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'Poetry For All' Wants To Help You Find Poetry That Speaks To You

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The hosts of “Poetry for All” have one goal with their podcast: to make us fall in love again with poetry.

“There's just so much poetry out there. You're bound to come across poetry that moves you, that reaches you, that touches you [and] enables you to think about the world in a slightly different way,” said podcast co-host Abram Van Engen, an English professor at Washington University.

“Part of what we're doing in this podcast is just reintroducing people to poetry, to show them that it is not a kind of hidden lockbox of meaning that only the professor has the key to, or a puzzle that only professors can solve — that poems really do reach us on all different kinds of levels.”

Abram Van Engen and Joanne Diaz join St. Louis on the Air

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talks with Van Engen and his co-host, Joanne Diaz, who teaches English at Illinois Wesleyan University, to get tips for finding poetry that moves you.

Their main suggestion: “If you don't like a poem — and you're out of school and you don't have a test on it — move on, find another poem.” Find one “that causes you to sit up just a little bit,” Van Engen said, “to pause just a little bit, to take a break for just a little bit.”

The third season of “Poetry for All” will premiere this fall. For more information and to listen to the first two seasons, which include analysis of poems by Robert Hayden, Phillis Wheatley, Emily Dickinson and Amanda Gorman, visit poetryforall.fireside.fm/.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Paola Rodriguez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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