What a treat! Grab your honey and have a listen. In this classic recording, Wendy and Larry Maltz join Barbara LaMorticella, host of the Talking Earth Poetry Program, for a sweet, romantic reading of poems from Wendy’s acclaimed anthology, Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love.
Wendy discusses how the lack of examples of love-based sex in the media motivated her to create this beautiful collection of poems by highly-acclaimed traditional and contemporary poets.
Wendy tells a story about how difficult it was to find a publisher willing to accept this anthology because, as it was explained to her in one of many rejection letters, books on sexual love poetry don’t fit into the publishing categories of being either “raunch” or “romance.” As luck would have it, things changed when one editor had an extremely gratifying personal experience after reading the manuscript on a whim while on a ski trip with her boyfriend.
Wendy and Barbara discuss why poetry is a powerful medium for describing sexual intimacy due to the natural rhythms and sensual images it relies on.
About 13 minutes into the recording Wendy and Larry begin a beautifully choreographed reading of selected poems from the collection. Their choices follow the five chapters in the book, which represent the stages of sexual love couples experience during the course of life:
- The “tender awakenings” of attraction and early sharing
- The “passionate pleasures” of creating sexual joy together
- The “varied dances” of sex in new circumstances
- The “deeper intimacies” of sex as life experiences change, and,
- The “graceful transformations” of sexual sharing later in life.
Listen to the poetry interview and reading here
This program was originally broadcast on KBOO Radio in Portland, Oregon in 1996.
Note: Passionate Hearts went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the Sex & Literature category. A ten-year anniversary edition of Passionate Hearts was released in 2007 with a special foreword by Barry McCarthy and a new cover (shown here). Passionate Hearts paved the way for Wendy’s second anthology, Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure. Listen to the Intimate Kisses Poetry Reading.