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Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Updated 8 days ago

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Intimate and compelling interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and other artists. Become a Patron & support our growing podcast! www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

Read more

Intimate and compelling interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and other artists. Become a Patron & support our growing podcast! www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

iTunes Ratings

131 Ratings
Average Ratings
124
3
1
2
1

Great Conversations

By Daveiii - Sep 14 2019
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Rachel does more than interviews. She brings a level of openness to each conversation that’s admirable and aspirable. She has thoughtful questions which lead to great discussions. Plus my cat likes the pod

Essential

By yaddyrap - Jan 31 2018
Read more
Nuanced complex conversations about all aspects of poetry and LIFE. Well done!

iTunes Ratings

131 Ratings
Average Ratings
124
3
1
2
1

Great Conversations

By Daveiii - Sep 14 2019
Read more
Rachel does more than interviews. She brings a level of openness to each conversation that’s admirable and aspirable. She has thoughtful questions which lead to great discussions. Plus my cat likes the pod

Essential

By yaddyrap - Jan 31 2018
Read more
Nuanced complex conversations about all aspects of poetry and LIFE. Well done!
Cover image of Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Latest release on Dec 18, 2019

Read more

Intimate and compelling interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and other artists. Become a Patron & support our growing podcast! www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

Rank #1: Episode 40: Kaveh Akbar

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Rachel Zucker speaks with Kaveh Akbar about his first full-length poetry collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf. They talk about recovery, addiction, Ellen Bryant Voigt’s unpunctuated line, teaching, his writing process for poetry or prose, the hutzpah and/or cluelessness that enabled him to reach out to established poets, the founding and process of running Divedapper.com (Kaveh’s interview site), the art of interviewing, using poetry to press the pleasure button, social media, white poets writing about whiteness, writing to delight, writing with compassion, his poem “Heritage” (about Reyhaneh Jabbari), the potential violence of erasure poems, and the intersection of power and poetry.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 40

Books by Kaveh Akbar

Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James, 2017)

Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Ellen Bryant Voigt’s Headwaters (W.W. Norton, 2014)

The Rag-Picker's Guide to Poetry: Poems, Poets, Process (University of Michigan Press, 2013)

Robert Olen Butler’s Severance (Chronicle Books, 2008)

Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS (Ecco, 2015)

Tom Phillips’ A Humument (Thames and Hudson, 2017)

Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony (Black Sparrow Press, 2015)

Lauren Whitehead

Ross Gay

WS Merwin

Jean Valentine

Li-Young Lee

Jorie Graham

Lucille Clifton

Lucie Brock-Broido

Zbigniew Herbert

Chris Forhan

Dan Barden

Yusef Komunyakaa

Franz Wright

Robert Bly

Afaa Michael Weaver

Dorianne Laux

Fady Joudah

Sharon Olds

Philip Metres

Ilya Kaminsky

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Jake Adam York

Adrian Matejka

John Berryman

Robert Lowell

Bob Hicok

Tarfia Faizullah

Solmaz Sharif

Robin Coste Lewis

Major Jackson “A Mystifying Silence: Big and Black”

Other Relevant Materials

Paige Lewis

Butler University MFA

The Quirk

All Up in Your Ears (Jonathan Farmer, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, francine j. Harris and Kaveh Akbar)

Poets House

Sarah Miller Freehauf

Kaveh writing about his poem “Heritage” on Poetry Society

Transcription of the final voice message of Reyhaneh Jabbari

Kenneth Goldsmith

Vanessa Place

Eula Biss talking about opportunity hoarding on the podcast The Longest Shortest Time

Sandra Bland

Nov 02 2017

2hr 24mins

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Rank #2: Episode 4: Claudia Rankine

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Award winning poet, playwright, professor, editor, essayist, and critic Claudia Rankine speaks with Rachel Zucker about collaboration, poetry’s role in social change, and the investigation of feeling. In this episode, Rankine discusses the importance of ideas put forward by writers such as James Baldwin and Adrienne Rich, the known unknown, the arena of consciousness, being a spectator, willed ignorance, and the illusion of difficulty in poetry.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Jul 15 2016

49mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 38: Sharon Olds

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Rachel Zucker talks to acclaimed, award winning poet Sharon Olds about dope, talking nicely to yourself when you’re alone, noticing one’s tiniest thoughts, the advantages of being an “ordinary enough” person, Brenda Hillman and Community of Writers (formerly known as Squaw Valley), teaching, the rhythm of writing, Odes, sharing poems, being truthful, Galway Kinnell, how to deal with bad reviews, how to deal with praise, envy, talent, self-esteem, jealousy, heteromania, eros, intimacy, anger, dancing, parent-child separation and so much more.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 38

Books by Sharon Olds

Odes (Knopf, 2016)

Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012)

One Secret Thing (Knopf, 2008)

Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 (Knopf, 2004)

The Unswept Room (Knopf, 2002)

Blood, Tin, Straw (Knopf, 1999)

The Wellspring (Knopf, 1996)

The Father (Knopf, 1992)

The Sign of Saturn (Secker and Warburg, 1991)

The Matter of This World (Slow Dancer Press, 1987)

The Gold Cell (Knopf, 1987)

The Dead and the Living (Knopf, 1983)

Satan Says (Pitt Poetry Series, 1980)

Other Writers and Books  Mentioned in the Episode

Faculty of Community of Writers (formerly known as Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference): Brenda Hillman, Forrest Gander, Francisco Alarcón, Gregory Pardlo

Galway Kinnell

Sylvia Plath

Anne Sexton

Audre Lorde

Muriel Rukeyser

Donna Seaman

Toi Derricotte

Other Relevant Links and Resources

The Bachelorette (TV show)

Pinchas Zukerman

Itzhak Perlman

Isaac Stern

Yo Yo Ma

Community of Writers (formerly known as Squaw Valley)

Dr. Debra Cohan

Whitney Museum

Tom Waits

Oct 04 2017

2hr 21mins

Play

Rank #4: Episode 18: Terrance Hayes

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Host Rachel Zucker talks with award-winning poet Terrance Hayes about Terrance’s new work, living in New York City, the election, teaching workshop, painting, sharing work with peers, not wanting help, provocation, offensive language, the role of audience, and staying true to oneself. Terrance reads a selection of new poems all titled “American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin” to start the conversation.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 18

Books by Terrance Hayes

How to Be Drawn (Penguin, 2015)

Lighthead (Penguin, 2010)

Wind in a Box (Penguin, 2006)

Muscular Music (Re-printed by Carnegie Mellon, 2006)

Hip Logic (Penguin, 2002)

Other Writers, Artists and Musicians Mentioned in the Episode

Yona Harvey

Lynn Emanuel

Amiri Baraka

Patricia Smith

Dean Young

Gertrude Stein

Eddie Murphy

Young Thug

Other Relevant Links

Cave Canem

Jan 20 2017

2hr 2mins

Play

Rank #5: Episode 72: Ilya Kaminsky

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EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 72

Books by Ilya Kaminsky

Poetry Collections:

Deaf Republic (Graywolf, 2019)

Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004)

Anthologies:

The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (co-editors Susan Harris, Ecco, 2010)

In the Shape of a Human I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (co-editors Dominic Luxford and Jesse Nathan, McSweeney’s, 2017)

Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poems and Prose (co-editors Katie Farris and Valzhyna Mort, Tupelo Press, 2014)

A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith, (co-editor Katherine Towler, Tupelo Press, 2012)

Translations/Readings:

Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (with Jean Valentine, Alice James, 2012)

This Lamentable City by Polina Barskova (Tupelo Press, 2010)

If I Were Born in Prague: Poems of Guy Jean (with Katie Farris, Argos Press, 2011)

Other Books and Writers Featured in the Episode

Isaac Babel

Leslie Scalapino

Catullus

Propertius

Anna Akhmatova

Czeslaw Milosz

Tomas Tranströmer

Other Relevant Links

“Searching for a Lost Odessa — and a Deaf Childhood” published in the New York Times, Aug. 9, 2018

