Sam Leith Sam Leith

Why do people hate poetry?

Why do so many people think poetry is important, and so few of them read it? And why does what might pass unnoticed as a minority activity, like — say — tiddliwinks or sniffing bicycle seats, arouse such strong views in the public at large?

The award-winning American writer Ben Lerner has a theory. In this week’s Spectator books podcast I talk to him about his new collected poems, his monograph The Hatred of Poetry, and how he drew inspiration from the gigantic Wal-Mart in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas.

You can listen to our conversation here:

And if you enjoyed that, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for a new episode every Monday!

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in