Episodes

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20040417Matthew Kneale, author of the wonderful historical novels Sweet Thames and English Passengers, reads a new story commissioned by The Verb. Ian McMillan is joined too by MARIO PETRUCCI, who performs part of Heavy Water, a remarkable long poem drawn from the accounts of survivors of the Chernobyl disaster which happened eighteen years ago - the time it takes a person to reach adulthood - this month.
20040417Matthew Kneale, author of the wonderful historical novels Sweet Thames and English Passengers, reads a new story commissioned by The Verb. Ian McMillan is joined too by Mario Petrucci, who performs part of Heavy Water, a remarkable long poem drawn from the accounts of survivors of the Chernobyl disaster which happened eighteen years ago - the time it takes a person to reach adulthood - this month.
20040508Jeffrey Eugenides, acclaimed author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, talks to Ian McMillan and reads an exclusive extract from his next book. Plusan examination of one of the great feats of translation: the translator of Sebald and Zweig on the challenge of Asterix.
20040508Jeffrey Eugenides, acclaimed author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, talks to Ian McMillan and reads an exclusive extract from his next book. Plusan examination of one of the great feats of translation: the translator of Sebald and Zweig on the challenge of Asterix.
20040515Z Z Packer is a young American writer whose first collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has garnered transatlantic acclaim. She talks to Ian McMillan and reads a new piece set in the Atlanta of her childhood. And with a new novel, biography and film of his life pending, The Verb goes in search of CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, inventor of the 'mighty line': blank verse drama.
20040515Z Z Packer is a young American writer whose first collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has garnered transatlantic acclaim. She talks to Ian McMillan and reads a new piece set in the Atlanta of her childhood. And with a new novel, biography and film of his life pending, The Verb goes in search of Christopher Marlowe, inventor of the 'mighty line': blank verse drama.
20040605Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20040605Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20040612In the second of a series of commissions inspired by paintings of gardens, celebrated novelist ROSE TREMAIN reads a stunning short story set in France at the turn of the century.
20040612In the second of a series of commissions inspired by paintings of gardens, celebrated novelist Rose Tremain reads a stunning short story set in France at the turn of the century.
20040626As the Olympic flame arrives in London, Ian McMillan presents a new series of commissions in which contemporary writers look again at the Greek myths.

The first is a short story by PANOS KARNEZIS, author of the acclaimed collection 'Little Infamies' and the novel 'The Maze.' His story is based on the myth of Arachne, a supremely gifted weaver who dared challenge the goddess Minerva to a contest.

Also featuring new work from KEN CAMPBELL, and a feature on the great Pablo Neruda.

20040626As the Olympic flame arrives in London, Ian McMillan presents a new series of commissions in which contemporary writers look again at the Greek myths.

The first is a short story by Panos Karnezis, author of the acclaimed collection 'Little Infamies' and the novel 'The Maze.' His story is based on the myth of Arachne, a supremely gifted weaver who dared challenge the goddess Minerva to a contest.

Also featuring new work from Ken Campbell, and a feature on the great Pablo Neruda.

20040703Ian McMillan presents the second in a series of new commissions in which contemporary writers look again at the Greek myths. This week, playwright COLIN TEEVAN with an extraordinary monologue based on the story of Medea. Teevan's Medea is a man betrayed by his wife, and his revenge is quite as terrible as Euripides' original. Also featuring new work from KEN CAMPBELL, and a profile of the nineteenth century Dorset poet William Barnes, currently being championed by Christopher Ricks.
20040703Ian McMillan presents the second in a series of new commissions in which contemporary writers look again at the Greek myths. This week, playwright Colin Teevan with an extraordinary monologue based on the story of Medea. Teevan's Medea is a man betrayed by his wife, and his revenge is quite as terrible as Euripides' original. Also featuring new work from Ken Campbell, and a profile of the nineteenth century Dorset poet William Barnes, currently being championed by Christopher Ricks.
20040724Ian McMillan presents a special programme showcasing the best of The Verb's specially commissioned writing for radio. Including outstanding work from Richard Powers, PAUL ABBOTT and Elspeth Barker.
20040724Ian McMillan presents a special programme showcasing the best of The Verb's specially commissioned writing for radio. Including outstanding work from Richard Powers, Paul Abbott and Elspeth Barker.
20040918Ian McMillan's guests are Booker Prize winning novelist YANN MARTEL and writer and singer Nick Cave.
20041002Ian McMillan with more late night word cabaret: newly commissioned writing, hi-octane performance, and the best in world literature.
20041002Ian McMillan with more late night word cabaret: newly commissioned writing, hi-octane performance, and the best in world literature.
20041009Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20041009Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20041016Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week he explores the perplexing subject of spelling - its history, uses and misuses - with the help of Linguistics professor Vivan Cook, author of Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary. Plus, the singer Barb Jungr will be performing a specially commissioned song about spelling, and there'll be a chance to hear a new radio drama from the acclaimed Irish writer Ronan Bennett.
20041016Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week he explores the perplexing subject of spelling - its history, uses and misuses - with the help of Linguistics professor Vivan Cook, author of Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary. Plus, the singer Barb Jungr will be performing a specially commissioned song about spelling, and there'll be a chance to hear a new radio drama from the acclaimed Irish writer Ronan Bennett.
20041023Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance.
20041023Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance.
20041030MARGARET ATWOOD and Robert Bringhurst talk to Ian MacMillan about the Classical Hyda Mythtellers, the native American stories which Atwood describes as 'An American Iliad'.
20041030Margaret Atwood and Robert Bringhurst talk to Ian MacMillan about the Classical Hyda Mythtellers, the native American stories which Atwood describes as 'An American Iliad'.
20041106Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week's guest is the acclaimed Irish writer Ronan Bennett.
20041106Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week's guest is the acclaimed Irish writer Ronan Bennett.
20041113Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week there'll be a chance to hear the acclaimed Scottish writer AL Kennedy, who explores her own fear of flying in a letter specially commissioned for The Verb.
20041113Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and hi-octane performance. This week there'll be a chance to hear the acclaimed Scottish writer AL Kennedy, who explores her own fear of flying in a letter specially commissioned for The Verb.
20041120Ian McMillan presents a special edition of Radio 3's cabaret of new writing, language and performance from the London Jazz Festival - with a jazz theme, star names from the world of writing and music, and the best in word-based improvisation.
20041120Ian McMillan presents a special edition of Radio 3's cabaret of new writing, language and performance from the London Jazz Festival - with a jazz theme, star names from the world of writing and music, and the best in word-based improvisation.
20041127Ian McMillan presents the late-night showcase of new writing and performance. Acclaimed Scottish writer AL Kennedy describes her fear of flying in a specially commissioned letter.
20041127Ian McMillan presents the late-night showcase of new writing and performance. Acclaimed Scottish writer AL Kennedy describes her fear of flying in a specially commissioned letter.
20041204Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20041204Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20050108Ian McMillan introduces a new series for The Verb in which the TOM PAULIN explores the Secret Life of the Poem. Over the next four weeks he will be looking behind the stanzas of seemingly familiar poetry and revealing the hidden histories and meanings behind them, beginning today with He Fumbles At Your Soul by Emily Dickinson. Ian will also be marking the 40th anniversary of the death of T S ELIOT with a reassessment of his reputation as a dramatist.
20050108Ian McMillan introduces a new series for The Verb in which the Tom Paulin explores the Secret Life of the Poem. Over the next four weeks he will be looking behind the stanzas of seemingly familiar poetry and revealing the hidden histories and meanings behind them, beginning today with He Fumbles At Your Soul by Emily Dickinson. Ian will also be marking the 40th anniversary of the death of T S Eliot with a reassessment of his reputation as a dramatist.
20050115Ian McMillan with another cabaret of the word. TOM PAULIN continues his series the Secret Life of the Poem with Robert Browning's Meeting at Night, and audio cartoonist PETER BLEGVAD returns.
20050115Ian McMillan with another cabaret of the word. Tom Paulin continues his series the Secret Life of the Poem with Robert Browning's Meeting at Night, and audio cartoonist Peter Blegvad returns.
20050122Ian McMillan is joined by the poet JULIA DARLING, who has written a new story about sickness and waiting. TOM PAULIN reveals the secrets of SEAMUS HEANEY, and award winning 'eartoonist' PETER BLEGVAD returns.
20050122Ian McMillan is joined by the poet Julia Darling, who has written a new story about sickness and waiting. Tom Paulin reveals the secrets of Seamus Heaney, and award winning 'eartoonist' Peter Blegvad returns.
20050129Ian McMillan with another cabaret of language. TOM PAULIN concludes his series the Secret Life of the Poem and award winning audio cartoonist PETER BLEGVAD is in the studio.
20050129Ian McMillan with another cabaret of language. Tom Paulin concludes his series the Secret Life of the Poem and award winning audio cartoonist Peter Blegvad is in the studio.
20050205Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20050205Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20050212Ian McMillan presents a special edition featuring writers ALI SMITH and PAUL BAILEY in a dialogue about dialogue.
20050212Ian McMillan presents a special edition featuring writers Ali Smith and Paul Bailey in a dialogue about dialogue.
20050219Ian McMillan presents the language, literature and performance show. As the daffodils begin to appear, poet PAUL FARLEY gives a modern answer to Wordsworth's classic verses.
20050219Ian McMillan presents the language, literature and performance show. As the daffodils begin to appear, poet Paul Farley gives a modern answer to Wordsworth's classic verses.
20050226Ian McMillan sneaks a preview of an exclusive extract from David Peace's next novel, The Damned United, which dramatises scenes from the life of the legendary footballer and manager Brian Clough, and KEN CAMPBELL begins a new series of commissioned monologues.
20050226Ian McMillan sneaks a preview of an exclusive extract from David Peace's next novel, The Damned United, which dramatises scenes from the life of the legendary footballer and manager Brian Clough, and Ken Campbell begins a new series of commissioned monologues.
20050305Ian McMillan presents a special programme recorded at the Hayward Gallery, celebrating African writing and performance. Ngugi Wa Thiong'O reads from his next novel, JACKIE KAY performs new poetry and the Daara J trio showcase the best in Senegalese hip hop.
20050305Ian McMillan presents a special programme recorded at the Hayward Gallery, celebrating African writing and performance. Ngugi Wa Thiong'O reads from his next novel, Jackie Kay performs new poetry and the Daara J trio showcase the best in Senegalese hip hop.
20050312Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme, with new work from cult Israeli writer Etgar Keret, and a commissioned drama about intrusive documentary-making from playwright Steve Waters.
20050312Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme, with new work from cult Israeli writer Etgar Keret, and a commissioned drama about intrusive documentary-making from playwright Steve Waters.
20050319Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme. Whitbread prize-winning poet MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS performs a new commission inspired by the Book of Psalms, and Ian hears the first in a series of new versions of the parables as novelist Sarah Hall rewrites the parable of the lost sheep.
20050319Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme. Whitbread prize-winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts performs a new commission inspired by the Book of Psalms, and Ian hears the first in a series of new versions of the parables as novelist Sarah Hall rewrites the parable of the lost sheep.
20050326Ian McMillan presents the literature programme. This edition features new poetry from JOHN BURNSIDE and a commissioned parable from acclaimed Pakistani novelist Kamlia Shamsie.
20050326Ian McMillan presents the literature programme. This edition features new poetry from John Burnside and a commissioned parable from acclaimed Pakistani novelist Kamlia Shamsie.
20050409Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme, featuring a new short story from acclaimed Irish playwright BILLY ROCHE and performance from Ken Campbell.
20050409'

Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance programme, featuring a new short story from acclaimed Irish playwright Billy Roche and performance from Ken Campbell.

20050416Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20050416Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20050430Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance show, with new work from Chimamanda Adichie and Philip Hensher, with a close-reading of DAVID HUGHES classic novel The Pork Butcher.
20050430Ian McMillan presents the literature and performance show, with new work from Chimamanda Adichie and Philip Hensher, with a close-reading of David Hughes classic novel The Pork Butcher.
20050507Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and performance.

Ian talks to the Thai-American writer, Rattawut Lapcharoensap and there's a chance to hear The Verb's award-winning eartoonist, Peter Blegvad.

20050507Ian McMillan presents the late night showcase of new writing, found language and performance.

Ian talks to the Thai-American writer, Rattawut Lapcharoensap and there's a chance to hear The Verb's award-winning eartoonist, Peter Blegvad.

20050514Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. There's a special commission from Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary, a new novel which imagines

Britain in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Chris's commission looks at how language reacts to moments of crisis. Also on the show, a new eartoon from Peter Blegvad.

20050514Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. There's a special commission from Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary, a new novel which imagines

Britain in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Chris's commission looks at how language reacts to moments of crisis. Also on the show, a new eartoon from Peter Blegvad.

20050528Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. The acclaimed American author Joyce Carol Oates discusses the faith of the writer; plus, a specially commissioned piece by renowned novelist Derek Beavan, and another instalment from The Verb's award-winning eartoonist Peter Blegvad.
20050528Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. The acclaimed American author Joyce Carol Oates discusses the faith of the writer; plus, a specially commissioned piece by renowned novelist Derek Beavan, and another instalment from The Verb's award-winning eartoonist Peter Blegvad.
20050604Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme from the Hay Literary Festival. He is joined by the acclaimed American music critic Greil Marcus to discuss his new book on Bob Dylan's classic, Like a Rolling Stone.

The Verb's award-winning eartoonist PETER BLEGVAD will also be on the panel, alongside other stars from the festival.

20050604Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme from the Hay Literary Festival. He is joined by the acclaimed American music critic Greil Marcus to discuss his new book on Bob Dylan's classic, Like a Rolling Stone.

The Verb's award-winning eartoonist Peter Blegvad will also be on the panel, alongside other stars from the festival.

20050611Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. This week's poet, Nii Parkes, launches his Verb guide to great African writers; plus, ALEX BUTTERWORTH on graffiti in the ancient world, and poet WENDY COPE judges the villanelle competition.
20050611'

Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. This week's poet, Nii Parkes, launches his Verb guide to great African writers; plus, Alex Butterworth on graffiti in the ancient world, and poet Wendy Cope judges the villanelle competition.

20050618Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. Featuring a specially commissioned piece from acclaimed new writer Diana Evans; poet Nii Parkes continues his guide to great African authors and Canadian poet Jen Hadfield reads a new road poem, composed especially for The Verb.
20050618Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. Featuring a specially commissioned piece from acclaimed new writer Diana Evans; poet Nii Parkes continues his guide to great African authors and Canadian poet Jen Hadfield reads a new road poem, composed especially for The Verb.
20050625Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. This edition features a special commission from writer ADAM THORPE which pays homage to Baudelaire's classic, Les Fleurs du Mal, which is 100 years old this year. And poet Nii Parkes continues his guide to great African writers.
20050625Ian McMillan presents the writing and performance programme. This edition features a special commission from writer Adam Thorpe which pays homage to Baudelaire's classic, Les Fleurs du Mal, which is 100 years old this year. And poet Nii Parkes continues his guide to great African writers.
20050702Ian McMillan presents new writing, poetry and performance. Nii Parkes concludes his guide to great African writers and the Malawian poet Jack Mapange reads from new work.
20050702Ian McMillan presents new writing, poetry and performance. Nii Parkes concludes his guide to great African writers and the Malawian poet Jack Mapange reads from new work.
20050709Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance in the last programme before the Proms season. This week, Radio 3's African writer-in-residence ROMMI SMITH reads from new work and the winner of the Beethoven competition is announced.
20050709Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance in the last programme before the Proms season. This week, Radio 3's African writer-in-residence Rommi Smith reads from new work and the winner of the Beethoven competition is announced.
20050917Ian McMillan returns with a new series of the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

Travel writer Alexander Frater contemplates the darker side of the monsoon in a special commission; novelist Kitty Fitzgerald discusses her startling debut Pigtopia, and there's an arresting performance from the UK's first ever poetry boy band, Aisle 16.

