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Award-winning poet Major Jackson to succeed US Poet Laureate Ada Limón as new host of The Slowdown

Award-winning poet Major Jackson to succeed US Poet Laureate Ada Limón as new host of The Slowdown

Press Release · St Paul, MN, USA · via The Lippin Group ·

APM Studios and the Poetry Foundation today announced that award-winning poet and writer Major Jackson has been selected as the new host of the celebrated poetry podcast, The Slowdown. Starting January 23, Jackson will carry on the tradition of sharing a selected poem and thoughtful reflection every weekday, offering listeners a daily opportunity to find connection and calm through poetry.

Jackson is the author of six books of poetry, including Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems (2023), The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006), and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won a Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. He is also the author of A Beat Beyond: The Selected Prose of Major Jackson edited by Amor Kohli.

Remarked Jackson: “Since its first episode, each morning I listened to The Slowdown, a ritual in my day as essential as taking a walk or brushing my teeth. Through the open-ended splendor of a poem, the podcast’s hosts encouraged me to find possibility and power in the small moments and sacred mysteries. Even before walking out the door, I felt energized, occasionally provoked, by poetry’s wisdom and the daily wonders occasioned by the simple act of listening. I felt prepared to enter the thick of my workday with just a little more understanding and curiosity. Poetry allows us to collect the rich chorus, that is our tender humanity, within us. I am excited to continue the amazing privilege of daily presenting a poem knowing some listener will feel renewed, maybe even seen, and even better, transformed by the grace of insightful language.”

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Jackson takes over hosting duties from Ada Limón, who is departing to become the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States. Limón remarked: “Major and I have known each other for over twenty years and I was delighted to hear that he was selected to take over the show. I know The Slowdown will benefit from his insight, humor, and wisdom, and that he will be helming the ship with both grace and warmth.”

Jackson is a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Jackson’s poems and essays have been published in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry London and many distinguished journals. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He also serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

New episodes of The Slowdown are available every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other podcast platforms. Listeners can subscribe to the show’s newsletter, and follow along for updates at and at @SlowdownShow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Slowdown is produced by American Public Media in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. The Slowdown is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Slowdown
American Public Media

This is a press release from The Lippin Group which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.

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