Ilya reads “Search Patrols” for the Poetry Foundation

Interview with Ilya in the Adirondack Review

Polish poet Adam Zagajewski talks to American translator Clare Cavanaugh and Ilya Kaminsky about contemporary Polish poetry, for the Poetry Foundation

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Jul 25 2019

1hr 50mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 57: Dorothea Lasky

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet and educator Dorothea Lasky about the volume and quality of her voice, the game Kill, Marry, Fuck, rules, craft, associational thinking, obsession as a vital part of learning and creativity, preschool pedagogy, the penultimate part of poems, being only-children, witnessing one’s own life, Albert Einstein, not going to medical school, getting degrees in Education, the movie The Shining, motherhood, misogyny, Lasky’s essay “Why I am Sad,” a difficult interpersonal interaction between Rachel and Dorothea, feeling that one’s narrative is outside of motherhood, writing to the future, Lasky’s lectures and dissertation, small “c” creativity and much more.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 57

Books by Dottie Lasky

Milk (Wave, 2018)

Rome (Liveright, 2016)

Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (With Jesse Nathan, McSweeney’s 2013)

Thunderbird (Wave, 2012)

Black Life (Wave, 2010)

Awe (Wave, 2007)

Matter: A Picturebook (Argos, 2012)

Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Sheila Heti’s Motherhood (Henry Holt, 2018)

Brenda Shaughnessy’s Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon, 2012)

Joshua Beckman

Bernadette Mayer

Alice Notley

Other Relevant Links

AstroPoets

Heidi Broadhead

Carlina Rinaldi and Reggio Emilia  

Steven Seidel and Shari Tishman at Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Shining

Woman Writer and Writer Mother: A Conversation Between Sarah Manguso and Rachel Zucker (published by Candor Magazine)

Aug 15 2018

1hr 36mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 25: Ross Gay

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, teacher, gardner and community organizer Ross Gay. Gay is the author of Bringing Down the Shovel, Against Which, River, and Catlog of Unabashed Gratitude which won the Kinglsey Tufts Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Zucker and Gay talk about gardens, seasonal changes, teenage boys, anger, sorrow, stress reduction, and how poems can help you look at difficult emotions. Gay reads from his book Catlog and one of his new, unpublished “delights”. 

Gay and Zucker talk about what they love about long poems and the experience of writing and reading them and other prosy-poemy forms of sustained meditations. They discuss a mutual love for prose by poets and how to teach less from the mode of critique  and more from gratitude and love.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 25

Books by Ross Gay

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series, 2015)

Bringing the Shovel Down (Pitt Poetry Series, 2011)

Against Which (Cavankerry, 2006)

Lace & Pyrite (with Aimee Nezhukumatathil) (Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Series, 2011)

Books and Other Authors Mentioned in the Episode

Patrick Rosal

Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born (W.W. Norton, 1995)

Sarah Manguso’s prose:

Rachel Zucker’s Mothers (Counterpath, 2013)

Maggie Nelson’s prose:

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen (Graywolf, 2014)

Other Relevant Links

An Anatomy of the Long Poem,” by Rachel Zucker, published on the Academy of American Poets blog

Some Call it Ballin'

Q Avenue

Ledge Mule Press

Bloomington Community Orchard

Apr 11 2017

1hr 15mins

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Rank #8: Episode 41: Danez Smith

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Rachel Zucker talks with Danez Smith, author of [insert] boy and Don’t Call Us Dead (recently shortlisted for the National Book Award) about confessional-testimonial poems, sonnets, essential poems, poets and books, Cave Canem, the MFA industrial complex, not feeling desired, depression, community, living and learning, Minneapolis, living as a full-time artist, their writing space, hanging out with grandma, HIV+ diagnosis, Danez’s new poems, writing a time travel novel, play, getting over imposter syndrome, and the challenges and pleasures of working on a third book after two early successes. Towards the end of the episode Danez reads two new poems.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 41

Books by Danez Smith

Don't Call Us Dead

[insert] boy

When Young Folks Ask Danez Who They Should Be Reading:

Morgan Parker

Kaveh Akbar

Eve Ewing

Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon, 2017)

Rachel McKibbins’ Blud (Copper Canyon, 2017)

Anais Duplan

Shane McCrae’s In the Language of My Captor (Wesleyan, 2017)

Chen Chen’s When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017)

Shira Erlichman

Angel Nafis

Franny Choi

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza  

“Older” Poets/Books That Danez Loves:

James Baldwin

Ross Gay

Aracelis Girmay

DA Powell

Sharon Olds

Cornelius Eady

Gwendolyn Brooks

Terrance Hayes’ Wind in a Box (Penguin, 2006)

Other Essential Books for Danez:

Essex Hemphill’s Ceremonies (Plume, 1992)

Jericho Brown’s Please (New Issues Press, 2008)

Lucille Clifton’s Collected (BOA Editions, 2012)

Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2001)

Li-Young Lee’s Rose (BOA Editions, 1993)

Cave Canem

Terrance Hayes

Toi Derricotte

Cornelius Eady

Chris Abani

Patricia Smith

Tim Seibles

Nikky Finney

Natasha Tretheway

Claudia Rankine

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Angela Thomas

Philip B. Williams (first mentor at Cave Canem)

Nate Marshall

Angel Nafis

Morgan Parker

Charif Shanahan

Nabila Lovelace, The Conversation (with Aziza Barnes)

Other Important Links/Artists/Organizations

Sun Ra

Frank Ocean

Youth Speaks — Brave New Voices

Nov 15 2017

1hr 28mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 74: Rachel Zucker's SoundMachine

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Books/Projects by Rachel Zucker

SoundMachine (Wave, 2019)

The Pedestrians (Wave, 2014)

Mothers (Counterpoint, 2013)

Museum of Accidents (Wave, 2009)

The Bad Wife Handbook (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

The Last Clear Narrative (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)

Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)

Home/birth: a poemic with Arielle Greenberg ( 2011)

Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections with Arielle Greenberg (University of Iowa Press, 2008)

Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First One Hundred Days with Arielle Greenberg

SoundMachine, the audio project

Books by Guest Interviewers

Sharon Olds

Arias (Knopf, 2019)

Odes (Knopf, 2016)

Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012)

One Secret Thing (Knopf, 2008)

Strike Sparks (Knopf, 2004)

The Unswept Room (Knopf, 2002)

Blood, Tin, Straw (Knopf, 1999)

The Wellspring (Knopf, 1996)

The Father (Knopf, 1992)

Gold Cell (Knopf, 1987)

The Dead and the Living (Knopf, 1984)

Satan Says (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980)

Wayne Koestenbaum

Circus (Soft Skull, 2019)

Camp Marmalade (Nightboat, 2019)

Double Talk (Routledge, 2018)

Notes on Glaze (Cabinet, 2016)

Andy Warhol (Open Road, 2015)

The Pink Trance Notebooks (Nightboat, 2015)

My 1980s and Other Essays (FSG, 2013)

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (UC Press, 2012)

Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background (Turtle Point, 2012)

Humiliation (Picador, 2011)

Jackie Under My Skin (Picador, 2009)

Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007)

Best-selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006)

Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004)

Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (Soft Skull, 2004)

The Queen’s Throat (De Capo, 2001)

The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999)

Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender (George Brazillier, 1995)

Ode to Anna Moffo (Persea, 1991)

Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings (One World, 2020)

Engine Empire (WW Norton, 2013)

Dance Dance Revolution (WW Norton, 2008)

Translating Mo’um (Hanging Loose, 2002)

Craig Morgan Teicher

We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf, 2018)

The Trembling Answers (BOA Editions, 2017)

To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012)

Cradle Book (BOA Editions, 2010)

Brenda Is In the Room (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008)

Liner notes

03:08 Introduction to episode

08:45 Conversation with Josh Goren

13:40 Conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum

35:35 Conversation with Sharon Olds

43:40 Conversation with Craig Morgan Teicher

55:35 Conversation with Cathy Park Hong

1:15:30 Conversation with Josh Goren

1:23:19 Excerpt from “The Moon is in Her Caul Tonight”

1:41:17 Outro to the episode


All audio was recorded by Rachel Zucker.