20050917Ian McMillan returns with a new series of the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

Travel writer Alexander Frater contemplates the darker side of the monsoon in a special commission; novelist Kitty Fitzgerald discusses her startling debut Pigtopia, and there's an arresting performance from the UK's first ever poetry boy band, Aisle 16.

20050924Ian McMillan looks back at four decades of the Poetry Olympics with its founder Michael Horovitz. Plus the latest from one of Latin America's biggest poetry festivals taking place in Argentina.
20050924Ian McMillan looks back at four decades of the Poetry Olympics with its founder Michael Horovitz. Plus the latest from one of Latin America's biggest poetry festivals taking place in Argentina.
20051001Ian McMillan presents the cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance. Including the first in a new series of performances from ROMMI SMITH, Radio 3's writer in residence for the Africa season.
20051001Ian McMillan presents the cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance. Including the first in a new series of performances from Rommi Smith, Radio 3's writer in residence for the Africa season.
20051008Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language. It's a translation special, featuring Somaliland's leading poet, Gaarriye, and an exploration of children's literature in translation.
20051008Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language. It's a translation special, featuring Somaliland's leading poet, Gaarriye, and an exploration of children's literature in translation.
20051015Ian McMillan presents another edition of the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

There's a mesmerising performance from Klezmer musician GEOFF BERNER, and another instalment of Rommi Smith's series of poems based on memories of Africa.

20051015Ian McMillan presents another edition of the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

There's a mesmerising performance from Klezmer musician Geoff Berner, and another instalment of Rommi Smith's series of poems based on memories of Africa.

20051022Lost Consonants author Graham Rawle talks about his latest novel, a cut/paste homage to 1950s women's magazines. Plus a performance from Aisle 16, the UK's first poetry boy band. With Ian McMillan.
20051022Lost Consonants author Graham Rawle talks about his latest novel, a cut/paste homage to 1950s women's magazines. Plus a performance from Aisle 16, the UK's first poetry boy band. With Ian McMillan.
20051105Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language. With a specially commissioned poem about dark places for Guy Fawkes Night, and a discussion about the new literary phenomenon of fan fiction.
20051105Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language. With a specially commissioned poem about dark places for Guy Fawkes Night, and a discussion about the new literary phenomenon of fan fiction.
20051112Ian McMillan marks ten years since the death of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, and PETER BLEGVAD returns with another series of his award winning 'eartoons'.
20051112Ian McMillan marks ten years since the death of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Peter Blegvad returns with another series of his award winning 'eartoons'.
20051119Ian McMillan presents a special edition of the show from the London Jazz Festival. Guests include pianist Gareth Williams and acclaimed jazz vocalist Norma Winstone. Plus Verb regulars PETER BLEGVAD and Salena Godden.
20051119Ian McMillan presents a special edition of the show from the London Jazz Festival. Guests include pianist Gareth Williams and acclaimed jazz vocalist Norma Winstone. Plus Verb regulars Peter Blegvad and Salena Godden.
20051203Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

Acclaimed Chinese-American novelist Amy Tan talks about her latest book Saving Fish From Drowning, and Poet Laureate ANDREW MOTION tells of the launch of the national poetry archive.

20051203Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance.

Acclaimed Chinese-American novelist Amy Tan talks about her latest book Saving Fish From Drowning, and Poet Laureate Andrew Motion tells of the launch of the national poetry archive.

20051210Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance. This edition features another instalment from The Verb's award-winning eartoonist, Peter Blegvad.
20051210Ian McMillan presents the weekly cabaret of new writing, poetry and performance. This edition features another instalment from The Verb's award-winning eartoonist, Peter Blegvad.
20051231Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20051231Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20060107Second of two programmes in which Ian MacMillan looks back over the best writing and performances broadcast by The Verb in the past twelve months.
20060107Second of two programmes in which Ian MacMillan looks back over the best writing and performances broadcast by The Verb in the past twelve months.
20060114Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20060114Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20060121Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20060121Ian McMillan presents the weekly magazine about language.
20060128STIG DALAGER, one of Denmark's greatest living writers, has just had his first novel published in English. It's been heralded as a masterpiece, and is a fictional account of the complex life and loves of another Danish master storyteller - Hans Christian Andersen. Ian McMillan talks to Stig in his first British interview.
20060128Stig Dalager, one of Denmark's greatest living writers, has just had his first novel published in English. It's been heralded as a masterpiece, and is a fictional account of the complex life and loves of another Danish master storyteller - Hans Christian Andersen. Ian McMillan talks to Stig in his first British interview.
20060204Play detective with Ian McMillan when writer Val McDermid uncovers the secret of The Grave Tattoo, and reveals that the poet WILLIAM WORDSWORTH and Fletcher Christian were childhood buddies.

Plus, in the last of the series on South East Asian writers, Tash Aw talks about Korea's greatest living writer, the novelist Hwang Sok-yong and his novel The Guest.

20060204Play detective with Ian McMillan when writer Val McDermid uncovers the secret of The Grave Tattoo, and reveals that the poet William Wordsworth and Fletcher Christian were childhood buddies.

Plus, in the last of the series on South East Asian writers, Tash Aw talks about Korea's greatest living writer, the novelist Hwang Sok-yong and his novel The Guest.

20060211Ian McMillan hears from WILL SELF, who reads from his forthcoming novel featuring a disgruntled East End taxi driver; and PETER BLEGVAD uncovers the secret lives of books.
20060211Ian McMillan hears from Will Self, who reads from his forthcoming novel featuring a disgruntled East End taxi driver; and Peter Blegvad uncovers the secret lives of books.
20060218JOOLZ DENBY jumps onto her shark biscuit to deliver a dark tale of dangerous infatuation in the surfing village of Polwenna.

And the latest in the topical tight turn-around written pieces adds another grain of unpredictability to Ian McMillan's cabaret of the written and spoken word.

20060218Joolz Denby jumps onto her shark biscuit to deliver a dark tale of dangerous infatuation in the surfing village of Polwenna.

And the latest in the topical tight turn-around written pieces adds another grain of unpredictability to Ian McMillan's cabaret of the written and spoken word.

20060225Booker prize winner DBC Pierre talks to Ian McMillan. Also featuring performance poet SHAMSHAD KHAN and children's author Maurice Gleitzman.
20060225Booker prize winner DBC Pierre talks to Ian McMillan. Also featuring performance poet Shamshad Khan and children's author Maurice Gleitzman.
20060304Howard Jacobson gives Ian McMillan a sneak preview of his novel, Kalooki Nights. Plus, David Harsent and Michael Symonds discuss why poets are turning to writing crime novels.
20060304Howard Jacobson gives Ian McMillan a sneak preview of his novel, Kalooki Nights. Plus, David Harsent and Michael Symonds discuss why poets are turning to writing crime novels.
20060325The first two pages of a novel can sell it - or kill it. Ian McMillan launches a competition that could win you a place on an Arvon's first-time novelists course, run by acclaimed writers SARAH WATERS and Tim Lott.

Plus, the world of Suzanne Andrade has been described as suburban gothic. She puts to words and music a forbidding and surreal world.

20060325The first two pages of a novel can sell it - or kill it. Ian McMillan launches a competition that could win you a place on an Arvon's first-time novelists course, run by acclaimed writers Sarah Waters and Tim Lott.

Plus, the world of Suzanne Andrade has been described as suburban gothic. She puts to words and music a forbidding and surreal world.

20060408The spotlight is on award winning playwright Kay Adshead's Of the End, her new radio play inspired by Samuel Beckett. Plus a celebration of the bard of Orkney, storyteller and poet George McKay Brown.
20060408The spotlight is on award winning playwright Kay Adshead's Of the End, her new radio play inspired by Samuel Beckett. Plus a celebration of the bard of Orkney, storyteller and poet George McKay Brown.
20060415The last in the series of special SAMUEL BECKETT commissions. Presented by Ian McMillan.
20060415The last in the series of special Samuel Beckett commissions. Presented by Ian McMillan.
20060422The body of a boy is washed up on a beach. Was it a fishing accident? Or was it murder? What unfolds is a haunting short story especially commissioned for The Verb in which the Nigerian born writer Segun Afolabi explores the role of blame in our societies today.

He will also talk about the art of the short story with Ian McMillan and guests.

20060422The body of a boy is washed up on a beach. Was it a fishing accident? Or was it murder? What unfolds is a haunting short story especially commissioned for The Verb in which the Nigerian born writer Segun Afolabi explores the role of blame in our societies today.

He will also talk about the art of the short story with Ian McMillan and guests.

20060429How can running a marathon across the Sahara desert or winning the Antarctic marathon in minus 30 degrees help Booker-nominated MICHAEL COLLINS write?

He talks to Ian McMillan about the power of endurance and whether battling against the elements is comparable with the battle of the imagination against the blank page.

20060429How can running a marathon across the Sahara desert or winning the Antarctic marathon in minus 30 degrees help Booker-nominated Michael Collins write?

He talks to Ian McMillan about the power of endurance and whether battling against the elements is comparable with the battle of the imagination against the blank page.

20060506To mark the 150th birthday of SIGMUND FREUD, novelist JENNY DISKI looks at the impact he had on writers and writing. Presented by Ian McMillan.
20060506To mark the 150th birthday of Sigmund Freud, novelist Jenny Diski looks at the impact he had on writers and writing. Presented by Ian McMillan.
20060520Insects may be seen as pests but they have influenced and shaped our language as well as our literature. Pest expert Bridget Nicolls and pest musician MIRA CALIX prove this to Ian McMillan in surprising ways. And Orange prize winner KATE GRENVILLE reads a specially commissioned short story.
20060527An audio spectacular awaits as Ian McMillan and guests attend this year's Hay Literary Festival.
20060527An audio spectacular awaits as Ian McMillan and guests attend this year's Hay Literary Festival.
20060603Ian McMillan uncovers The Meaning of Night, the title of Michael Cox's Victorian novel which is tipped to be the bestseller of the autumn.
20060603Ian McMillan uncovers The Meaning of Night, the title of Michael Cox's Victorian novel which is tipped to be the bestseller of the autumn.
20060610Ian McMillan challenges novelist Maggie Gee to turn her hand to thriller writing. Plus, an interview with poet Michael Tomlinson.
20060610Ian McMillan challenges novelist Maggie Gee to turn her hand to thriller writing. Plus, an interview with poet Michael Tomlinson.
20060617Ian McMillan presents another edition of the language, literature and performance programme.
20060617Ian McMillan presents another edition of the language, literature and performance programme.
20220415Ian McMillan's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

20220513Ian McMillan's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

18-02-20222021102920220218 (R3)The Verb, Ian McMillan's regular foray into the world of language and literature, explores a life well-travelled and well-lived with Colm Tóibín, travel writer Sara Wheeler and Prof Nandini Das. Travel writing, poetry and translation can ferry the reader across language, culture and time, creating new geographies and lead to a place inhabited by both writers and translators.
25-02-20222021061820220225 (R3)
Adversaries.20220304On The Verb this week Ian McMillan is up for a fight.

We're delving into the world of the adversary. He'll be talking to Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James about Moon Witch, Spider King the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy, asking why the sequel explores the psychology of a witch - a character more generally associated with evil deeds than inner motivations.

Hannah Lowe, fresh from a Costa Book of the Year win for her collection The Kids, will be exploring the adversarial side of the classroom, and unveils a special commission for The Verb. Unbuckled takes us into the world of an adversarial romantic relationship - with sad echoes of the Cinderella story.

And when it comes to the villain of the piece - how can you top Satan himself? The name means 'adversary' in Hebrew. So we're about get Satanic with Joe Moshenska. He's published a new book, Making Darkness Light, The Lives and Times of JOHN MILTON. He'll be explaining how the poet's compelling, smooth-talking creation became the template for a new type of antihero. Look no further than Paradise Lost for your embryonic Tony Sopranos and Walter Whites.

And you can't talk adversaries in literature without touching on crime. Jane Casey's new novel is called The Killing Kind. When her life is threatened defence barrister Ingrid turns to a sinister stalker she helped to exonerate for help. Where does a classic Faustian deal with the devil come in the world of adversarial writing - and how much should we root for the bad guy?

Presented by Ian McMillan

Produced by KEVIN CORE

Marlon James and Hannah Lowe join Ian McMillan for a discussion of adversaries.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

After Dark Festival: The Chance To Change20220325The Equinox is a time of change, and at a special recording for Radio 3's After Dark Festival, The Verb's master of metamorphosis Ian McMillan presents a plethora of poets from Sage Gateshead. Our contribution to this major new live music festival, it's a feast of contemporary, classical and experimental music too and you can find out more searching 'After Dark Festival' in BBC Sounds.

We'll have live performances from Mike Garry bringing a flavour of Manchester to the North East and we'll also be joined by local lad Rowan McCabe - who described his 'door-to-door' poetry service as 'like the Avon lady but with rhymes.' And we'll have a performance from the ever eclectic KATE FOX as well as JOHN CHALLIS and Tahmina Ali.

If you like your poetry live and loud The Verb at the After Dark Festival has got you covered.

Presented by Ian McMillan

Produced by KEVIN CORE

The After Dark Festival at Sage Gateshead.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

The Equinox is a time of change, and at a special recording for Radio 3's After Dark Festival, The Verb's master of metamorphosis Ian McMillan presents a plethora of poets from Sage Gateshead. It's our contribution to this major new live music festival. It's a feast of contemporary, classical and experimental music too and you can find out more searching 'After Dark Festival' in BBC Sounds.

We'll have live performances from UK and World Poetry Slam Champion Kat François. Mike Garry will bring a flavour of Manchester to the North East and we'll also be joined by local lad Rowan McCabe - who described his 'door-to-door' poetry service as 'like the Avon lady but with rhymes.' And we'll have a performance from the ever eclectic KATE FOX.

The Verb is live at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's After Dark Festival.

Ancient And Modern20220422Ian McMillan is joined by poet Lucy Mercer whose latest collection is inspired by 16th-century emblems, behavioural scientist Nick Chater whose book The Language Game explores the development of language and conversation, debut novelist Tice Cin whose book Keeping the House tells the story of a Turkish Cypriot family in north London, and poet GLYN MAXWELL with a newly commissioned work.

Ian McMillan is joined Lucy Mercer, GLYN MAXWELL, Nick Chater and Tice Cin.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Ian McMillan's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

At Contains Strong Language20211008For 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 and LYR, Theresa Lola, Romalyn Ante and Andrea Mbarushimana for a programme that celebrates the relationship between mentor and mentee, the importance of cultural exchange and work that pushes at the boundaries.

Poet Laureate, SIMON ARMITAGE has been working with the musicians Richard Walters and Patrick Pearson to set his spoken word to music under the name Land Yacht Regatta (LYR). For the Verb they play two songs from their 2020 album Call in the Crash Team, which join Armitage's lyrics with intense and atmospheric musical arrangements from Walters and Pearson.

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian writer and poet. In 2019 she was appointed the 2019/2020 Young People's Laureate for London, and her debut poetry collection 'In Search of Equilibrium' is published by Nine Arches.

Romalyn Ante is a Filipino-born, Wolverhampton-based author. She is co-founding editor of harana poetry. Her debut collection is Antiemetic for Homesickness (Chatto and Windus). Andrea Mbarushima is Coventry born and bred. She is the author of two chapbooks and is a current cohort of the Room 204 mentoring programme with Writing West Midlands. Romalyn and Andrea is part of the CSL Twin Cities project, inviting poets to exchange postcards with writers from Coventrys 26 twinned cities.

Presenter: Ian McMillan

Producer: JESSICA TREEN

With SIMON ARMITAGE & LYR, Theresa Lola, Romalyn Ante and Andrea Mbarushimana

Poet Laureate, SIMON ARMITAGE has been working with the musicians Richard Walters and Patrick Pearson to set his spoken word to music under the name Land Yacht Regatta (LYR). For each song on their 2020 album Call in the Crash Team, Armitages lyrics imagines a fictional character at the point of crisis, joined with intense and atmospheric musical arrangements from Walters and Pearson.

With SIMON ARMITAGE and LYR, Theresa Lola, Romalyn Ante and Andrea Mbarushimana

Bernardine Evaristo20211112Ian McMillan explores the writing of Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo.
Collaborations - Experiments In Living2021050720220318 (R3)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 Harry Baker is a Poetry Slam Champion, and Chris Read is an award winning songwriter); they talk - and sing - about the ups and downs of creative collaboration.

NICCI FRENCH's latest book is 'The House of Correction'. 'Harry and Chris' are performing with a socially distanced audience in May and June.

https://www.harryandchris.com/

Ian McMillan is joined by collaborators Nicci Gerard and Sean French, and Harry and Chris.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Couples20220211This week on The Verb, Ian McMillan and his guests are searching their hearts to explore writing about couples and relationships and the secrets its language might reveal. With TESSA HADLEY on her new novel 'Free Love', poet ROMMI SMITH on writing the stories of people and places across time, inspired by images found in an overlooked photo archive, comedian ISY SUTTIE and Alex Hyde, whose debut novel follows the overlapping lives of two women called Violet.

Ian McMillan's weekly digest of language and literature with TESSA HADLEY and ROMMI SMITH.

Crime2021021920211029 (R3)Guilty pleasure. Airport novel. Holiday reading.

The language used to describe crime fiction often suggests that there's something throwaway in the ability to craft a gripping story that keeps the reader guessing. There's a suggestion that creating a page-turner is something of a lesser skill when it comes to writing.

Creeping up on that idea from behind and leaving its body in the library, we have three women who know a thing or two about the literature of crime.

Val McDermid is a powerhouse of popular fiction, with works translated into 40 languages and more than 16 million books sold. She tells us about the narrative techniques she uses to keep us up late reading just one more chapter of novels like Still Life.

SOPHIE HANNAH has been trusted with one of the crown jewels of detective fiction - Hercule Poirot. She tells us about the responsibility of taking on Agatha Christie's beloved character, and about how she switches modes for nail biters like Haven't they Grown.

Katherine Stansfield writes the historical crime series The Cornish Mysteries - and tells us about one of the initial efforts to make the crime genre respectable - formalised techniques and rules drawn up by a collection of some of the greatest popular fiction writers in the world - The Detection Club.

Presented by Ian McMillan

Produced by KEVIN CORE

Ian McMillan and guests explore the challenge of crime writing.

Daniel Morden, Dave Morris, Katherine Mitchell, Simone Felice20120504Ian McMillan's guests include story-teller DANIEL MORDEN, on 'The Devil's Violin Company's new show 'A Love Like Salt'; Daniel will be talking about their interpretation of old English folk stories which were an important influence on Shakespeare and Chaucer. They'll also be joined by Dave Morris, author of a new interactive Frankenstein, Writer's Room playwright Katherine Mitchell and singer-songwriter Simone Felice - who's been acclaimed for his 'rare, fiery brilliance'.

Poetry Proms Competition coming soon ... see website for details.

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Daniel Morden, Dave Morris, Katherine Mitchell, Simone Felice20120504Ian McMillan's guests include story-teller Daniel Morden, on 'The Devil's Violin Company's new show 'A Love Like Salt'; Daniel will be talking about their interpretation of old English folk stories which were an important influence on Shakespeare and Chaucer. They'll also be joined by Dave Morris, author of a new interactive Frankenstein, Writer's Room playwright Katherine Mitchell and singer-songwriter Simone Felice - who's been acclaimed for his 'rare, fiery brilliance'.

Poetry Proms Competition coming soon ... see website for details.

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Electricity20211105As 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 the novelist and poet BEN OKRI, the lexicographer SUSIE DENT, the futures ethnographer Laura Watts, and the actor and podcaster KERRY SHALE, as Bob Dylan...

Ian McMillan is joined by BEN OKRI, SUSIE DENT, KERRY SHALE, and Laura Watts.

Endangered And Indigenous Languages And The Natural World - Experiments In Living20210709Ian 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 Nelson who studies endangered languages, to explore indigenous writing and language, and its relationship with the natural world. Plus a 'Verb Drama' set in a Cornish fishing village by actor and writer Miles Sloman.

With thanks to Idiane Kariri-Xoc who has specially recorded material for us with the Kariri-Xoc Indigenous community in Alagoas, Brazil.

Producer: Ruth Thomson

Ian's guests are Robin Wall Kimmerer, linguist Dr Diane Nelson and poet Katrina Porteous.

Ian's guests include Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of \u2018Braiding Sweetgrass'

Experiments In Living - Not Staying In Your Lane20210702As 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 Obrist & Lemn Sissay, 'Poet Slash Artist'. The author of 'Grief is the thing with Feathers' and Lanny, Max Porter has written a new film starring CILLIAN MURPHY which will premier at MIF.

Paolo Chianta is the latest writer who has written us a short audio drama on the theme of 'Experiments in Living', in conjection with the BBC Writer's Room. 'Brighter Later' is directed by Lorna Newman.

Malaika Kegode is a performance poet who has found herself pushed into new territory through her work with Prog-Folk band Jakabol, resulting in their autobiographical theatre-gig 'Outlier'

Presenter: Ian McMillan

Producer: JESSICA TREEN

Hybrid forms with Max Porter and Heather Phillipson.

Ian McMillan explores ideas and poetry for a special Verb season 'Experiments in Living'.

Extremes2021061820220225 (R3)

Ian McMillan goes to the extremes this week to explore writing from the edges of time and place with Shetland based poet Jen Hadfield, John Henry Falle aka The Story Beast, Penelope Shuttle who's latest poetry collection explores Lyonesse, a lost and mythical land that once formed the land's end of Cornwall and Jon Ransom who's debut novel is a visceral and poetic story set in the wide expanses of Norfolk.

Ian McMillan goes to the extremes this week to explore writing on the edge of places.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Extremes2021061820220225 (R3)Ian McMillan goes to the extremes this week to explore writing from the edges of time and place with Shetland based poet Jen Hadfield, John Henry Falle aka The Story Beast, Penelope Shuttle who's latest poetry collection explores Lyonesse, a lost and mythical land that once formed the land's end of Cornwall and Jon Ransom who's debut novel is a visceral and poetic story set in the wide expanses of Norfolk.

Ian McMillan goes to the extremes this week to explore writing on the edge of places.

George Mackay Brown And Orkney20211015The 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 this week by the novelist JAMES ROBERTSON who is fascinated by 'time' in George MACKAY BROWN's work and has said his writing is 'full of beautiful sentences, big ideas, mischievous comedy, powerful tragedy and, again and again, simple observations that make you pause and say, yes, thats it, thats how it is'. James' most recent novel 'News of the Dead' also explores time.

