Church Times hosts Lenten poetry podcasts

Church Times, which covers the Church of England and Anglican Communion, based in London, is presenting a poetry podcast series for Lent, in association with Canterbury Press.

Canon Mark Oakley, dean of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Rev. Malcolm Guite, poet and singer-songwriter, reflect on a series of poems in the context of faith and Lent.

Oakley is featured on the podcast during the first five weeks of Lent. Then the podcast will be handed to Guite; his episodes will run from Monday of Holy Week until Maundy Thursday. The Lent podcast series will be released each week to the Church Times website. Episodes will also be available on all major podcast platforms: Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify.

In the first week, Oakley considered “Paternoster” by Jen Hadfield. “Paternoster” is published in her collection “Nigh-No-Place,” which won the T.S. Eliot Prize.

The material in this podcast is taken from Oakley’s book, “The Splash of Words,” winner of the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing.

“‘Paternoster’ is, to my mind, one of her most beautiful poems,” Mark said. “It is a prayer of a draught horse in which she reworks the texture and rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer through the horse’s heart. . . If you want a glimpse of the beauty of a prayerful, intimate litany from a tired but hopeful heart then I recommend you listen to it as well as read it. Hadfield’s poems are mesmeric and are meant, as are all poems, to be heard.”

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