TRANSCRIPT TO COME

Sep 17 2019

1hr 43mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 49: CAConrad

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet CAConrad about their Somatic poetry rituals, their childhood in rural Western Pennsylvania, becoming an avid reader, running away from home, the AIDS epidemic, writing The Book of Frank over an 18 year period, anti-efficiency, marketing research, the 1998 murder of CA’s boyfriend, Earth, using a somatic ritual to cure a pernicious depression, and CA’s recently published book, While Standing In Line for Death. CAConrad describes their writing process, how to get ahead of one’s internal editor, revision, combating misogyny, animal rights activism, ACT UP, ecological disaster, ecopoetics, the vibrational absence of extinct species being replaced by the din of humanity, white rhinos, Walmart, the end of empire, teaching, the myth of writer’s block, how to write inside the hardest things, roadkill memorials, being alone, and accepting the elements.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 49

Books by CAConrad

While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017)

Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015)

ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014)

A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (Wave Books, 2012)

The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010)

Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009)

Other Writers/Artists/Makers Mentioned in the Episode

Peter Gizzi

Angela Hume

Jonathan Skinner

Amy King

Brenda Hillman

Heidi Lynn Staples

Charlotte Delbo

Louis Aragon

Margaret Randall

Emily Dickinson

Frank Sherlock

Denise Levertov

Shanna Compton

Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Cedar Sigo

Jeff Clark

Other Relevant Links

The Book of Conrad [film]

Massachusetts Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Veto Referendum

HB2 Laws

“Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers” in The Guardian

Conference on Ecopoetics at Berkeley, California

Free Library of Philadelphia

Tucson Poetry Festival

Wheaton College

The MacDowell Colony

bloof books

Bruce Lee

Lambda Literary Awards

Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Apr 04 2018

1hr 37mins

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Rank #11: Episode 26: Alice Notley

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Host Rachel Zucker speaks with one of her most important influences and inspirations, author of more than 40 books, poet Alice Notley. They talk about a recent reading that Notley gave with Eileen Myles and Sonia Sanchez that Zucker attended, Notley’s reading and poetic styles, and how Zucker came to Notley’s work. They also discuss writing an epic, suffering, writing about family, writing through pain, communication with the dead, how Notley represents her deceased brother, poetry as the public communication of the dead, money, poverty, survivor's benefits, working for Allen Ginsberg, the dearth of women (particularly women with children) in poetry, the shock and shame of postpartum depression, self-hypnosis, the unconscious, the tyrant, Trump, fascism, the desert, and growing up in a small town.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 26

Books by Alice Notley

Certain Magical Acts (Penguin, 2016)

Benediction (Letter Machine Editions, 2015)

Culture of One (Penguin, 2011)

Songs and Stories of the Ghouls (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2011)

Culture of One (Penguin, 2011)

Reason and Other Women (Chax Press, 2010)

Grave of Light (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

In the Pines (Penguin, 2007)

Alma, or The Dead Women (Granary Books, 2006)

Coming After: Essays on Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2005)

Disobedience (Penguin, 2001)

Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998)

The Descent of Alette (Penguin, 1996)

Closer to Me & Closer…(The Language of Heaven) & Desamere (O Books, 1995)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Alice Quinn

Eileen Myles

Sonia Sanchez

Bob Creeley

Rachel Zucker’s MOTHERs (Counterpath, 2013)

Diane Wolkstein’s Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth (Harper, 1983)

A Curriculum of the Soul by Jack Clarke and Al Glover (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing)

Joanne Kyger

Samuel Noah Kramer

Kenneth Koch

Allen Ginsberg

Bob Rosenthal

Ted Berrigan

Philip Whalen

Edwin Denby

Anselm Berrigan

Eddie Berrigan

Bob Holman

Sylvia Plath

Jack Kerouac

Other Relevant Links

Bob Wilson

Apr 18 2017

1hr 46mins

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Rank #12: Episode 53: Tommy Pico

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet Tommy Pico about his first three books: IRL, Nature Poem, and Junk. Pico talks about epic cycles, the birdsong, growing up on a Kumeyaay reservation, becoming a poet, the culture shock and class shock of going to college in the Northeast, deciding not to go to medical school, training himself to become a performer, his influences and the teachers who helped him stop taking the easy way out and write longer work, learning to write no matter what, letting his voice open up, going from being unknown except in the world of local readings and zines to a headliner reading to a packed house, the craft, form and function of his books, the importance of being alone, the reason he loves long poems, experiments in screenwriting, genre, traveling for work, his podcast Food 4 Thot and so much more.

Extra Materials for Episode 53

Books by Tommy Pico

Junk (Tin House, 2018)

Nature Poem (Tin House, 2017)

IRL (Birds LLC, 2016)

Other Writers and Books Mentioned in the Episode

William Carlos Williams’ Paterson (New Directions, 1995)

Robert Graves’ The White Goddess (FSG, 2013)

Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf, 2004)

Maggie Nelson’s Jane (Soft Skull, 2013)

Alice Notley’s The Descent of Alette (Penguin, 1996)

The Monster at the End of this Book (Golden Books, 2003)

Morgan Parker

Kathleen Ossip

Sam Ross

Jason Koo

Pamela Sneed

Ariana Reines

Natalie Eilbert

Sasha Fletcher

Ocean Vuong

Sampson Starkweather

June Jordan

Natalie Diaz

Simone White

Paul Muldoon

Mary Ruefle

“Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats

Other Relevant Links

Beyonce

FEED (High Line installation)

Soft Skull Press

Ugly Duckling Presse

Bird Song Collective

Birds LLC

Cinereach

Food 4 Thot

Gramma Poetry

Vignette

Jun 13 2018

1hr 57mins

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Rank #13: Episode 7: Cathy Park Hong

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Rachel Zucker speaks with Cathy Park Hong, author of three books of poetry, professor at Sarah Lawrence, and recipient of the NEA, NYFA and Fulbright fellowships. They discuss how motherhood can change one’s poetic aesthetic, the limitations of poetry and prose, the intersections of poetry and politics, and the new phenomenon of “viral poems.” Cathy Park Hong shares her thoughts on why she uses persona and shifting pronouns in her poetry, and how writing nonfiction allows her to be more personal. Their conversation explores both poets’ optimism about and frustration with poetry.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 7

Cathy Park Hong’s books:

Translating Mo’Um (Hanging Loose Press, 2002)

Dance Dance Revolution (W.W. Norton, 2008)

Engine Empire (W.W. Norton, 2013)

She also appeared in the Gurlesque anthology.

Here’s a video of her reading her poem “Get Away From it All”

Other writing by Cathy Park Hong

Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde”: an essay published in Lana Turner

“There’s a New Movement in American Poetry and It’s Not Kenneth Goldsmith”: an essay published in The New Republic

Memories and Thoughts on Adrienne Rich”: an essay in Harriet

Forecasts, a poem/video project produced for Triple Canopy, in collaboration with Adam Shecter

The Rub, a project produced for the New Museum in collaboration with Mores McWreath

Books and essays mentioned in this episode

The Gold Star Awards”: a statement by The Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo in Harriet

We Need Diverse Diverse Books”: an essay by Matthew Salesses in LitHub

The Rejection of Closure”: a talk by Lyn Hejinian, transcribed and published by the Poetry Foundation

The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton, 2013)

Look by Solmaz Sharif (Graywolf, 2016)

Blackacre by Monica Youn (Graywolf, 2016)

The Program Era by Mark McGurl (Harvard University Press, 2009)

In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Picador, 2015)

Related works by other writers

The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, an anthology edited by Claudia Rankine (Fence, 2016)

The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton, 2016)

White Debt,” an essay by Eula Biss, published in the New York Times Magazine

In the Same Breath: The Racial Politics of the Best American Poetry 2014” by Isaac Ginsberg Miller, published in the American Poetry Review

Sep 01 2016

1hr 32mins

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Rank #14: Episode 52: Richard Siken

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Host Rachel Zucker speaks with poet Richard Siken, author of Crush and War of the Foxes and publisher and poetry editor at Spork Press. They talk about his current five-book project, the restrictions he uses in each book during its composition, how these restrictions can help him avoid repetition, strategies inherent in poetry, rhetoric and discourse, Siken's rules for editing, not naming names, the idea and (f)utility of art therapy, teaching, the job market, the logistics and economics of for-profit-publishing, and family.