Alison Miller is National Library of Scotland and Orkney Library and Archive's Scots Scriever - she shares her love of George MACKAY BROWN's poem 'Them at Isbister' which appears in 'The Storm and other Poems', his first collection. Alison invites listeners to contact BBC Radio Orkney if they have a copy; only 250 were printed and she is part of a project to track as many down as possible ( radio.orkney@gmail.com).

Josie Giles has just published a verse novel called 'Deep Wheel Orcadia' which has Orcadian dialect at its heart. 'Deep Wheel Orcadia' itself is described as 'a distant space station struggling for survival as the pace of change threatens to leave the community behind'. Josie reads poetry in Orcadian dialect and in English translation and explains how the English has been made less transparent.

Artist Anne Bevan grew up in Orkney and George MACKAY BROWN was a family friend. She reads letters from two 'fairies' ( Moonbeam and Rosebud) which George wrote for her when she was a child, and reads the poem he dedicated to her when she was at art school. Anne explains how he still inspires her art. http://www.annebevan.co.uk/

Ian McMillan celebrates Orkney and George MACKAY BROWN's writing in his centenary year.

Gratitude - Experiments In Living2021030520220204 (R3)In a world of daily pleases and thank yous, obligatory thank-you notes, and polite appreciation how can we express authentic gratitude with sincerity? Has lockdown made us more grateful? Can the expectation of gratitude be a burden?

Poet KATE FOX assesses the etiquette of writers’ acknowledgements – who to thank? How much is too much? Is there such a thing as oversharing? Comedy writer JACK BERNHARDT imagines how grateful you’d have to be – forever - if Superman saved your life. Sound artist Leafcutter John makes gratitude reverberate through a sheet of steel, and poet MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS reflects on the complexity of expressing gratitude in praise poetry, in a post-secular world.

Producer: Ruth Thomson

Ian McMillan with MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS, Leafcutter John, JACK BERNHARDT and KATE FOX.

Green Places And Haunts - The Verb At Contains Strong Language20211001Ian McMillan and guests on Coventry's green places and the river that ghosts through it.
Hotel2020022120210618 (R3)Welcome to Hotel Verb. Checking in with Ian McMillan this week are novelist Eimear McBride. Eimear won the Goldsmiths Prize and the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction for her debut novel 'A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing'. Since then, she's spent a lot of time in hotels, inspiring her new novel 'Strange Hotel' (Faber), in which the hotel becomes a metaphor for middle age.

Joining Eimear is Andy Miller, author of 'The Year of Reading Dangerously' and presenter of the Backlisted Podcast. Andy Miller celebrates his favourite author, Anita Brookner, and her Booker Prize-winning classic novel, 'Hotel du Lac'

And Roger Luckhurst is the author of 'Corridors: Passages of Modernity', on corridors, 'Monster hotels', and the fictional hotel corridors that populate our imaginations.

Presenter: Ian McMillan

Producer: JESSICA TREEN

With Eimear McBride, Andy Miller and Roger Luckhurst

How To Write A Manifesto - Experiments In Living20210723What 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 transformed the literary landscape, and KATHRYN WILLIAMS' songs always chart new territory - they join Ian McMillan to help him shape The Verb Manifesto which will be launched in the autumn.

Malika Booker founded the poetry workshop 'Malika's Poetry Kitchen' alongside fellow poet ROBERT ROBINSON twenty years ago, inspired in part by the American writer June Jordan's ideas in 'Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Handbook' . The workshop has included many of our most exciting poets, and an anthology celebrating the workshop is published on 5th August, called 'Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different' ( edited by Maisie Lawrence and Rishi Dastidar).

Greg James and Chris Smith have turned an idea that came to Greg in a dream, into a novel for children called 'The Great Dream Robbery'. With a an acute ear for the sound of language, and a Dadaist expertise in the absurd , Greg and Chris celebrate the power of the imagination and the power of Llamas ( with bananas) - but will these things make it into our manifesto?

Celebrated for her songwriting, KATHRYN WILLIAMS' first novel 'The Ormering Tide' (Wrecking Ball Press) may have a listening manifesto at its heart. Its narrator is a curious listener, both to the natural world, and the people on her island. It's Rozel's listening which gives the reader hints of something mysterious that happened a long time ago -and which unsettles the present. As Kathryn has such an acute sensitivity to place, we asked her to write a special song to celebrate the places where manifestos are conceived.

Greg James, Chris Smith, KATHRYN WILLIAMS and Malika Booker and Ian McMillan on manifestos

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 transformed the literary landscape, and KATHRYN WILLIAMS' songs always chart new and remarkable territory - they all join Ian McMillan to hell him come up with ideas for shape of The Verb Manifesto which will be launched in the autumn.

Ian McMillan on manifestos with Greg James, Chris Smith, KATHRYN WILLIAMS & Malika Booker.

Live From Contains Strong Language20210924This year the Contains Strong Language festival of poetry and performance is in the 2021 City of Culture, Coventry. Ian McMillan is broadcasting live from the Belgrade Theatre, joined by some of the festival guests. Loyle Carner is a Mercury Prize-nominated musician who will be performing his poetry. We celebrate the poetic links between Guyana and Britain with the poet John Agard. Former Birmingham Laureate Roy McFarlane on his work specially commissioned for Contains Strong Language as well as poetry about Coventry's musical heritage.

Presenter: Ian McMillan

Producer: JESSICA TREEN

With Loyle Carner, John Agard and Roy McFarlane

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 guests; the Mercury-prize nominated musician Loyle Carner and poets John Agard, Siana Bangura and Roy Mcfarlane.

Loyle Carner is a hip-hop artist with a love of poetry that began when he was a child. His debut album, 'Yesterday's Gone' was nominated for the Mercury Prize and he released the follow up, 'Not Waving But Drowning' in 2019. Loyle shares Guyanese heritage with one of his poetic heroes, John Agard. One of our best loved poets, John agard was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry in 2012. Poets Siana Bangura and Roy Mcfarlane have been comissioned by Contains Strong Language to walk 'In Ira Aldridege's Footsteps', here, they celebrate the groundbreaking African American actor-manager and his connection to Coventry.

With Loyle Carner, John Agard, Siana Bangura and Roy McFarlane.

Margaret Atwood - Experiments In Living2020120420220506 (R3)Ian McMillan welcomes the Canadian poet and novelist MARGARET ATWOOD, who joins The Verb from wild woods north of Toronto, to share poems from her new collection ‘Dearly’ and to explore the preoccupations that link her poetry and fiction: what it means to have a body, our increasingly precarious relationship with the natural world, the Canadian sensibility, and the way we are caught in time like ‘mice in molasses’. Margaret reads from her iconic novel ‘The Handmaid's Tale’ and takes us back through the layers of her own past, to a time in her early childhood when she started to tell her own stories, and write plays – about strange alien creatures, and a giant that gets squashed by the moon.

Ian McMillan talks to MARGARET ATWOOD about her writing process.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Mermaids And Other Mysterious Sea Creatures20220107Ian McMillan explores the language and imagery of sea myths and folklore from Mermaids and Selkies to Shapeshifters and other mysterious sea creatures, both real and imagined.

Ian's guests include the poet Steve Ely whose book The European Eel is an epic poetic odyssey following the imagined journey of a single eel from the Sargasso Sea to the rivers of Europe, and back to its birthplace, to mate and die, ROBIN ROBERTSON whose new collection Grimoire is a series of retellings and imaginings of Scottish folktales that are often brutal, but with a strange beauty, the film maker Alastair Cole who takes us into the Gaelic language and its stories of the tide and waves, and Imogen Hermes Gowar whose novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, set in 18th-century London, explores the destructive sexual power of the mermaid, combining myth and legend with the harsh realities of the past.

