A Mouthful of Air poetry podcast with Mark McGuinness

Welcome to A Mouthful of Air

A poetry podcast with Mark McGuinness

‘Poems to take your breath away’

 Once upon a time, long before the invention of writing, poetry was part of everyone’s life.

People gathered around the fire in the evening to hear poems of heroism and adventure, humans and gods, love and loss. And those poems were how we made sense of our world.

They told us where the universe came from, who made it, how it sustained itself, and what our role was in the great drama.

Poems showed us how to live and how to love. How to give and how to grieve.

They taught us about life and death, and even the afterlife.

And you know something?

Poets are still doing this today.

Poets and audiences may have drifted apart, but poetry is still doing what it always did: helping us to make sense of our world. Showing us how to live and love, give and grieve. And even to face death.

A Mouthful of Air is a podcast that offers you the original experience of poetry – of a voice in your ear, in a quiet time of the day, speaking words that conjure images in your mind and feelings in your heart.

These days, we’re used to thinking of poems as words on a page. But poetry was originally composed to be spoken aloud, and W.B. Yeats spoke for many poets when he wrote of his work, ‘I made it out of a mouthful of air’.

On A Mouthful of Air you will hear contemporary poets reading their poems and talking about what went into their making.

You will also hear Mark McGuinness reading classic poems and sharing his thoughts on what makes them great.

Some poems can make you smile or laugh, others make you feel sad. Some can stir up anger or fear. A few can make you cry.

And once in a while, a poem can take your breath away.

If you’re curious about how poetry can help you make sense of your world, then come and listen.

Listen to the show

You can listen and subscribe to A Mouthful of Air on all the main podcast platforms

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen to this first

Welcome to A Mouthful of Air

In Episode 1 of the podcast Mark McGuinness introduces the show and explains how to get the most out of it.

Recent episodes

Read and listen via email

To receive the audio and a full transcript of every episode, join the mailing list

Arts Council England logo