Extra Materials for Episode 52

Books by Richard Siken

Crush (Yale University Press, 2005)

War of the Foxes (Copper Canyon, 2015)

Other Writers and Books Mentioned in the Episode

Paul Legault

Dorothy Chan

Dalton Day

Kathleen Rooney

Gary J. Shipley

Abraham Smith

Scott McWaters

Other Relevant Links

John Cage

Dennis Cooper’s George Miles Cycle

Gertrude Stein

Drew Burk

May 23 2018

1hr 38mins

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Rank #15: Episode 16: Jericho Brown

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Host Rachel Zucker speaks with award-winning poet Jericho Brown about the differences between poetry and journalism, the role of truth and facts in poetry, the complexities of separating a poet’s autobiography from the work especially in the age of Facebook, writing about family and about queerness, coming out, “bad people,” the complications of assembling a collection a poems, poetry projects v. poems, and treasuring the “small, complete thing.”

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 16

Books by Jericho Brown

The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014)

Please (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008)

Other Books or Writers Mentioned in the Episode

The Fuehrer Bunker: The Complete Cycle by W.D. Snodgrass (BOA Editions, 1995)

Essex Hemphill

Nikki Giovanni

Langston Hughes

Gwendolyn Brooks

Countee Culle

Claude McKay

Jean Valentine

Elizabeth Willis

Interviews Mentioned and Other Relevant Links

“Becoming Jericho Brown” by Jeremy Redmon, published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An interview with Jericho in the Nashville Review

Autobiography of Real: an interview with Jericho in the Yale Literary Magazine

Until the Fulcrum Tips: A Conversation with Rita Dove and Jericho Brown, published in the Best American Poetry

“Is This the End of the Era of the Important, Inappropriate Literary Man?” by Jia Tolentino, published in Jezebel

The National Book Awards

Jan 02 2017

1hr 9mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 23: Morgan Parker

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet Morgan Parker (author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night and There are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé) in front of a LIVE audience at the KGB Red Room on February 27, 2017. Morgan reads new work, discusses what she’s working on, who she’s writing for, and her 13 husbands. They talk about confessional poetry, performance, blackness, whiteness, therapy, Beyoncé, authenticity,  revision, therapy as reparations, and Nelly.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 23

Books by Morgan Parker

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce (Tin House, 2017)

Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback, 2015)

Other Books/Writers/Thinkers/Musicians Mentioned

Beyoncé

Julie Buntin

Rachel McKibbens

Lizzie Harris

Angel Nafis

Monica McClure

Nate Marshall

Mickalene Thomas

Matthew Dickman

D.A. Powell

Christine Larusso

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Other Relevant Links

“How to Stay Sane While Black” by Morgan Parker, published by the New York Times

Mar 15 2017

2hr 2mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 48: Poets at MacDowell: Destiny Birdsong, Juleen Johnson, Jenny George, Eloisa Amezcua, & Amanda Galvan Huynh

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Host Rachel Zucker talks with poets Destiny Birdsong, Juleen Johnson, Jenny George, Eloisa Amezcua, and Amanda Galvan Huynh in Savage Library at MacDowell Artist Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

They talk about their particular interests—writing about women of color, writing about place, writing from unknowing or from knowing to unknowing, writing about the relationship between humans and animals, working with found texts, writing about assimilation and loss of culture, bi-linguality—and about their shared experiences at MacDowell. They offer advice for folks who might be headed to a residency, talk about various writing processes, and about what was wonderful and what was challenging about being at the residency including their feelings about being selected and about the selection process and not having to do the kind of labor one does in normal life.

Extra Materials for Episode 48

MacDowell Fellows in this Episode

Eloisa Amezcua

Destiny Birdsong

Jenny George

Amanda Galvan Huynh

Juleen Johnson

Other MacDowell Fellows who were there at the same time as we were, some of whom we mention in this episode—all of whom were important in our work:

Koji Nakano

Greg Marshall

Alexandria Smith

Dahlia Elsayed

Marc Ohrem-Leclef

Maude Mitchelland Lee Bruer

Uchenna Awoke

Justin Sherin

Haruko Tanaka

Andrew May

Joyce Zonana

Janie Geiser

Mona Mansour

Erik den Breejen

Edgar Kunz

Jonathan Berger

Erin M. Riley

Mar 21 2018

1hr 45mins

Play

Rank #18: Episode 27: Rita Dove

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Rachel Zucker talks with Rita Dove, former Poet Laureate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author of more than 15 books and University of Virginia professor about political poetry, creative writing programs, the usefulness of prosody, form as ‘a talisman against disintegration,’ the public intimacy of social media, her poem ‘Parsley,’ audience, code switching, why some poems are hard to read, blackness and other people’s expectations of her as a black woman, getting over the Iowa voice, narrative poetry, her book Thomas and Beulah, the myth of Persephone, Trump, motherhood, marriage, slavery, freedom, why she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, being a musician and a ballroom dancer, the solace of rhyme, and embracing change.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 27

Books by Rita Dove

Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (W.W. Norton, 2016)

Sonata Mulattica (W. W. Norton, 2010)

American Smooth (W. W. Norton, 2006)

The Darker Face of the Earth (Story Line Press, 2000)

On the Bus with Rosa Parks (W. W. Norton, 2000)

Mother Love (W. W. Norton, 1996)

Thomas and Beulah (Carnegie Mellon, 1996)

Through the Ivory Gate (Vintage, 1993)

Selected Poems (Vintage, 1993)

Museum (Carnegie Mellon, 1992)

Grace Notes (W. W. Norton, 1991)

Fifth Sunday (Callaloo, 1990)

The Yellow House on the Corner (Carnegie Mellon, 1989)

Books and Other Authors Mentioned in the Episode

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Puffin Books, 2013)

Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (University of Iowa Press, 2010)

A Poet’s Glossary by Edward HIrsch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (W. W. Norton, 2001)

Gunter Grass

Laurel Snyder

The University of Virginia MFA programCharles Wright, Gregory Orr, Lisa Russ Spaar, Paul Guest, Debra Nystrom

Rachel Zucker’s Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan, 2003)

The Reaper Essays by Mark Jarman (Story Line Press, 1996)

Renga for Obama (organized by Major Jackson)

Tanks and the Bangas’ website and their Tiny Desk performance

Other Relevant Links

Rita Dove’s poem “Parsley”

Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Ballroom dancing

Apr 25 2017

1hr 54mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode 13: D.A. Powell

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Host Rachel Zucker talks with her friend D.A. Powell, author of five award-winning books of poetry and professor at University of San Francisco. They talk about the presidential election, outrage, disturbance, poetry as social activism and action, normalization, resistance, erasures, palimpsests, minimalism, droplifting, notebooks, revision strategies, chaos and order(ing), and going forward. They also talk about their time together at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, teaching, their mutual affection and respect for one another and the importance of friendship.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 13

Books by D.A. Powell

Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2014)

Repast: Tea, Lunch and Cocktails (Graywolf, 2014)

Chronic: Poems (Graywolf, 2012)

Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master (edited alongside Kevin Prufer) (Pleiades Press, 2010)

By Myself: An Autobiography (collaboration with David Trinidad) (Turtle Point Press, 2009)

Cocktails: Poems (Graywolf, 2004)

Other Books and Projects Mentioned in the Episode

Sentences by Robert Grenier

garlic in the ground by Robert Grenier (video portrait by Charles Bernstein), published by Jacket2

