The WFMT Radio Network

WFMT Radio Network

Poetry Month Special: Studs Terkel in Conversation with American Poets

From The WFMT Radio Network and The Poetry Foundation

In celebration of Poetry Month the WFMT Radio Network offers three short programs featuring highlights from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive and new commentary by poet and president of The Poetry Foundation Robert Polito.

  • Episode #1 explores how poetry enables people to channel the voices of others and features excerpts from Studs Terkel’s interviews with Elma Stuckey and John Ciardi
  • Episode #2 takes listeners on several poetry journeys: to Africa with James Baldwin and on an interplanetary rocket-poem trip with Allen Ginsberg and other Beat poets.
  • Episode #3 travels into the realm of memory as Howard Nemerov and Gwendolyn Brooks read poems about childhood and the fleeting nature of time.

Each episode is roughly 15 minutes long.

Hosted by Robert Polito, president of the Poetry Foundation

Produced by Tony Macaluso and Sara Murphy

Executive Producer Steve Robinson

In Partnership with the Poetry Foundation

About the Studs Terkel Radio Archive

The complete Studs Terkel Radio Archive (consisting of thousands of interviews and programs mostly originally broadcast between 1952 and 1998 on WFMT radio in Chicago) will eventually be available on a free streaming website complete with images, descriptive text and other contextual materials and extensive search tools. The programs currently available here are online in order to facilitate transcription, translation and other tests as well as to raise awareness of this project.

The official website is being created through a partnership between the WFMT Radio Network, the Chicago History Museum, the Library of Congress, Pop Up Archive and other partners. We expect a first version of the website to launch in mid-2014.

If you have any questions about the Studs Terkel Radio Archive (or wish to support it) please contact Tony Macaluso at

For samples from the Studs Terkel Archive visit: