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Close Readings

Close Readings is a new multi-series podcast subscription from the London Review of Books exploring different periods of literature through a selection of key works.

Each series features two LRB contributors as your guides over twelve monthly episodes, which introduce and elucidate a text, author or theme. Enjoy an introductory grounding like no other from Europe's leading literary journal: fluent, rigorous, irreverent and never boring.

Running in 2023:


Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate the Odyssey into English, and the LRB’s Thomas Jones, on some of the greatest works of Ancient Greek and Roman literature, from Homer to Horace.


From dragons and one-eyed giants to divine visions and friendly otters, Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley roam the strange and wonderful literary landscape of the Middle Ages.


For a new series of their ‘revolutionary ☆☆☆☆☆’ (The TimesLRB podcasts, Mark Ford and Seamus Perry turn to the long poem and the short story in 19th- and 20th-century literature.

Subscribers can access all past and future episodes.

Also included in the Close Readings subscription:


All episodes of Mark Ford and Seamus Perry’s first series for the LRB, looking at Philip Larkin, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Thomas Hardy, Stevie Smith, A. E. Housman, Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney and Robert Lowell. Available only to Close Readings subscribers.


Listen to samples from each series, and series two of Modern-ish Poets, in Apple Podcast, Spotify or search 'Close Readings' in your podcast app.

Listen in these apps:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • iTunes
  • Podcast Addict


Choose a plan below:

Close Readings Subscription

  • Access to all three new Close Readings series, plus series one of 'Modern-ish Poets'
  • Episodes from each new series released each month
  • More series starting in Jan 2024
  • Listen in your favourite podcast app
  • Cancel at any time

Individual Series

  • Buy an individual series for a single, one-off payment
  • 12 episodes released monthly, from January 2023
  • Listen in your favourite podcast app

Close Readings Plus

  • 12 episodes released over the year, starting January 2024
  • The texts under discussion delivered to your door
  • Exclusive online events with special guests, and Q&A sessions
  • Transcripts and further reading from the LRB archive
  • Access to the subscriber area of the LRB website
  • Sales open in November 2023


How can I listen to a Close Readings series?

You can listen in your preferred podcast app.

How does that work?

Once you make a payment, you'll be given a private link which will open in your preferred podcast app.

Can I use my current podcast app?

We support Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcasts, Podcast Addict, Castbox, BeyondPod, Downcast, PlayerFM, Breaker, and RadioPublic.

Sorry, but we do not support Stitcher, Podbean, or NPR One.

You’ll also be able to listen to your audiobook or podcast purchase online.

What types of payment do you accept?

You can pay with any major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay on iOS and Google Pay on Android.

How do gifts work? 🎁

You can buy individual LRB series here. This is the perfect way to share the episodes with your friends and family.

You can schedule the date we send the gift to your recipient and a unique message to them. The email will go out at 7am Eastern on that day and the recipient will receive an welcome email with instructions for listening and redeeming their other plan benefits.