I write and presents a range of programmes for Radio 3 and 4: mainly on poetry, wildlife and mythology, or biographical programmes on literary, musical, scientific figures such as Darwin, Elgar and Tennyson. My Radio 4 programme Poetry Workshop in 2011 and 2012 included poetry groups from Ipswich, Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Belfast, and Stalybridge Station near Manchester.
You can also scroll down here to view other past programmes. .
A ground breaking new four-part series about how to enjoy writing and reading poetry. Ruth works with a different group from all over the Uk.
WILD THINGS II
Writer and poet Ruth Padel presents a series of essays exploring how history and literature have shaped our attitudes to five native wild animals.
On Monday, Ruth explores what the small wild pony means in the British landscape today.
On Tuesday, Ruth looks at what owls mean to us and what they can show about the British landscape. Owls are often associated with wisdom and magic, but why?
On Wednesday, Ruth presents an exploration of the wild salmon’s extraordinary life and its impact on humans.
On Thursday, Ruth explores our feelings towards squirrels, both red and grey, through biology, history and literature. Are they bushy-tailed friends or creatures of destruction?
On Friday, the image of the snake is full of symbolism – with its connotations of venom and forked tongues. It has inspired poets as diverse as Keats and D.H. Lawrence with its ability to move without limbs. In this final essay, Ruth Padel asks how snakes fit into our physical and emotional landscape.
Presenter/Ruth Padel, Producer/Emma Kingsley
Radio 4: fIve programmes on the life and work of librettist and theatre impresario W S Gilbert, written and presented by Ruth Padel, First broadcast 2011
THE ESSAY: WILD THINGS
Radio 3 Series in which poet and writer Ruth Padel explores our reactions to five British wild animals, through history, literature, folklore, science and cinema
The poet, writer and broadcaster on her first novel
Ruth Padel is a prize-winning poet, and a fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Zoological Society of London. She has written books about tiger conservation, and a biography in the form of lyric poems about her great great grandfather Charles Darwin. And now she’s written her first novel. Ruth joins Jenni to talk about ‘Where the Serpent Lives’.
‘Where the Serpent Lives’, by Ruth Padel, is out 4th Feburary, published by Little Brown, ISBN: 9781408702024
I COME FROM THERE – THE POETRY OF MAHMOUD DARWISH
With Adhaf Soueif (novelist), Ruth Padel (poet), Sarah Maguire (translator), Raja Shehadeh (writer and human rights lawyer), Khaled Hroub (journalist and poet), Avirama Golan (writer) and Jeremy Bowen (BBC Middle East editor), Harriett Gilbert explores the life and work of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
DESERT ISLAND DISCS with Ruth Padel
Ruth’s choices were:
Beethoven A minor strong quartet, Opus 132
Kathleen Ferrier singing “Blow the Wind Southerly”
Muddy Waters singing, “I’m Ready for You”
Recordare, from ‘Dies Irae’ in Verdi’s Requiem
The Cretan song, “To Iasemi choris nero” – “jasmine without water can’t live nor can a heart without love” sung by the lyra player Kalogridis
Terzetto for three male voices, beginning E voi ridete, from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Act One, Scene 3.
Melina Merkouri singing “The boys of Peiraeus” from the film “Never on Sunday” to music by Hadzidakis
Bach double Violin Concerto
SEARCHING FOR ALFRED IN THE SHADOW OF TENNYSON
Radio 3 : An hour-long programme, written and presented by Ruth Padel, exploring the life and character of Alfred Lord Tennyson in the year of his bicentenary. First broadcast September 2009
DARWIN – MY ANCESTOR
Radio 4: five programmes on the life and thought of Charles Darwin, written and presented by Ruth Padel
THE ENIGMA I WILL NOT EXPLAIN
A four part series exploring the music of Elgar’s Enigma Variations and analysing what the composition tells us about Elgar himself. Written and presented by Ruth Padel
Elgar lived most of his life among the Malvern Hills and the Variations depicted other friends living in the area. How important was the glorious landscape to his musical creativity?
WHEN WRITERS PLAY…
Radio 3: Poet Ruth Padel talks of playing the viola
TART WITH A HEART
BBC Radio 3: Poet and writer Ruth Padel explores how Verdi flouted 19th-century convention in his life and in the music of La Traviata, in which he made Violetta, this supposedly ‘fallen woman’, into a strong, loving and noble heroine who rises above the petty bourgeois society that crushes her
with Ruth Padel
A TALE TELLER FOR OUR TIMES
Radio 4: five programmes on the life and character of Hans Andersen, telling his story through five of his own tales, written and presented by Ruth Padel.
TIGERS ON WOMAN’S HOUR
Ruth Padel talks on her book on wild tigers, Tigers in Red Weather
Radio 3 Great encounters between famous characters in Homer’s Iliad newly explored by contemporary scholars and poets.
Reflecting the ancient Greek theme of the Proms, this is the final in a series of five programmes exploring great encounters from the cornerstone of all European literature, Homer’s Iliad. Adrian Lester reads Homer’s original version in translation, while a classical scholar discusses its dramatic power and a contemporary poet explores its continuing resonance in a newly commissioned poem.Ruth Padel, herself a classicist and poet, chairs the discussion. The reconciliation between Priam and Achilles interpreted by poet UA Fanthorpe and scholar Penelope Murray.
VOODOO SHOP ON WOMAN’S HOUR
She’s won the National Poetry Competition and invented the Sunday poem column in the Independent on Sunday. Poet Ruth Padel talks to Jenni about happiness, sex, music and trust, all themes in her new collection of poems, Voodoo Shop.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
Ruth Padel on the relationship between Ariadne – the archetypal abandoned woman – and Bacchus the god of wine.
THEY’RE ALL THE SAME… (LINK
Radio 3: Poet Ruth Padel talks about the war of the sexes explored by Mozart and his librettist da Ponte in Cosi Fan Tutte.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Radio 4:Poet Ruth Padel talks about her new collection Voodoo Shop, a series of poems exploring the narrative of a relationship.
THE RADAR ANGEL
Radio 3 : A short story by poet Ruth Padel, in the Verdi Centenary year: a modern version of `La Traviata’, called `The Radar Angel’. The Lady of the Camellias is a young Japanese girl, working her way around the world, until she meets a Kerry man
Radio 3 Steve Martland and Ruth Padel listen to Mozart’s `Exsultate, jubilate’.
November 2012: BBC4 Poetry Workshop
Four programmes from Manchester, East Suffolk, Grasmere and Belfast
Ruth’s 2012 POETRY WORKSHOP begins on Sunday 4th November at 4.30 pm on Radio 4 and continues every Sunday throughout November. Each programe is repeated late the following Saturday night.
This year, she is working with groups from Dove Cottage at Grasmere and Stalybridge Station Manchester, poets from East Sussex at Ipswich, and the Shalom House Poets in Belfast. The technical issues addressed in the workshops include line-breaks, metaphor, abstract nouns and their pitfalls, and the uses of vivid description.