Producer: Cecile Wright

Ian McMillan explores the language and imagery of sea myths and folklore.

Michele Roberts, Rachel De-lahay, Sarah Jackson, Rm Hibbert20120511Ian McMillan presents Radio 3's Cabaret of the Word, with MICHELE ROBERTS whose new novel 'Ignorance' explores stories that are 'locked away like bluebottles in drawers and kept silent' after a war has ended - 'Writer's Room' playwright Rachel De-Lahay, poet Sarah Jackson - whose new collection 'Pelt' takes the reader on an unsettling journey between infancy and adulthood - and 'technically dazzling and deeply moving' musician and songwriter R.M.Hubbert.

Poetry Proms Competition coming soon ... see website for details.

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Michele Roberts, Rachel De-lahay, Sarah Jackson, Rm Hibbert20120511Ian McMillan presents Radio 3's Cabaret of the Word, with Michele Roberts whose new novel 'Ignorance' explores stories that are 'locked away like bluebottles in drawers and kept silent' after a war has ended - 'Writer's Room' playwright Rachel De-Lahay, poet Sarah Jackson - whose new collection 'Pelt' takes the reader on an unsettling journey between infancy and adulthood - and 'technically dazzling and deeply moving' musician and songwriter R.M.Hubbert.

Poetry Proms Competition coming soon ... see website for details.

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Mothers And Daughters20220311The special bond of the mother and daughter - and its complexities - are up for discussion this week.

Radio 3's regular writing programme hears about the concept of being 'parentified' from Warsan Shire in her new collection examining the experience of displacement endured by her family.

And RUTH PADEL joins us to talk about Daughters of the Labyrinth, a novel which sees central character Ri investigate a secret history. Ruth also takes us through the Cretan performance poem the Mantinades, and even gives us a rendition. Think beautiful, ancient Cretan rap battle...

And Hollie McNish reads us her poem Sweet Separation about the pangs felt when a daughter begins the process of developing her independence. Hollie discusses the somehow inadequate terminology of motherhood and how we consider, or rather reject, the postpartum female body.

And following the death of beloved children's author and illustrator SHIRLEY HUGHES, LISSA EVANS describes an artist with a unique ability to capture the small details of children's lives and encompass them in kindness. She discusses how Shirley's work made a difference to her non-traditional family, and how adopting daughters led to an interest in the experience of wartime evacuees. Her latest book is V for Victory.

Presented by Ian McMillan.

Produced by KEVIN CORE.

Warsan Shire, RUTH PADEL, Hollie McNish and LISSA EVANS join Ian McMillan.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

New Rules For Writing - Manifesto Launch20210917We 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 provocations, which are designed to help launch a new era of poetry, story-writing and performance. The composer and producer Gerry Diver has also contributed a piece of sound art inspired by the cadences of the human voice called 'You May be Mistaken'.

Across our 'Experiments in Living' season, The Verb asked over a hundred guests ( including MARGARET ATWOOD, Yanis Varoufakis, Claudia Rankine and SIMON ARMITAGE ) for their ideas about how we might write most powerfully, and creatively in these times. Certain themes surfaced again and again, including time, uncertainty, the non-human world, and listening. Find out how they made their way into our manifesto, and inspired our six new rules.

Ian McMillan reveals the ideas in our new manifesto with guests including DAMON ALBARN.

Ian McMillan reveals the ideas that have made it into our new writing manifesto with guests including DAMON ALBARN.

Across our 'Experiments in Living' season, The Verb asked over a hundred guests ( including MARGARET ATWOOD, Yanis Varoufakis, Claudia Rankine and SIMON ARMITAGE ) for their ideas about how we might write most powerfully, and creatively in these times. Certain themes surfaced again and again, including time, uncertainty, and listening. Find out how they made their way into our manifesto.

Once More From The Top20220121Ian McMillan and guests explore the language of conducting.
Puddings20211022Ian 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 cooking crumble won her huge audiences on 'Britain's Got Talent', and went viral on social media. We find out about how the word 'crumble' translates into other languages and Ian offers a Yorkshire dialect interpretation of the 'Crumble Song'.

Joseph Coelho shares his spooky pudding poetry and reads a special commission for The Verb - a poem which explores the pleasure of disastrous puddings. His first poetry collection 'Werewolf Club Rules' was published in 2014.

What if EMILY DICKINSON, T.S.Eliot and Maya Angelou took part in a poetry themed bake-off? That's the kind of thought experiment that stand-up poet KATE FOX likes to conduct for The Verb. She imagines their baking - and wonders if you can tell how well a poet will cook from their poetry.

D Fariha Shaikh is a New Generation Thinker and Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Birmingham. She tells us about the pudding making of emigrant Catharine Parr Traill, born in 1801, who emigrated to Canada and wrote many books on her life there and on natural history, for women readers in particular.

Frances Atkins is a Michelin star winning chef. She explains the difference between a pudding and a dessert and argues that descriptive pudding names are most likely to excite the palate.

Ian McMillan on poetry and puddings.

Repair20211203This week on The Verb we're thinking about the language of repair. Ian McMillan and guests discuss poetry's ability to heal, putting literary puzzles back together again, finding what was once lost, and the often impenetrable vocabularies of 'getting stuff fixed'.

Ian is joined by Chris McCabe, poet and National Poetry Librarian. During lockdown the Poetry Library ran the 'lost quotes' service, reuniting remembered fragments of poems with the rest of the text. His latest book is 'Buried Garden', in which he searches for the lost poets of Stoke Newington's Abney Park Cemetery, hoping to revive their forgotten words. Mona Arshi has just published 'Somebody Loves You', a poetic novel about a young girl who chooses silence as a protective mechanism when everything around her feels fragile. The poet William Letford used to be a roofer, and he's written a brand new poem especially for The Verb about returning to his old profession to help out family. And KATE FOX considers repair and the meaning of home.

Presenter: Ian McMillan

Producer: JESSICA TREEN

With Mona Arshi, Chris McCabe, William Letford and KATE FOX.

Taking Risks20220401The Verb, Ian McMillan's weekly foray into writing and language, examines the appeal of risk and chance. Risk is inherent to writing every time you put words on paper; whether its risk in the use of form, or language, or subject matter. It's the risk a writer takes when they expose their own lives or the lives of others in their writing. Booker Prize-winning author DBC Pierre talks about his latest book 'Big Snake, Little Snake: An Inquiry into Gambling and Life'; and poet and novelist HELEN MORT, who's always been drawn to the thrill and risk of rock climbing, examines how the world views women who aren't afraid to take risks in her new book 'A Line Above the Sky'.

The Verb explores writing and language on the appeal of risk.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

The Christmas Dinner Verb20211217Ian McMillan's guests, JOHN HEGLEY, CAROL ANN DUFFY, KATHRYN WILLIAMS, and JAY RAYNER join our virtual audience in a literary Christmas dinner - revelling in the poetry, prose and linguistic satisfaction of Christmas food, in lyrics, recipes and in poetry. JOHN HEGLEY gives us the taste of a French Christmas and of thick skinned roast potatoes, KATHRYN WILLIAMS and CAROL ANN DUFFY present brand new Christmas songs from their new album 'Midnight Chorus', JAY RAYNER gives us Yule commandments (including the advice that gravy solves everything, and more controversially 'don't serve Christmas pudding'). Ian McMillan channels the New York poet Frank O'Hara to write a special Christmas poem (featuring tangerines and the mystic Julian of Norwich). As usual, Radio 3’s cabaret of the word is stuffed full of language play. Come and warm your hands at The Verb’s fire – the words are sparkling!

Ian McMillan is joined by JOHN HEGLEY, CAROL ANN DUFFY, KATHRYN WILLIAMS, and JAY RAYNER.

