This Be The Verse

Hosted by Maya, Rebecca, William and Julia

Sundays 19:00- 20:00

Welcome to This Be The Verse, bringing you our favourite poems, suitably nerdy discussion of said poems, interviews with poets, YOUR SUBMISSIONS (!) and maybe even some poetry news. With a rotating group of presenters, every episode promises a slightly different flavour and possible eclecticism. 


Maya and Henry discuss absence in that notoriously insubstantial form, poetry. We work our way through poetry from Wordsworth to Paige Lewis.

Alex and Maya discuss poetry about food, featuring a weird bread monster and stabbing people’s hearts in restaurants.


Maya and Rebecca discuss fragments and yearning, looking at poems from Ann Carson to unknown Old English writers.

Welcoming you back to a rainy and freezing Oxford is Rebecca and Will! Instead of a theme for the show, they focus on the work of famous poet/translator/teacher/author (and lovely man) Seamus Heaney, including the merging of historical and current violence in his bog poetry; the heartbreaking personal tragedies that fueled his confessional work; and his artfully diplomatic handing of "The Troubles" in his work.

This week Maya and Dom remind us that poetry doesn't always have to involve pain! Hopeful poetry from Mary Oliver to Billy Collins to give you a mid-term boost.

William and Rebecca delve into the world of the supernatural and the unexplained, with poems by Sy Hoahwah, Anne Waldman and more. The truth is out there.


E1: The Abused

We start off season three with Rebecca and Will! And in typical This Be the Verse style it's another bummer of a topic - poetry all about the abused. Any sensitive readers may find this episode difficult to listen to, in which case have a listen to any other of our wonderful shows, but tune in to discover the power and guilt poetry can so beautifully express.

E2: Science

William and Maya look at the life scientific as expressed through poetry, featuring work by Alicia Ostriker, Walt Whitman, Sam Sax and more.

E3: Parents

Maya & Julia discuss poetry from Shara Lessey, Kaveh Akbar, Emily Berry, Jasmine Burgess and Sophie Dunsby. We discuss importance of names, how to use a fairytale to understand yourself, and why you shouldn't look back when you're trying to escape from hell.

E4: The Sea

Julia and Rebecca discuss that perennial theme, the sea.

E5: Bodies

Maya and Rebecca look at poems on the body, from ee. cummings to Sharon Olds.

E7: Art

William and Julia explore painting and art with poetry by Anne Sexton, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore and more!