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Impact Report—April 2024



America’s appetite for poetry is growing, and the way people consume poetry is changing. Podcasts and social media are helping people regularly experience poetry. Poetry’s popularity has seen significant growth among young people, women, across racial and ethnic subgroups and people who have various levels 
of education. To help quench this appetite for poetry, grow new audiences and fill a major gap in cultural programming around poetry for a national radio market, APM premiered a new audio show and podcast dedicated to poetry, The Slowdown, in November 2018. The Slowdown has been hosted by the most celebrated poets 
of our time, initially Tracy K. Smith, and next by Ada Limón, our current U.S. 
Poet Laureate.

Poet and writer, Major Jackson

Poet and writer Major Jackson took over as host in January 2023 and has tapped into more reflections on the topics facing our current moment—the environment, violence, technology, free speech—while still playing into the strengths of storytelling across the hosts’ lives. Jackson has shared touching meditations on fatherhood, loss, romantic love, friendship and on navigating the self in a changing world.


Major Jackson participated in several major media interviews in 2023, including an interview with Kerri Miller for her podcast on MPR—talking about the meaning and impact of poetry and how it reflects both personal and communal histories.

The Slowdown presented a week of special episodes devoted to young poets and young listeners, featuring five different young co-hosts who joined Major Jackson to discuss their own poetry, as well as the poetry they enjoy and to discuss the impact and importance of poetry in their worlds. Young listeners and their parents appreciated the artform and liked hearing themselves reflected in the show.


In November 2023, The Slowdown won

Best Daily

in the 2nd Annual Signal Awards, an initiative which “seeks to honor and celebrate the people and content that raise the bar for podcasting.” This achievement reflects the broad scope of importance for daily poetry in the audio industry. This award was not in a specific category, but was for overall best daily podcast, up against some of the biggest names in the business.

In November 2023,
The Slowdown marked the



In 2023, nearly


of the poets whose work was
featured on The Slowdown were
new/emerging poets.

In 2023,


of the artists featured on
The Slowdown have been
BIPOC (Black/Latino/Asian).

In the second half of 2023,
The Slowdown averaged


monthly downloads across new
and back-cataloged episodes, with
new episodes averaging 15,289
downloads within the first 30 days
of being published.

During this period,
The Slowdown averaged


visitors monthly to its website
and saw nearly 28,000 video
views across platforms.

Numbers reported reflect the data as of March 2024.


Fantastic episode today. Ohh boy, sharp and beautiful presentation/introduction. So very right! I feel so very happy to have bumped into your podcast as I was looking for poetry online. Major & team, you do an outstanding job! Thanks for sharing.”

The Slowdown listener

There’s a special magic to hearing poetry read out loud. With The Slowdown, I get to enjoy that special magic infused in my daily routine. No other podcast gives me that gift!”

The Slowdown listener

This episode felt like sunshine!”

The Slowdown listener

The Slowdown opens me up to the world of words and the power they have to calm, inspire and move 
me. It helps me start my day from a place of creativity and peace.”

The Slowdown listener

Sooooo excited about this! I lead a poetry group at our elementary school, and they will be thrilled to hear poetry by poets their age.”

The Slowdown listener


So touched to be on the show! Just wanted to add here my gratitude for @poetmajorjackson’s reading and the commentary, which defined this tangible shift in how I too have begun to experience time as a layered thing, with the currents of younger memories always running beneath the now.”

– Maria Hummel, poet

My motive in writing poems is to speak to them & hear what they say to me. I have the honor of hearing one speak in Major Jackson’s voice. Listen to “BLOODROOT” on @slowdownshow’s podcast.”

– Mary-Alice Daniel, poet

To @poetmajorjackson and all the folks @slowdownshow for including “Yet, the Loveliness” in today’s show. Do visit the @slowdownshow link or my bio to read the entire poem and also listen to Major’s profound, moving thoughts and story concerning the complexities of parents, the past, and the slow, essential revelations we hope to try for while we’re here and sometimes miraculously reach.”

– Michelle Bitting, poet

Thank you Major!!!! Honored and grateful!!! The @slowdownshow does such important work for the writing community, especially emerging writers.”

– Latasha Diggs, poet

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