By LIFTED Podcast host and producer, Holly Kirkpatrick

Podcasts are free, so are the poems.

The format of The Slowdown is simple. Every weekday, U.S Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith introduces and then reads a poem. That’s it. And at five minutes each, episodes are even shorter than those of Rise’s own podcast, LIFTED. The Slowdown gives listeners an opportunity to do just what the title suggests and take a few minutes out of their day to just listen. 

Except hearing a poem is more than just listening. It’s imagining, discovering, wondering, questioning, exploring, laughing, crying…or none of these things. It can be whatever you make it really. Which is why this show is appealing.

Smith became Poet Laureate in June 2017 and the podcast has been around since January of this year. The poems Smith selects are usually by contemporary poets, so I am discovering new writers through listening to this show, too.

I’ll keep this rec/review as short and simple as the show, which should leave you with more time to discover the world through poetry.

The Slowdown is by American Public Media and is produced in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation.

Check it out directly here, or via Spotify below.