One of my favourite poets in the UK is Mario Petrucci. He’s a great writer and thinker, a thoughtful, considerate, opinionated man who I feel quite lucky to have interviewed. His book ‘Heavy Water: A Poem for Chernoybl‘ is one of the best books of poems I’ve read in recent memory. Go buy it, if you have not already. Or, if you still need convincing — listen to the podcast and hear of good this writer is!

Washington tulips © Flickr user karynsig under a Creative Commons license

Mario Petrucci

Mario Petrucci – scientist, thinker and poet – unravels an engaging discussion with Ryan on poetry, poetics, science, the challenges of pushing the boundaries in poetry and much else. They discuss Mario’s fantastic Heavy Water as well as his most recent, i tulips, and we pepper things with a few choice readings.

Presented by Ryan Van Winkle. Produced by Colin Fraser of Anon Poetry Magazine. Music by Ewen Maclean. Email us:

Twitter: @byleaveswelive & @anonpoetry.

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First published 9 August, 2010

About Mario Petrucci

Photo: Jemimah Kuhfeld Mario Petrucci has had residencies at both the Imperial War Museum and BBC Radio 3.  Combining poetic innovation with a profoundly human aspect, he is four times winner of the London Writers competition and recipient of the Bridport Prize, an ACE Writers’ Award and a New London Writers Award.  His collection Heavy Water (Enitharmon, 2004) won the Arvon Prize and forms the backbone of a powerful poetry film on Chernobyl (Seventh Art Productions).  His remarkable i tulips collection (Enitharmon), which has already been praised highly by Roy Fisher and Bill Berkson.

And Here’s a Glimpse of Heavy Water: A Film For Chernobyl