Soldier's Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father — A Daughter's Memoir by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics, 2015)

Howl by Allen Ginsberg (the Moloch section) (City Lights reissue, 2001)

Citizen by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf, 2014)

Other Relevant Links

D.A. Powell’s Unruly Elegies,” by Christopher Richards, published in the New Yorker

30 Books: Gregg Barrios on D.A. Powell’s “Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys,” published in Critical Mass

“Hell's Music: A 'Guide For Boys' With Adult Themes,” by Craig Morgen Teicher, published by NPR

People, Publications and Events Mentioned in this Episode

Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

Rachel Maddow

#NoDAPL/Standing Rock

Barry White

Matthew Dickman

Abby Hoffman

Radi Os by Ronald Johnson (Flood Editions, 2015), an "erasure" of Paradise Lost

Jane Wyman

James Baldwin

Marianne Moore

Boomerang! (Rachel’s contributor’s journal): A limited edition literary journal created to encourage communication between writers (modeled on ROOMS a contributors Journal made by Bay Area women poets. Committed to linguistic and visual experimentation, Boomerang!  Ran for 15 issues. Contributors included: Rick Barot, Miranda Field, Alan Feldman, Joy Katz, Wayne Koestenbaum, Lisa Lubasch, Hermine Meinhard, DA Powell, Reginald Shepherd, Elizabeth Robinson, David Trinidad and Max Winter.

Dec 01 2016

1hr 48mins

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Rank #20: Episode 66: Sarah Gambito

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, professor and co-founder of Kundiman Sarah Gambito about writing after the 2016 election, their shared love of cooking, experiments in non-traditional teaching, going back to the ancients and redefining the goals of the creative writing workshop to include: care (of self and other), nourishment, joy and abundance. Gambito describes the loneliness she felt moving to New York in her mid-twenties, how and why she and Joseph Legaspi co-founded Kundiman (“a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature”) and how sometimes you need to buy a snow-cone machine.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 66

Books by Sarah Gambito

Loves You (Persea, 2019)

Delivered (Persea, 2009)

Matadora (Alice James, 2004)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Dan Harris’ 10% Happier (Dey Street Books, 2019)

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Joseph Legaspi

Myung Mi Kim

Other Relevant Links

Kundiman

Vedas scriptures

Elaine Retholtz

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mar 08 2019

1hr 18mins

Play

Episode 79: Christine Larusso

Dec 18 2019

1hr 36mins

Play

Episode 76: Ada Limón

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet Ada Limón about her life as a poet, especially her two most recent books, The Carrying and Bright Dead Things. Limón speaks openly about contests and prizes, money, taboos around performance, her decision to stop trying to have children, writing about secrets, the privilege of being a writer, leaning toward gratitude, pinning the dragon of the mind to the page, writing as a shareable space and a form of connection and so much more.

Books by Ada Limón

The Carrying (Milkweed, 2018)

Bright Dead Things (Milkweed, 2015)

Sharks in the Rivers (Milkweed, 2010)

lucky wreck (Autumn House, 2006)

This Big Fake World (Pearl Poetry Prize series, 2006)

Other Relevant Links

The theory and play of duende by Lorca

Adrian Matejka’s One Big Smoke

Nyorican Poetry

Episode 16: Jericho Brown

CD Wright

Bernadette Mayer’s conversation with Charles Bernstein

Episode 60: Robin Coste Lewis

Robin Coste Lewis’ acceptance speech for NBA

Ada Limon’s acceptance speech for NBCCA

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

Faint Music by Robert Hass

Oct 29 2019

1hr 45mins

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Episode 75: Victoria Chang

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Books by Victoria Chang

Barbie Chang (Copper Canyon, 2017)

Is Mommy? (With Marla Frazee) (Beach Lane, 2015)

The Boss (McSweeney’s, 2013)

Salvinia Molesta (University of Georgia Press, 2008)

Circle (Crab Orchard/Southern Illinois University Press, 2005)

Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (Editor) (University of Illinois Press, 2004)


Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Chen Chen

Kristin Chang

Fatimah Asghar

Paige Lewis

Kaveh Akbar

Cathy Park Hong

Mary Ruefle

Louise Glück

Jorie Graham

Anne Carson

Terrance Hayes

Ilya Kaminsky


Other Relevant Links

Commonplace interview with Richard Siken

Commonplace interview with Ilya Kaminsky

Victoria Chang at McSweeney’s

Copper Canyon Press

Antioch University

CalArts School of Critical Studies

Oct 04 2019

1hr 50mins

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Episode 74: Rachel Zucker's SoundMachine

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Books/Projects by Rachel Zucker

SoundMachine (Wave, 2019)

The Pedestrians (Wave, 2014)

Mothers (Counterpoint, 2013)

Museum of Accidents (Wave, 2009)

The Bad Wife Handbook (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

The Last Clear Narrative (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)

Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)

Home/birth: a poemic with Arielle Greenberg ( 2011)

Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections with Arielle Greenberg (University of Iowa Press, 2008)

Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First One Hundred Days with Arielle Greenberg

SoundMachine, the audio project

Books by Guest Interviewers

Sharon Olds

Arias (Knopf, 2019)

Odes (Knopf, 2016)

Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012)

One Secret Thing (Knopf, 2008)

Strike Sparks (Knopf, 2004)

The Unswept Room (Knopf, 2002)

Blood, Tin, Straw (Knopf, 1999)

The Wellspring (Knopf, 1996)

The Father (Knopf, 1992)

Gold Cell (Knopf, 1987)

The Dead and the Living (Knopf, 1984)

Satan Says (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980)

Wayne Koestenbaum

Circus (Soft Skull, 2019)

Camp Marmalade (Nightboat, 2019)

Double Talk (Routledge, 2018)

Notes on Glaze (Cabinet, 2016)

Andy Warhol (Open Road, 2015)

The Pink Trance Notebooks (Nightboat, 2015)

My 1980s and Other Essays (FSG, 2013)

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (UC Press, 2012)

Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background (Turtle Point, 2012)

Humiliation (Picador, 2011)

Jackie Under My Skin (Picador, 2009)

Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007)

Best-selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006)

Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004)

Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (Soft Skull, 2004)

The Queen’s Throat (De Capo, 2001)

The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999)

Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender (George Brazillier, 1995)

Ode to Anna Moffo (Persea, 1991)

Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings (One World, 2020)

Engine Empire (WW Norton, 2013)

Dance Dance Revolution (WW Norton, 2008)

Translating Mo’um (Hanging Loose, 2002)

Craig Morgan Teicher

We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf, 2018)

The Trembling Answers (BOA Editions, 2017)

To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012)

Cradle Book (BOA Editions, 2010)

Brenda Is In the Room (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008)

Liner notes

03:08 Introduction to episode

08:45 Conversation with Josh Goren

13:40 Conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum

35:35 Conversation with Sharon Olds

43:40 Conversation with Craig Morgan Teicher

55:35 Conversation with Cathy Park Hong

1:15:30 Conversation with Josh Goren

1:23:19 Excerpt from “The Moon is in Her Caul Tonight”

1:41:17 Outro to the episode


All audio was recorded by Rachel Zucker.


TRANSCRIPT TO COME

Sep 17 2019

1hr 43mins

Play

Episode 73: Jennifer Croft (Translation Series Ep. 3)

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Episode 3 of Commonplace’s special series on translation.

Jennifer Croft is a writer, translator and critic. She was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in 2018 and a National Book Award Finalist for her translation from Polish of Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell, and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation and a Tin House Workshop Scholarship for her memoir Homesick, just released from Unnamed Press. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a founding editor of The Buenos Aires Review and has published her own work and numerous translations in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Granta, VICE, n+1, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She currently divides her time between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. [Bio adapted from Unnamed Press and the NEA.]

