16.18: Poetry and the Fantastic

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

For the last seven episodes we’ve explored language, meaning, and their overlap with that thing we mean when we use language to say “poetry.”

In this episode we step back to some origins, including, at a meta-level, the origins of this podcast as a writer-focused exploration of genre fiction—the speculative, the horrific, the science-y, and the fantastic.

Because there is an overlap between language and meaning, and there are myriad overlaps among the genres we love, and as we step back we see poetry striding these spaces, its path in part defining and in part defying the various borders.

Poetry, scouting the fraught borders between the kingdoms of Meaning and Language.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. 


Find a favorite line from a novel or short story, one that moves you deeply; use it as the epigraph for a poem.

Monster Portraits, by Sofia Samatar and Del Samatar

3 thoughts on “16.18: Poetry and the Fantastic”

  1. I’m so happy you guys have done a series on poetry and I really hope it does encourage more people to write it into fantasy. There are sooooo many books I’ve read with characters that are singers or minstrels or just love music but you never get a piece of that beyond “They sang/spoke and everyone who heard had emotions”. I will certainly listen to this series again if I ever get serious about publishing.

  2. This week, the fantastic foursome, Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard, rounded out the master class on poetry with a tribute to fantasy. They take language, reality, and whatever else, turn it up on its side, and take a look at the interconnective tissues this reveals. And you can read all about it in the transcript available in the archives now.

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