the imagination, Malika Booker co-founded a poetry workshop that has transf
Ian is joined by 'Gathering Moss' and 'Braiding Sweetgrass' author Robin Wall Kimmerer who is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, poet Katrina Porteous who has written in the coastal Northumbrian dialect, and linguist Dr Diane
As the Manchester International Festival opens we celebrate aritsts working across media and creating hybrid forms. Heather Phillipson is a poet and a visual artist whose work appears in the new exhibition at the festival created by Hans Ulrich
Ian McMillan is joined by the Labour Party politician Ed Miliband, by ambassador for ‘Compassion in Politics’ Jackie Weaver ( Jackie recently shot to fame after a parish council meeting went viral), by writer Emilie Robson with a 'Verb Drama'
Ian McMillan on the language we use to think and write about trees and the kind of thinking we do alongside them - with forester and environmentalist Peter Wohlleben whose books include 'The Hidden Life of Trees', poet and academic Jason Allen
Ian McMillan on how language and poetry affect our perception of time. In this Verb he explores the language of slowness with Oxford University geographer Professor Danny Dorling, asks poet Rachael Boast to read time-bending poetry from her n
Ian McMillan is joined by some of the most dynamic writers taking part in the Hay Festival: Michael Morpurgo, one of the nation’s best-loved children’s authors and author of ‘War Horse’, columnist and best-selling feminist chronicler Caitlin M
Ian McMillan explores the dream like experience of 'reverie' - with Terrance Hayes, Bea Roberts, Rachel Genn and Ira Lightman. What does reverie mean to writers in 2021? Is it simply a waste of time and a state of procrastination? Novelist and
Ian McMillan explores the language of ancestry and the impact our families have on us across the generations and through the passing of time. With poets Hollie McNish whose grannies feature prominently in her latest collection 'Slug...and other
Ian McMillan explores the skill of collaboration - joined by guests Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who write best-selling thrillers under the pseudonym Nicci French, and by Britain's finest, if only, comedy-jazz-rap duo 'Harry and Chris' (poet
What kind of writing keeps us thinking about technology and social media platforms, and their place in our lives - especially when they're seamlessly woven into our days? Ian McMillan is joined by comedian and actress Isy Suttie, political anal
Ian McMillan celebrates pauses and punctuation with guests Kei Miller, Eley Williams, Kate Fox and Angela Leighton. They explore the different emotions, listening and reading experiences prompted by brackets, full stops, em dashes, blank spaces
How determined do you have to be to become a writer? How do you return to the page every day when inspiration runs dry, or you receive a rejection? And how do you know when to step away in case your writing becomes over-determined. To answer th
Ian McMillan and guests delight in the writing and naming of planets (Ian loves Neptune best), exploring how we as writers influence the perception of them, and how our perception may influence how humans treat them. Bettany Hughes is a histor
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