In this episode Jennifer Croft speaks to Commonplace host Rachel Zucker about her childhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, falling in love with Russian language and Slavic grammar, the accidental way she ended up becoming a translator of Polish (rather than Russian), and how her study of Polish led her to Argentina, the place she feels most herself. Croft describes translating Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Flights (Riverhead, 2018) for which Croft and Tokarczuk won the Man Booker International Prize, her relationship with Tokarczuk, and the pleasures and challenges of her current translation project: translating Tokarcuzk’s thousand-page historical novel, The Books of Jacob, about 18th century figure Jacob Frank. Croft also speaks about the connection between translation and creative writing and her newly-released illustrated novel-memoir, Homesick (Unnamed Press, 2019) which she wrote in Spanish and then again in English. Croft touches on existential questions about being oneself in a place where one has no history and how one’s life is a mysterious interplay of destiny, accident, choice and perseverance.


Books by Jennifer Croft


Homesick (Unnamed Press, 2019)


Books translated by Jennifer Croft


Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Riverhead Books, 2018)

August by Romina Paula (The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2017)

Lovely, Human, True, Heartfelt: The Letters of Alina Szapocznikow and Ryszard Stanislawski (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2012)


Other Books, Translators and Writers Mentioned in the Episode


Aron Aji

Daniel Weissbort

Antonia Lloyd Jones

Hanna Krall

Claire Cavanagh

Wisława Szymborska

Stanislaw Baranczak

Maxine Swann

Wiltold Gombrowicz


Other Relevant Links


The NIKE award

Unnamed Press

Boris Dralyuk

The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center

“Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz dies after being stabbed in heart on stage” by Helen Regan and Stephanie Wells, for CNN

“When An Author You Translate Gets Death Threats” by Jennifer Croft, for Lithub

NEA Translation grants

Buenos Aires Review

Music for this episode provided by Payadora



Liner notes


14:25 “La Humilde” Argentine folk song arranged and performed by Payadora.

16:40 Jennifer Croft reads “Birthday” by Wisława Szymborska translated by Wisława Szymborska and Stanislaw Baranczak

25:51 “Nostalgias Tucumanas” by Atahualpa Yupanqui arranged by Drew Jurecka and performed by Payadora.

26:30 Jennifer Croft reads from Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Riverhead Books, 2018)

27:33 “Volando” composed by Rebekah Wolkstein and performed by Payadora.

57:58 Jennifer Croft reads her novel/memoir Homesick in Spanish and English.

1:03:40 “Adios Muchachos” by Julio César Sanders arranged by Rebekah Wolkstein, performed by Payadora.


All audio of Jennifer Croft was recorded by Rachel Zucker in New York City on February 13, 2018 at the Cullman Center. Theme music composed and performed by Nathaniel Wolkstein.

Sep 04 2019

1hr 6mins

Play

Episode 72: Ilya Kaminsky

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EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 72

Books by Ilya Kaminsky

Poetry Collections:

Deaf Republic (Graywolf, 2019)

Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004)

Anthologies:

The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (co-editors Susan Harris, Ecco, 2010)

In the Shape of a Human I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (co-editors Dominic Luxford and Jesse Nathan, McSweeney’s, 2017)

Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poems and Prose (co-editors Katie Farris and Valzhyna Mort, Tupelo Press, 2014)

A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith, (co-editor Katherine Towler, Tupelo Press, 2012)

Translations/Readings:

Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (with Jean Valentine, Alice James, 2012)

This Lamentable City by Polina Barskova (Tupelo Press, 2010)

If I Were Born in Prague: Poems of Guy Jean (with Katie Farris, Argos Press, 2011)

Other Books and Writers Featured in the Episode

Isaac Babel

Leslie Scalapino

Catullus

Propertius

Anna Akhmatova

Czeslaw Milosz

Tomas Tranströmer

Other Relevant Links

“Searching for a Lost Odessa — and a Deaf Childhood” published in the New York Times, Aug. 9, 2018

Ilya reads “Search Patrols” for the Poetry Foundation

Interview with Ilya in the Adirondack Review

Polish poet Adam Zagajewski talks to American translator Clare Cavanaugh and Ilya Kaminsky about contemporary Polish poetry, for the Poetry Foundation

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Jul 25 2019

1hr 50mins

Play

Episode 71: Mira Jacob

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Rachel Zucker speaks with Mira Jacob, author and illustrator of a newly released graphic memoir Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Zucker and Jacob speak about “the gaze of disbelief,” racism, raising sons in the age of Trump, the relationship between humor and anger, the lonely exhilaration of immersing oneself in a new medium, the challenges and pleasures of translating text into audio and the complicated work of making art about yourself, your children, family and friends.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 71

Books by MIra Jacob

Good Talk (One World, 2019)

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (Random House, 2015)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Bill Cheng

Dani Shapiro

Jed Rothstein

Susan Sontag’s On Photography (Picador)

Charlie Hebdo

Other Relevant Links

TastyTuts

Jun 16 2019

1hr 43mins

Play

Episode 70: Alicia Jo Rabins

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, musician and Jewish educator Alicia Jo Rabins about her new book, Fruit Geode, and her lifelong passion for writing. In an episode rich with music, Alicia Jo describes falling in love with Jewish learning, being a classically-trained violinist, learning American fiddle music from a busker, playing in a klezmer punk band, recording three albums of Girls in Trouble songs (written in the voices of female biblical figures), her one-woman rock opera about Bernie Madoff and the collapse of the financial market, the inevitability of cycles, writing a spiritual memoir, the non-binary divine, the Jewish priestess movement, the importance of stopping writing, a hunger for integration, shame, performance, and so much more.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 70

Books by Alicia Jo Rabins

Fruit Geode (Augury Books, 2018)

Divinity School (American Poetry Review, 2015)

Other Projects by Alicia Jo Rabins

Girls in Trouble

A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff (the album)

A Kaddish for Bernie Maddoff (the film)

Chavurta: A Drummer’s Bat Mitzvah

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Orion, 2003)

Claudia Rankine

Kenneth Koch

Ron Padgett

David Lehman

John Ashbery

Norman Fischer

C.D. Wright

Enheduanna

Other Relevant Links

Annette Ezekiel Kogan and the band Golem

Pardes

Jerry Raik

Bronfman Fellowship

Rabbi Jill Hammer

LMCC

Bernie Madoff

Zak Margolis

Emotive Fruition

Mother Foucault's Bookshop

May 12 2019

1hr 50mins

Play

Episode 69: Live Reading with Brown, Joseph, Meitner Parker, Pico, Tolbert, and Yanyi

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A live reading featuring past Commonplace guests Jericho Brown, Janine Joseph, Erika Meitner, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, TC Tolbert, and Yanyi, held in Passages Bookstore in Portland, OR, on March 30, 2019.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 69

New Books by Commonplace Guests

The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon, 2019)

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker (Tin House, 2019)

Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner (BOA Editions, 2018)

The Year of Blue Water by Yanyi (Yale University Press, 2019)

Biographies for all the readers featured in this episode

Jericho Brown is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His latest collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019). He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

Janine Joseph was born in the Philippines. She immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight and lived undocumented for fifteen years. She is the author of Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the 2018 da Vinci Eye Award, and named an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club, among other honors. An organizer for Undocupoets and a contributing editor for Tongue, Janine also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Poets & Writers at OSU-Tulsa. Currently, she lives in Stillwater, OK, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.

Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She attended Dartmouth College (for a BA in Creative Writing and Literature), Hebrew University on a Reynolds Scholarship, and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing as a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and her MA in Religious Studies as a Morgenstern Fellow in Jewish Studies. Meitner is the author of five books of poems. Her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018), is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. Meitner is currently an Associate Professor of English, and the Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing and the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Virginia Tech.

Morgan Parker is the author of the poetry collections Magical Negro (Tin House 2019), There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House, 2017), and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015). Her debut young adult novel Who Put This Song On? will be released by Delacorte Press this fall. In addition, a debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World/Random House. Parker received her BA in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her MFA in Poetry from NYU. She is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Parker is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is author of the books IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), winner of a 2018 American Book Award and finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Junk (Tin House Books, 2018), and Feed (forthcoming 2019 from Tin House Books). Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now splits his time between Los Angles and Brooklyn. He co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.

