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The Slowdown

100 EpisodesProduced by American Public MediaWebsite

Every weekday, Tracy K. Smith delivers a different way to see the world – through poetry. Produced in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

episodes iconAll Episodes

275: What a Cyborg Wants

December 13th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is What a Cyborg Wants by Franny Choi.

274: Initial Encounter with Locals

December 12th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Initial Encounter with Locals by Hai-Dang Phan.

273: What Begets What Begets

December 11th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is What Begets What Begets by Rio Cortez.

272: Double Dutch

December 10th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is Double Dutch by Gregory Pardlo.

271: Sunlight and Chilies

December 9th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Sunlight and Chilies by Vandana Khanna.

270: When I Am Six

December 6th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is When I Am Six by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

269: For a Lost Fragment

December 5th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is For a Lost Fragment by Carol Moldaw.

268: Gate C22

December 4th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Gate C22 by Ellen Bass.

267: Fly in Our Salad

December 3rd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Fly in Our Salad by Gary Whitehead.

266: After You Get Up Early On Memorial Day

December 2nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is After You Get Up Early On Memorial Day by Susanna Lang.

265: Amores Perros

November 29th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Amores Perros by Angela Narciso Torres.

264: Sleeping with the Chihuahua

November 28th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Sleeping with the Chihuahua by Tami Haaland.

263: Her Daughter's Eyes

November 27th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Her Daughter's Eyes by Luci Tapahonso.

262: The Season of Phantasmal Peace

November 26th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Season of Phantasmal Peace by Dereck Walcott.

261: Cancer

November 25th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Cancer by Su Hwang.

260: Morning

November 22nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Morning by Adam Zagajewski.

259: Opus from Space

November 21st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Opus from Space by Pattiann Rogers.

258: song: for my high school sweetheart

November 20th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is song: for my high school sweetheart by Yaya Yao.

257: Eros the Contagion

November 19th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Eros the Contagion by Annie Kim.

256: Afterwords

November 18th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Afterwords by Mark Strand.

255: The Old Country

November 15th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Old Country by Karina Borowicz.

254: So Much Happiness

November 14th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye.

253: The Voyage Nowhere

November 13th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Voyage Nowhere by Jennifer Soong.

252: Frequently Asked Questions: #7

November 12th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Frequently Asked Questions: #7 by Camille T. Dungy.

251: Feet

November 11th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Feet by Alan Shapiro.

250: Passage

November 8th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Passage by Joseph Stroud.

249: Hospital Linens

November 7th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Hospital Linens by Marianne Boruch.

248: [They will tell you that I was sick, that I was a drug addict.]

November 6th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is [They will tell you that I was sick, that I was a drug addict.] by Dawn Lundy Martin.

247: Tide Pool

November 5th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Tide Pool by John Balaban.

246: On Election Day

November 4th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is On Election Day by Charles Bernstein.

245: Push the Week

November 1st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Push the Week by Jackie Kay.

244: We Are Not Responsible

October 31st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is We Are Not Responsible by Harryette Mullen.

243: My Aunts

October 30th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is My Aunts by Meghan O'Rourke.

242: Falling from the Roof of the Free World

October 29th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Falling from the Roof of the Free World by Willa Carroll.

241: Lisle, Illinois, November 1972

October 28th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Lisle, Illinois, November 1972 by Robin Silbergleid.

240: Processional

October 25th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Processional by Joanna Klink.

239: Elegy for Almost

October 24th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Elegy for Almost by Rebecca Lehmann.

238: Cindy Comes To Hear Me Read

October 23rd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Cindy Comes To Hear Me Read by Jill McDonough.

237: Workshop

October 22nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Workshop by Jacob Shores-Arguello.

236: Polaroid Ode

October 21st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Polaroid Ode by Cori Winrock.

235: Body and Soul

October 18th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is Body and Soul by Charles Wright.

234: Last Kiss

October 17th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is Last Kiss by Jane Ebihara.

233: On the D Train

October 16th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is On the D Train by Jacqueline Johnson.

232: My Embodiment

October 15th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is My Embodiment by Craig Morgan Teicher.

231: My Grandmother's Love Letters

October 14th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is My Grandmother's Love Letters by Hart Crane.

230: My Mother of Invention

October 11th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is My Mother of Invention by Michael Collier.

229: Pig

October 10th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Pig by Henri Cole.

228: Hair

October 9th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Hair by Clarence Major.

227: Club Icarus

October 8th, 2019

5:00

Note: This poem contains an instance of explicit language. Today's poem is Club Icarus by Matt Miller. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy; Tracy K. Smith returns this week.

226: No War

October 7th, 2019

5:00

Note: This poem contains an instance of explicit language. Today's poem is No War by Mariam Fayez. This episode features guest host Tina Chang; Tracy K. Smith returns this week.

225: The Government Has Been Canceled

October 4th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Government Has Been Canceled by Maya Catherine Popa.

224: Birthday Poem

October 3rd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Birthday Poem by Paisley Rekdal.

223: sorrows by Lucille Clifton

October 2nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is sorrows by Lucille Clifton.

222: The opposite of the ocean is no ocean.

October 1st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The opposite of the ocean is no ocean. by Cathy Linh Che.

221: enough food and a mom

September 30th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is enough food and a mom by Francine J. Harris.

220: Through a Glass Through Which We Cannot See

September 27th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Through a Glass though Which We Cannot See by Lo Kwa Mei-en. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy.

219: Personals

September 26th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Personals by C.D. Wright. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy.

218: Enough

September 25th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Enough by Suzanne Buffam. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy.

217: Essay on Wood

September 24th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Essay on Wood by James Richardson. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy.

216: The Wooden Overcoat

September 23rd, 2019

5:14

Today's poem is The Wooden Overcoat by Rick Barot. This episode features guest host Brenda Shaughnessy.

215: Even The Rain

September 20th, 2019

5:00

Today’s poem is Even The Rain by Agha Shahid Ali.

214: The Barbarians Are Coming

September 19th, 2019

5:00

Today’s poem is The Barbarians Are Coming by Marilyn Chin.

213: Closure

September 18th, 2019

5:00

Today’s poem is Closure by Paul Tran.

212: Drip

September 17th, 2019

5:00

Today’s poem is Drip by Quenton Baker.

211: One Is One

September 16th, 2019

5:00

Today’s poem is One Is One by Marie Ponsot.

210: Anemoia

September 13th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Anemoia by Keetje Kuipers. This episode features guest host Tina Chang.

209: Discovery

September 12th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Discovery by Natalie Scenters-Zapico. This episode features guest host Tina Chang.

208: Killdeer

September 11th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Killdeer by Nick Flynn. This episode features guest host Tina Chang.

207: Parable for Refugees

September 10th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Parable for Refugees by Ladan Osman. This episode features guest host Tina Chang.

206: Marriage

September 9th, 2019

5:13

Today's poem is Marriage by Sarah Gambito. This episode features guest host Tina Chang.

205: Music from Childhood

September 6th, 2019

5:25

Today's poem is Music from Childhood by John Yau.

204: Remember What I Came Here to Do to This World Very Little Actually

September 5th, 2019

4:59

Today's poem is Remember What I Came Here to Do to This World Very Little Actually by Alice Notley.

203: Sister as Moving Object

September 4th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Sister as Moving Object by Jan Beatty.

202: Losers

September 3rd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Losers by Jay Bernard.

201: Freeway 280

September 2nd, 2019

5:25

Today's poem is Freeway 280 by Lorna Dee Cervantes.

200: Left to ask

August 30th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Left to ask by Michael Klein.

199: Small Kindnesses

August 29th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Small Kindnesses by Danusha Lameris.

198: Night Work

August 28th, 2019

5:50

Today's poem is Night Work by Ed Bok Lee.

197: Tornado Child

August 27th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Tornado Child by Kwame Dawes.

196: Bargain

August 26th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Bargain by Andrea Cohen.

195: Update

August 23rd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Update by Amy Gerstler.

194: A world’s too little for thy tent, a grave too big for me

August 22nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is A world's too little for thy tent, a grave too big for me by Connie Voisine.

193: Winter Trees

August 21st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams.

192: The Death of an Elephant

August 20th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Death of an Elephant by Gianfranco Pagnucci.

191: Staying Alive

August 19th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Staying Alive by David Wagoner.

190: World Word by Eamon Grennan

August 16th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is World Word by Eamon Grennan.

189: Old Farmer

August 15th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Old Farmer by Vievee Francis.

188: Failure

August 14th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Failure by Eugene Gloria.

187: Summary of Fifteen Years

August 13th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Summary of Fifteen Years by Suzanne Cleary.

186: Directions To Finding You, Or Maybe Just An Inferior Prayer

August 12th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Directions To Finding You, Or Maybe Just An Inferior Prayer by Angel Nafis.

185: Hit

August 9th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Hit.

184: Heirloom

August 8th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Heirloom by Lauren Clark.

183: A Room at Last

August 7th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is A Room at Last by Ko Un.

182: Writing a Poem

August 6th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Writing a Poem by Shirley Geok-lin Lim.

181: Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight

August 5th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight by Jane Hirshfield.

180: Evening Sun

August 2nd, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Evening Sun by Jane Kenyon.

179: Using A Hula Hoop Can Get You Abducted By Aliens

August 1st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Using A Hula Hoop Can Get You Abducted By Aliens by Matthea Harvey.

178: God

July 31st, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is God by Marsha de la O.

177: Mammogram Call Back with Ultra Sound

July 30th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is Mammogram Call Back with Ultra Sound by Ellen Bass.

176: The Boatman

July 29th, 2019

5:00

Today's poem is The Boatman by Carolyn Forché.

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