SPEEDWAY & SWAN was a monthly, one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections. Culling from the exceptional libraries of her partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, host Susan Briante was joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brought to the hour a selection of poetry from their personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. Episodes 1-32 were hosted by Speedway & Swan creator Brian Blanchfield.
Most episodes also featured a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963. SPEEDWAY & SWAN represented a partnership between the Poetry Center, which archives the show in listenable format with an annotated playlist, and KXCI, where the show streamed live.
Since 1983, KXCI 91.3 FM has been committed to connecting Tucson and Southern Arizona to one another and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming.
Each episode, with an annotated playlist, can be heard in full here. Check out the full catalog of recordings:
Episode 9 with Joey Burns of Calexico
Episode 12 with Brenda Hillman
Episode 14 with Srikanth Reddy
Episode 15 with Maryrose Larkin
Episode 16 with Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Episode 18 with Mark Wunderlich
Episode 23 with Christopher Nelson
Episode 25 with Mary-Kim Arnold
Episode 28 with Danniel Schoonebeek
Episode 31 with Mathias Svalina
Episode 32 with Ernesto Portillo, Jr.
Episode 33 with Alison Hawthorne Deming
Episode 35 with Susan Briante & Brian Blanchfield
Episode 36 Poetry of Migration
Episode 37 with Layli Long Soldier
Episode 38 with Roberto Tejada
Episode 40 with Carmen Giménez Smith
Episode 41 with Sally Roundhouse
Episode 45 with Ruth Ellen Kocher
Speedway & Swan host Susan Briante’s most recent book The Market Wonders (Ahsahta Press) was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. The Kenyon Review calls it “masterful at every turn.” She is also the author of the poetry collections Pioneers in the Study of Motion and Utopia Minus (an Academy of American Poets Notable Book of 2011), both from Ahsahta Press. Briante has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund and the US-Mexico Fund for Culture. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Arizona.
Speedway & Swan creator and host for episodes 1-32 Brian Blanchfield is the author of three books of poetry and prose, most recently Proxies: Essays Near Knowing (Nightboat Books), which received a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. His book of poems A Several World (Nightboat Books) was the 2014 winner of The James Laughlin Award and a longlist finalist for The National Book Award.