The Everyday Verb20211126Ian 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, doctors and wife, Lauren Elkin, whose book 'No. 91/92: notes on a Parisian commute' consists entirely of notes made in her smartphone, and CHRISTOPHER GREEN, whose immersive digital project The Home evokes day-to-day life in care homes in the UK and Japan. Plus poet Suna Afshan on her translations for the Tape Letters project - uncovering the Pothwari audio messages sent home on cassette by Pakistanis who migrated and settled in the UK in the 60s and 70s.

Producer: Ruth Thomson

MICHAEL ROSEN, Lauren Elkin, and CHRISTOPHER GREEN talk diaries with Ian McMillan.

The Keepnet Verb - Experiments In Living20210730Ian McMillan is joined by poets KATE FOX and IRA LIGHTMAN

Ian McMillan is joined by Anita Sethi, KATE FOX, IRA LIGHTMAN and Tom Chatfield.

The Language Of Conducting20220121Ian McMillan and guests explore the language of conducting.

The Politics Verb - Experiments In Living20210625Ian McMillan is joined by the Labour politician Ed Miliband, 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' featuring an existentialist cat, and by our regular guest, stand-up poet Kate Fox. How do they think the language of politics can change to become more compassionate, and more focused on the long-term? And what about our perception of authority? Can writers help us see it differently?

Ian McMillan's guests are Ed Miliband, Jackie Weaver, Emilie Robson and Kate Fox.

Ian McMillan is joined by the Labour politician Ed Miliband and one of the ambassadors for Compassion in Politics Jackie Weaver ( Jackie recently shot to fame after a parish council meeting went viral). How do they think the language of politics need to change to be more compassionate, optimistic, to be more long-term orientated - and to make who has the authority clear?

Ian McMillan's guests are Ed Miliband and Jackie Weaver.

The Pretentious Verb20211119Ian McMillan on pretentious writing.
The Sea20220429Ian talks to Maggie Gee about her new novel The Red Children. It's a fascinating take on migration which mixes humour with magic - and she tells us why she sought to avoid simplistic villains in a story that so often makes the headlines.

Carmen Marcus tells us about her poetry collection and podcast the Catch and its distinctly personal link to the sea. She explains how the discovery of a letter from her father set her on a course to understand the changing fishing communities of her childhood home Redcar.

And a maritime classic - we assess a defining keystone of the American imagination, that unforgettable story of a denizen of the deep pitted against man's hubris - Free Willy. Whoops - Moby Dick, sorry.

Professor Hester Blum of Penn State University is editing the new edition and she explains why it's weighty reputation can undermine its extraordinary playfulness.

And comedy writer Madeleine Brettingham stands at the shoreline and considers if a house at the beach will automatically make her enigmatic and interesting.

Presented by Ian McMillan.

Produced by KEVIN CORE

Ian McMillan talks to Maggie Gee about her new novel The Red Children.

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Ian McMillan's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

The Space Verb20211210Ian McMillan explores space in language and writing. Space can be explicit or implied through the space between words, between lines, at the margins of a page, or with pauses and gaps and silence.

Ian's guests include the poet Raymond Antrobus whose new collection All the Names Given explores different kinds of space: physical, philosophical and cultural; the architectural critic, JONATHAN GLANCEY, who understands more than most people how human beings relate to space; the poet and Britain’s first professor of Radio, SEAN STREET who celebrates the work of that great explorer of the radio space PIERS PLOWRIGHT, and we meet Ai-Da, an Artificial Intelligence robot, who is writing poetry in response to Dante's The Divine Comedy. Lucy Seal who is curating this remarkable refashioning of Dante's poem explains how AI technologies might offer both a vision of heaven and hell through that space in between, Purgatory.

Ian McMillan on space in language and writing.

The Stoic Verb2017111020210716 (R3)Guests include Angie Hobbs, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Ned Boulting and John Osborne.
The Twentieth Anniversary Verb20220408In 2002 a new radio programme was born. It was almost called 'Saturday Speakeasy', but Radio 3 finally settled on 'The Verb'. This is our twentieth anniversary programme, so as you might expect it's packed with energetic language-play, poetry, and prose, and with five new commissions, as we reflect on the ways in which writing and performance have changed in the last two decades, and ask what might happen over the next twenty years.

Ian's guests are poets KATE FOX, Malika Booker, IRA LIGHTMAN, LUKE WRIGHT, Cia Mangat (who was born the same year as The Verb), and novelist TOBY LITT. We also present a piece of mystery audio which stars the award-winning poet Joelle Taylor.

As if that's not enough for one week, in this episode we launch a brand new recurring feature called 'Something Old, Something New' celebrating the BBC's role in commissioning and broadcasting poetry over the last hundred years. In each programme over the next year we'll be sharing a remarkable poem from the archive, and a contemporary poet will present a new commission. This week you can hear the Irish icon and public poet W.B.Yeats reading his poem 'Song of the Old Mother' in 1935, and our contemporary poet is LUKE WRIGHT; he reads a poem called 'Covehithe Beach'.

Ian McMillan and guests celebrate 20 years of poetry and performance on The Verb!

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

Ian McMillan and guests celebrate 20 years of The Verb!

Time Scales - Experiments In Living20210604Ian 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 new collection 'Hotel Raphael' (and also to take us deep into the different time-modes and time-zones inhabited by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge). Philosopher Roman Krznaric explains how to write about future time and how to be a good ancestor, and Verb regular, stand-up poet KATE FOX offers an insight into the smooth running of book groups for other species: the slow-reading flies, and the fast-reading deep sea isopods.

Suggestions for a time-themed Book Club:

Danny Dorling - Slowdown

Roman Krznaric - The Good Ancestor

Rachael Boast - Hotel Raphael

Ian McMillan on timescales with Danny Dorling, Rachael Boast, Roman Krznaric and KATE FOX

Tree Thinking - Experiments In Living20210611Ian 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-Paisant, bestselling novelist Sarah Moss, and Scots language specialist and Makar of the North East, Sheena Blackhall.

Producer: Ruth Thomson

Ian McMillan with Sarah Moss, Peter Wohlleben, Jason Allen-Paisant and Sheena Blackhall.

Tree Thoughts - Experiments In Living20210611Ian McMillan on the language we use to think and write about trees and the kind of thinking we do alongside trees - with forester and environmentalist Peter Wohlleben, whose latest book is called 'The Heartbeat of Trees', and poet and academic Jason Allen-Paisant, whose new poetry collection is called 'Thinking with Trees'.

Ian McMillan on trees and thinking with writers Peter Wohlleben and Jason Allen-Paisant.

Ts Eliot Prize Verb20220114Ian McMillan celebrates the poetry collections on the TS Eliot Prize shortlist.

What Kind Of Times Are These?20220128‘What Kind of Times Are These?’ is the title of a poem by the brilliant American poet Adrienne Rich whose work covered many turbulent years. What kind of times indeed? Ian McMillan is asking his guests this week to provide their poetic answer to this question. With specially commissioned work from both the winner of this year's TS Eliot poetry prize, Joelle Taylor, and the writer, actor and Twitter Queen Miranda Keeling. Kiri Pritchard-McLean brings her comedic response to our question and award winning poet Emily Berry talks about her new collection Unexhausted Time which re-shapes and re-moulds our fragmented and fractured age.
Writing Travel20220218The Verb, Ian McMillan's regular foray into the world of language and literature, explores how travel writing, poetry and translation can ferry the reader across language, culture and time with Colm Tóibín on his first poetry collection Vinegar Hill; travel writer Sara Wheeler; Nandini Das, whose special interest is cross-cultural encounters and poet and translator Peter Robinson.

Ian McMillan's weekly foray into language and literature explores the well-travelled life.