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The Faber Poetry Podcast: Episode one with Emily Berry and Momtaza Mehri

In the first episode of the Faber Poetry Podcast, Rachael and Jack discuss talismans, teenage crushes and gateways to poetry with their studio guests Emily Berry and Momtaza Mehri and play audio postcards sent to them by Ocean Vuong, Natalie Shapero and Vahni Capildeo.



Show notes

Studio guests


Emily Berry photographed by Peter BarryEMILY BERRY’S first book of poems Dear Boy won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Hawthornden Prize. Her second collection, Stranger, Baby was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2017. She is editor of The Poetry Review@no1_emily 


MOMTAZA MEHRI is a poet, essayist and editor. She is a Complete Works Fellow, New-Generations African Poet and 3rd prize winner of the 2017 National Poetry Competiton. She is the Young People’s Laureate for London. @RuffneckRefugee






Momtaza’s Smiths pendant (left) and Emily’s crystal, fox charm and tortoise (right)

Audio postcards


‘You Guys’ written and read by Ocean Vuong. Ocean Vuong’s T. S. Eliot Prize-winning collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds (2017) is published by Jonathan Cape.

‘The Sky’ written and read by Natalie Shapero. Natalie Shapero’s collection Hard Child (2017) is published by Copper Canyon.

‘Sinking Lightwells’ and ‘Give me more time, said night’ written and read by Vahni Capildeo. Vahni Capildeo’s collection Measures of Expatriation won the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her new collection Venus as a Bear is out on 26 April. Both collections are published by Carcanet.

About the presenters


RACHAEL ALLEN is the poetry editor at Granta magazine, co-editor at the poetry press clinic and of online journal Tender. A pamphlet of her poems was published as part of the Faber New Poets scheme, and her first collection will be published by Faber in 2019. She has published two books in collaboration with visual artists, Jolene with Guy Gormley (Matchsticks Books) and Nights of Poor Sleep with Marie Jacotey (Test Centre). She is the recipient of an Eric Gregory award and New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse award.


JACK UNDERWOOD is a poet, who also writes short fiction and non-fiction. A recipient of the Eric Gregory Award in 2007, he published his debut pamphlet in 2009 as part of the Faber New Poets series. His first collection Happiness was published by Faber in 2015 and was winner of the 2016 Somerset Maugham prize. He is a lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths College and is currently writing a non-fiction book about poetry and uncertainty. Two pamphlets, Solo for Mascha Voice and Tenuous Rooms will be published by Test Centre in 2018.



The Faber Poetry Podcast is produced by Rachael Allen, Jack Underwood and Hannah Marshall for Faber & Faber. Editing by Billy Godfrey at Strathmore Publishing. Special thanks to Emily Berry, Vahni Capildeo, Momtaza Mehri, Natalie Shapero and Ocean Vuong.