Well, I must say I think this here podcast is great. Mostly because our heroic producer, Colin Fraser, went through a lot of files featuring me mumbling aimlessly with a microphone around the Southbank Centre in London. He managed to weave interviews with our poet and literary friends together with an audio tour through the fabulous Poetry Library, plus great songs from Dear Winesburg and the legendary Bellowhead (feat. Lemn Sissay doing the Rime of the Anchient Mariner with awesome full kid’s chorus!) So, come along and get some Southbank poetry action in your good ears!


Ryan visits the Southbank Centre in London for a meeting of the Global Poetry System. He chats with GPS co-ordinator and folk musician Chris Kreinczes, librarian Chris McCabe, writer Dzifa Benson, radio co-ordinator Claire McDermott and Southbank participation producer Lucy Macnab. We’ve got music from folk outfit Dear Winesburg and an excerpt of the amazing Bellowhead’s folk opera version of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ featuring Lemn Sissay as the Mariner.

Presented by Ryan van Winkle. Produced by Colin Fraser. Incidental music by Ewen Maclean. Twitter: @byleaveswelive & @anonpoetry. Mail: splpodcast@gmail.com

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About Bellowhead

Bellowhead unleashed themselves on Oxford Festival in 2004, brought together by award-winning duo Spiers and Boden. Their plan was to gather a talented collective of disparate musicians into a group capable of playing many styles, idioms and textures from around the world – big band to soul; jazz funk to classical strings. They have since performed all over the world. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was a much-acclaimed co-production by the Southbank Centre and The Young Vic with original music written and performed by members of Bellowhead and a cast featuring 150 children from local primary schools. Southbank writer in residence Lemn Sissay plays the Mariner. We are very grateful to all concerned for permission to reproduce a snippet in this podcast.

About the Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre Situated on the south bank of the River Thames next to the popular BA London Eye, Southbank Centre is at the heart of an arts quarter stretching from the Royal National Theatre and National Film Theatre to Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Southbank Centre website