TC Tolbert often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet. TC’s first full-length collection, Gephyromania, was published by Ahsahta Press in 2014. Gephyromania was selected as one of the top poetry books of 2014 by Entropy and was listed by Eileen Myles as one of her favorites for 2014 in The Gay and Lesbian Review. S/he is a nationally certified EMT and in the summer, s/he leads wilderness trips for Outward Bound. In addition, TC is Creator and Director of Made for Flight, a youth empowerment project that utilizes creative writing and kite building to create a living memorial commemorating transgender people who were murdered in the previous year. TC was selected as Tucson’s Poet Laureate in 2017.

Yanyi is a writer and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press, April 2019). Currently, he is an associate editor at Foundry and an MFA candidate at New York University. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House.

Apr 30 2019

56mins

Play

Episode 68: Live Reading w/ Calvocoressi, Falkner, Gay and Mark

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Live reading featuring Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Adam Falkner, Ross Gay and Sabrina Orah Mark hosted by Rachel Zucker at the Association of Writing Programs Conference in Portland, OR, on March 29, 2019. Includes a brief update on the state of the podcast and an invitation to leave a message on (347) 762-3405 with your comment, question, suggestion or friendly provocation about Commonplace. Please leave your message by April 24th!

Episode 69 will feature a Commonplace reading with Jericho Brown, Erika Meitner, TC Tolbert, Yanyi, Tommy Pico, Morgan Parker and Janine Joseph.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 68

New Books by Commonplace Guests

Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark (Dorothy, 2018)

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay (Algonquin, 2019)

Biographies for all the readers featured in this episode

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of Rocket Fantastic, Apocalyptic Swing (2009) and The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart (2005), all from Persea Books. They are the senior poetry editor at Los Angeles Review of Books and teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts and culture strategist. He is the author of Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award) and The Willies (forthcoming from Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University and has served as a lecturer at Vassar College and Columbia University’s Teachers College where he continues to facilitate professional development programming for educators across New York City.

Ross Gay is the author of three books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.  Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.  

Sabrina Orah Mark grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a BA from Barnard College, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD in English from the University of Georgia. She is the author of the book-length poetry collections The Babies (2004), winner of the Saturnalia Book Prize chosen by Jane Miller, and Tsim Tsum (2009), as well as the chapbook Walter B.’s Extraordinary Cousin Arrives for a Visit & Other Tales from Woodland Editions.  Her collection of stories, Wild Milk, was published by Dorothy in 2018.  Mark’s awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She lives in Athens Georgia with her husband, Reginald McKnight, and their two sons.

Apr 18 2019

53mins

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Episode 67: John Biewen

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Rachel Zucker speaks with public radio reporter and documentarian John Biewen about his work at the Center for Documentary Studies, especially his two series Seeing White and MEN, which investigate the history and reach of whiteness and masculinity. Rachel and John talk about how John decided to make these series, about the format of Seeing White and MEN, how and why it was important and effective to have a recurring conversational partner or official co-host, the value of white people examining whiteness and men examining toxic masculinity, virtue signaling, problems with imaginative empathy and how to not just think about oppression but begin to do something about changing it.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 67

Projects by John Biewen

Scene on Radio

Storymakers: Durham

Other People, Projects and Books Mentioned in the Episode

Chenjerai Kumanyika

Celeste Headlee

Reality Radio (ed. by John Biewen; University of North Carolina Press, 2017)

Race Traitor by Noel Ignatiev (Routledge, 1996)

Class, Race and Marxism by David Roediger (Verso, 2017)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Allan Gurganus

Natasha Tretheway

Other Relevant Links

Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, NC

Uncivil, hosted by Chenjerai Kumanyika

Minnesota Public Radio

NPR News

American Radio Works

This American Life

PRX

Racial Equity Institute

Ibram Kendi

Ijeoma Oluo

“In the Same Breath: The Racial Politics of the Best American Poetry 2014” by Isaac Ginsberg Miller (Published in American Poetry Review)

Mar 26 2019

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Episode 66: Sarah Gambito

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, professor and co-founder of Kundiman Sarah Gambito about writing after the 2016 election, their shared love of cooking, experiments in non-traditional teaching, going back to the ancients and redefining the goals of the creative writing workshop to include: care (of self and other), nourishment, joy and abundance. Gambito describes the loneliness she felt moving to New York in her mid-twenties, how and why she and Joseph Legaspi co-founded Kundiman (“a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature”) and how sometimes you need to buy a snow-cone machine.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 66

Books by Sarah Gambito

Loves You (Persea, 2019)

Delivered (Persea, 2009)

Matadora (Alice James, 2004)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Dan Harris’ 10% Happier (Dey Street Books, 2019)

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Joseph Legaspi

Myung Mi Kim

Other Relevant Links

Kundiman

Vedas scriptures

Elaine Retholtz

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mar 08 2019

1hr 18mins

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Episode 65: Hillary Frank

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Author, illustrator and podcaster Hillary Frank talks about how she tricked her way into radio, early writing failures, being driven by wanting to prove people wrong, the misogyny against mothers in media that she experienced while trying to tell audio stories about birth, motherhood and reproductive health, and how she finally started and grew her podcast The Longest Shortest Time. Frank talks about writing YA fiction and about her newly released nonfiction book, Weird Parenting Wins. Rachel and Hillary discuss the benefits and challenges of various storytelling formats, their shared desire to tell (or write) stories about parents that don’t make parents feel terrible, and the difficult balancing act of writing honestly and vulnerably about one’s kids or partner while protecting loved one’s privacy.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 65

Books by Hillary Frank

Weird Parenting Wins: Bathtub Dining, Family Screams, and Other Hacks from the Parenting Trenches (TarcherPerigee, 2019)

The View from the Top (Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2010)

I Can’t Tell You (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004)

Better Than Running at Night (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2002)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Edward Gorey

Morse Hamilton

Other Relevant Links

The Special Misogyny Reserved for Mothers an Op-Ed for The New York Times by Hillary Frank

Parenting Looks Nothing Like the Experts Say an Op-Ed for The Atlantic by Hillary Frank

Ira Glass

This American Life

Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Feb 14 2019

1hr 41mins

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Episode 64: John Keene (Translation Series, Ep. 2)

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Episode 2 of Commonplace’s special series on translation

John R. Keene is the author of Annotations and Counternarratives, both published by New Directions, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer. Born in St. Louis, Keene is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University, where he was a New York Times Fellow. He is the recipient of many awards and fellowships—including a MacArthur Genius Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and the Whiting Foundation Prize for fiction. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark. (Bio adapted from New Directions.)

John Keene talks to Commonplace host Rachel Zucker about his experiences—starting as early as middle school—with translation, why he believes translation is so important, and how his work as a poet and fiction writer is informed by his work as a translator. Keene, who primarily translates from Portuguese, French and Spanish, speaks about his article “Translating Poetry, Translating Blackness,” and how the dearth of translations of non-Anglophone black diasporic writers into English compounds problem of the lack of representation in media and literature. Keene also discusses the whiteness of the publishing industry, the unique challenges of translating LGBTQ+ literature across cultures, and more.

Liner Notes
:03 John Keene reads (in Portuguese and English) a recent translation of “Black Eye” by Cristiane Sobral that he translated (with input from Erik M. B. Becker) for the special issue on Afro-Brazilian writing they co-edited for Words without Borders.

9:12 Keene reads his recent translation of “I Won’t Wash the Dishes Anymore” by Cristiane Sobral (also for the Afro-Brazilian issue of Words without Borders).

16:25 Keene reads the final paragraph of his translation of Letters from a Seducer by Hilda Hilst (written in Portuguese).

20:28 Keene reads an excerpt of his article, “Translating Poetry, Translating Blackness” written for Thinking Its Presence conference and posted on Poetry Foundation website, Harriet, for the special translation issue edited by Daniel Borzutzky.

32:06 Keene reads from his book (a collaboration with Nicholas Muellner) Grind.

Keene reads “Anna vê Alice / Anna Sees Alice” by Paulo Leminski in Portuguese and English and his own English translation.

All recordings were made by Rachel Zucker of John Keene in New York City on December 17, 2018.

Jan 24 2019

48mins

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Episode 63: Juliana Spahr

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Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, scholar and activist Juliana Spahr about teaching, language poetry, studying at SUNY Buffalo, post-colonialism and anti-colonialism, personal rules she established when living, writing and teaching in Hawaii, finding a more nuanced way of avoiding appropriation (without just avoiding it completely), who she is willing to upset, what it means to not uphold a nation, funding, the influence of the state on literature, why literature and higher education (especially MFA programs) remain so segregated and influenced by whiteness, the problems with declamatory political poems, Commune—both the book press and the magazine—occasional poems, how the genre of poetry is changing, the role of the internet on political poetry projects, the impact of Black Lives Matter on literature, and how literature is becoming more and more like opera.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 63

Books by Juliana Spahr

Du Bois’s Telegram: Literary Resistance and State Containment (Harvard University Press, 2018)

That Winter the Wolf Came (Commune Editions, 2015)

An Army of Lovers (with David Buuck) (City Lights, 2013)

Well Then There Now (Black Sparrow, 2011)

The Transformation (Atelos, 2007)

This Connection of Everyone With Lungs (University of California Press, 2005)

Fuck You—Aloha—I Love You (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)

Everybody’s Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity (University of Alabama Press, 2001)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, edited by Juliana Spahr and Claudia Rankine (Wesleyan University Press, 2002)

Myung Mi Kim’s Commons (University of California Press, 2002)

Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Aunt Lute Books, 2012)

Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf, 2004)

Gertrude Stein

Leslie Scalapino

Robert Creeley

Charles Bernstein

Lyn Hejinian

James Thomas Stevens

Germaine Greer

Gwendolyn Brooks

Joshua Clover

Jasper Bernes

Ron Silliman

Sappho

Homer

Shakespeare

Arielle Greenberg

Allen Ginsberg

Other Relevant Links

Juliana’s essay “My White Feminism” in The Boston Review

Commune Editions

Theory, Pop, and Riot

SUNY Buffalo poetics program

Lana Turner (Issue 10 here)

Claire Grossman / Cantil

Jacobin

Democratic Socialists

Language Poetry

Poets Against the War

Jan 10 2019

1hr 30mins

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Episode 62: Khadijah Queen

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Rachel Zucker speaks with scholar, poet, playwright, professor, artist, mother Khadijah Queen about what she’s teaching, her doctoral studies, her memoir-in-progress, her newest book (I’m So Fine), her new, unpublished poems, simultaneity and happening-aliveness, emotion, emotion as knowledge, humor, healing, intuition, ancient traditions, fibromyalgia, gender violence, being single, the writing community in Denver, the patriarchy, wanting not only to begin but to continue, memes, and recognizing that not everything will turn out perfectly.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 62

Books by Khadijah Queen

I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books, 2017)

Fearful Beloved (Argos Books, 2015)

Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press, 2015)

Black Peculiar (Noemi, 2011)

Conduit (Akashic, 2008)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk:Ars Poetica in 59 Versos (Duke University Press, 2018)

Sydia Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, 1997)

Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life (Duke University Press, 2017)

Margaret Cavendish

Herman Melville

Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born (WW Norton, 1995)

Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry (Wesleyan University Press, 1996)

Gwendolyn Brooks’ In the Mecca (Harper and Row, 1968)

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Vintage Books, 1995)

Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself (University of Iowa Press, 2006)

Edward Hirsch’s Gabriel (Knopf, 2014)

Roland Barthes

Lucille Clifton

Tommy Pico

Alice Notley

Sommer Browning

Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Carolina Ebeid

Jeffrey Pethybridge

Bin Ramke

Emily Pettit

Renee Gladman

Other Relevant Links

Visible Binary

Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Carley Moore “Why I Can’t Have Coffee with You: Saying No to the Patriarchy”

Nauru Island in Australia

Dec 18 2018

1hr 12mins

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Episode 61: Rosa Alcalá (Translation Series, Ep. 1)

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Episode 1 of Commonplace’s special series on translation.

Rosa Alcalá is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, most recently, MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem), and translator of several full-length translations including the recently released New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña (Kelsey Street Press) for which Alcalá received a translation fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2015.


Alcalá talks to Commonplace host Rachel Zucker about the experience of translating and transcribing the poetry and performances of Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña. Alcalá speaks about growing up in Paterson, N.J., having been a child interpreter and mediator for her Spanish-speaking parents, language shame, studying at Brown and meeting Vicuña for the first time, studying transcription and ethnopoetics with Dennis Tedlock at SUNY Buffalo, grappling with how to record ephemerality, inaudibility, temporality, volume, tone and the feeling of listening (and mishearing) when translating, transcribing, and editing Vicuña’s multi-lingual performances for the book Spit Temple. Alcalá describes her long friendship with Vicuña, accepting the invitation to edit and translate Vicuña’s New and Selected, retranslating earlier translations, how the work of translating others affects her own writing, poetry as a space to say what is impossible to say in any language, literary and linguistic heritage, her interest in the NY School poets (especially Frank O’Hara and Bernadette Mayer), raising a bilingual child, and her poem “Heritage Speaker” from MyOTHER TONGUE.

LINER NOTES

:05 – Rosa Alcalá reads “The Brilliance of Orifices” from New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña (Kelsey Street Press, 2018).

8:49 – Alcalá reads “Mondo (Fragmentos del Diario Estúpido)” from New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña.

19:11 – Cecilia Vicuña singing and reading [McNally].

22:20 – Vicuña introduces and begins reading her poem, “Quen- to Shipibo” [McNally].

28:30 – “The translation is definitely associated to time...” Vicuña speaking about working with her translators [McNally].

36:20 – Alcalá reads “Art in General, New York City, May 19, 1999” from Spit Temple (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012).

40:14 – Alcalá reads “Cecilia Vicuña: The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, 2002 [a letter]” from Spit Temple.

58:24 – Alcalá reads “Heritage Speaker” from MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem, 2017).

Nov 20 2018

1hr 4mins

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Episode 60: Robin Coste Lewis

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Host Rachel Zucker speaks with Robin Coste Lewis, author of the 2015 National Book Award winning Voyage of the Sable Venus and poet laureate of Los Angeles, about when to say no, how to say no, wishing people would educate themselves on centuries-old African American intellectual tradition before asking her to respond to obvious questions, professionalism, calling in, her position as Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, the pressure, power and exhaustion of having to offering historical correctives, migration, celebrating black culture, archives, writing work that spans 38,000 years, photography, narrative as a story filled with holes, the arctic, brain damage, being a “baby writer” in her fifties, the value of having to confront mortality, environmentalism, research as devotion, the difference between beauty and prettiness, Cave Canem, Gwendolyn Brooks, loneliness, why she’s going to burn her diaries, Henri Matisse, and much more.

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 60

Books by Robin Coste Lewis

Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Chase Berggrun

Luis J. Rodriguez

Eloise Klein Healy

Gwendolyn Brooks

Elizabeth Alexander

Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser (Oxford University Press, 2012)

The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector (New Directions, 2018)

Anthology of Negro Poets (out of print)

Arna Bontemps

Langston Hughes

Frederick Douglass

Other Relevant Links

Robin’s lecture “The Race Within Erasure”

GET LIT

Matthew Henson

Mathew Brady

Cave Canem

Henri Matisse

Nov 07 2018

1hr 48mins

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iTunes Ratings

131 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Great Conversations

By Daveiii - Sep 14 2019
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Rachel does more than interviews. She brings a level of openness to each conversation that’s admirable and aspirable. She has thoughtful questions which lead to great discussions. Plus my cat likes the pod

Essential

By yaddyrap - Jan 31 2018
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Nuanced complex conversations about all aspects of poetry and LIFE. Well done!