March 26, 2019, by Sunita Tailor

How to get the most out of podcasts

This blog post was written by final year English student, Hannah Smart.

Last year, podcasts ceased to be niche and became mainstream. The podcast is a valuable resource, particularly to an English student, since, unlike a Kindle book, for example, the podcast is an addition to, rather than a replacement of, our usual content consumption (which, as literature students in particular, is high). Whilst there exists a podcast relevant to the obscurest of interests – see Muse Stories: An Unusual History of Gnomes for evidence of this – there is also a myriad podcasts that are relevant to your English degree. The below come highly recommended, so perhaps give them a listen; surely anything that means less time in the library is worth a try?


NT Talks: One of the National Theatre’s podcasts in which they interview actors, directors, and playwrights. This one is great if you’re taking a theatre module. There’s almost ten years’ worth of content on there, including plenty on Shakespeare.


BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub: James Naughtie and the other readers in the Bookclub have interviewed Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, David Nicholls, Naomi Alderman, Khaled Hosseini, Hilary Mantel, to name but a few; this podcast is unmissable if you are enrolled onto a contemporary fiction module.


The Penguin Podcast: Salman Rushdie and Michael Morpurgo amongst other famous faces feature on The Penguin Podcast, the format of which usually involves an author presenting an object or story that inspired some of their greatest work.


The Poetry Exchange: The Poetry Exchange claims to “celebrate poems as friends”. The podcast explores work by poets such as WB Yeats, Philip Larkin and Carol Anne Duffy, and readers offer their interpretations of well-known verses.


World Book Club: Celest Ng on Everything I Never Told You, Mark Haddon on The Curious Dog in the Night-time, and Elizabeth Gilbert on Eat, Pray, Love. The World Book Club podcast is great for avid readers and contemporary literature students alike.

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