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Robin Robertson and Andrew McMillan on sex, war and truth in poetry – books podcast

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We’re dedicating this week’s show to poetry, from new faces and old. The Man Booker shortlisted writer Robin Robertson comes in to discuss The Long Take, a postwar noir that follows Walker, a second world war veteran travelling across the US. While his book has been categorised as a novel, Robertson is firm that it is a long-form narrative poem. He talks to Claire about why he feels the poetry world has turned its back on him, polarisation in the arts, and his views on modern America.

Poet Andrew McMillan, winner of the Guardian’s first-book award in 2015 for his collection Physical, is back with his follow-up Playtime, which explores the ways we build our adult identities during childhood and adolescence. He sits down with Charlotte to discuss the connections between play and sex, and mixing autobiographical and fictional stories in his poems.

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