When I was growing up, my father worked as a radio producer for the local BBC station (current and religious affairs) and I remember staring through the glass at the mysterious inner sanctum of THE STUDIO, where he sat with headphones, microphone and audio console, talking to an audience none of us could see but whose presence was palpable, and thrilling.
Podcasts didn’t exist back then but as soon as I discovered them, I became a fan. It was by chance that in 2010 the Royal Literary Fund asked me to be part of a small team (with Kona Macphee and Carole Angier) working on a new project: a series of podcasts about the writing life featuring and presented by writers, with the aim of giving the audience an insider’s view of what it was like to live and work as a writer. I suggested the title ‘Writers Aloud’, and it stuck.
The original series has since expanded to include individual author talks on all manner of subjects, plus shorter audio pieces in which the speaker explores a specific aspect of the writing life – how their writing fits in with family life, who their literary heroes are, which books have most influenced them, and so on. It is well worth a listen, and there’s more information, plus a link, on the Writers Aloud page.
More recently, I have made some podcasts for the exam board Pearson EdExcel, in which I talk to poets whose work appears on the A’ Level English Literature syllabus, and ask them to choose a second poem to discuss alongside their own. More details of this mini-series can be found in on the Poet to Poet page.