Slate’s Culture Gabfest, live from Boston! On Birdman, “Sexiest [X] Alive” profiles, and talking poetry with Robert Pinsky.

The Culture Gabfest Shares Favorite Poems With Robert Pinsky

The Culture Gabfest Shares Favorite Poems With Robert Pinsky

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 22 2014 1:10 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Live From Boston” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest, live from Boston! On Birdman, “Sexiest [X] Alive” profiles, and poetry with Robert Pinsky.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 318 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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And don’t forget you can find Culture Gabfest T-shirts for sale in the Slate store.

This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics come to you live from Julia’s hometown! First up, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s black comedy Birdman has restored Michael Keaton to our screens, in a tour de force of cinematographic artistry. The movie zooms in on the artist-critic relationship, but does it speak to the gabbers? Next, Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” profile of Penélope Cruz raised eyebrows with its florid prose and clumsy comparison between Cruz’s lunch and the remains of a tauromaquia. Is this genre as dead as a slow-witted matador? Finally, the great Robert Pinsky joins the gabbers to talk poetry: their favorite poems, his bold new massive open online course, and what the literary form means to us today. The show closes out with some questions from the audience. Thank you for joining us in Boston!


Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:



Julia: Alex Blumberg’s new podcast, StartUp.

Steve: Randall Jarrell’s Pictures From an Institution.

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Andy Bowers and Mike Vuolo.

Our intern is Josephine Livingstone.

Follow us on Twitter. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.