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Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Updated 2 months 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

145 Ratings
Average Ratings
136
4
1
3
1

One of my favorite podcasts

By jmr1490 - May 29 2020
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I listen to every episode and have since the beginning. A phenomenal set of conversations.

Thank you

By actual.magic - Apr 20 2020
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I feel almost embarrassed by how much I love these interviews and how hungry I am for this kind of conversation. Thank you.

iTunes Ratings

145 Ratings
Average Ratings
136
4
1
3
1

One of my favorite podcasts

By jmr1490 - May 29 2020
Read more
I listen to every episode and have since the beginning. A phenomenal set of conversations.

Thank you

By actual.magic - Apr 20 2020
Read more
I feel almost embarrassed by how much I love these interviews and how hungry I am for this kind of conversation. Thank you.
Cover image of Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)

Latest release on Jun 04, 2020

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 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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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 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 #4: 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

Play

Rank #5: 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

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Rank #6: Episode 37: Sheila Heti and Sarah Manguso

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Rachel Zucker talks with Sheila Heti and Sarah Manguso about literary friendship, Sarah’s two recent books, Sheila’s manuscript in progress, maternal ambivalence, uncertainty, sacrifice of self, envy, curiosity, being a daughter, attachment and unattachment, shame, the sickening state of wondering whether or not to have children, abandonment, money, the things we cannot choose, choosing intolerable feelings, whiteness, class, the poetics of motherhood, purity, polluted writing, and motherhood as a sexuality category.

EXTRA MATERIALS FOR EPISODE 37

Books by Sheila Heti

Motherhood (Henry Holt & Co., 2018)

All Our Happy Days Are Stupid (McSweeney’s Publishing, 2015)

Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press, 2014), edited with Heidi Julavits and Leanna Shapton

The Middle Stories (McSweeney’s Publishing, 2012)

How Should a Person Be? (Henry Holt & Co., 2012)

We Need A Horse (Mcsweeney’s McMullens, 2011)

The Chairs Are Where the People Go (FSG, 2011)

Ticknor (FSG, 2006)


Books by Sarah Manguso

Prose

300 Arguments (Graywolf, 2017)

Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (Graywolf, 2015)

The Guardians: An Elegy (FSG, 2012)

The Two Kinds of Decay (FSG, 2008)

Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape (McSweeney's Books, 2007)

Poetry

Siste Viator (Four Way Books, 2006)

The Captain Lands in Paradise (Alice James Books, 2002)

Other Books, Writers & Artists Mentioned in the Episode

Molly Peacock

Amanda Stern

Yaddo

David Lehman

Cynthia Ozick

Carmen Giménez Smith

Eula Biss

Annie Dillard

Maggie Nelson

Heidi Julavits

Carrot Top by Jules Renard (FSG, 1975)

Paradise, Piece by Piece by Molly Peacock (Riverhead, 1998)

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl (FSG, 2015)

Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker (Wave Books, 2009)

Other Relevant Links

Sheila Heti interviews Wayne Koestenbaum, Matthew Rohrer & Rachel Zucker for The Believer

Conversation between Rachel and Sarah about motherhood in Candor Magazine

Video of Rachel giving birth to her son Judah

Sarah Manguso’s essay, The Great Shattering, in Harper’s Magazine

from A Kentucky of Mothers by Dana Ward

Sep 19 2017

2hr 16mins

Play

Rank #8: 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

Play

Rank #9: 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 #10: 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

Play

Rank #11: 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

Play

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

Play

Rank #13: 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

Play

Rank #14: 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

Play

Rank #15: 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

Play

Rank #16: 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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Rank #17: 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 #18: 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 #19: 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 #20: 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

Episode 88: Global Roll Call, Part 3

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Commonplace guests as they appear in this episode:

Molly Peacock is a poet, biographer, essayist, and short fiction writer. Her most recent book is The Analyst: poems.

Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician, composer, performer and Torah teacher. She creates multi-genre works of experimental beauty which explore the intersection of ancient wisdom texts with everyday life. Her most recent book is Fruit Geode.

D. A. Powell’s books include Cocktails and Chronic, as well as Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys. He recently published a chapbook with Rescue Press, called Atlas T; all proceeds from the sale of Atlas T will be donated to Youth Speaks in San Francisco.

Rosa Alcalá is the author of three books of poetry: Undocumentaries, The Lust of Unsentimental Waters, and MyOTHER TONGUE. She is a Professor in the Bilingual MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Bernadette Mayer is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Midwinter Day and Poetry State Forest.

Laynie Browne is the author of numerous collections of poetry and one novel. Her publications include A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on the Poet’s Novel (editor) and The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters.

John Biewen directs the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies, where he teaches and produces/hosts the podcast Scene on Radio.

Darcey Steinke has written five novels as well as a memoir, Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life.

Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. Her most recent book is Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems.

Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995 and as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. Her most recent book is The Darker Face of the Earth.


New Books Written by and/or authors/texts recommended/mentioned by

Molly Peacock:

The Analyst (W.W. Norton, 2017)

James Joyce scholar Michael Groden (Molly Peacock’s husband)

Cartoon Fundamentals with New Yorker cartoonist Maggie Larsen online at the 92nd St. Y

Alicia Jo Rabins:

Fruit Geode (Augury, 2018)

Alicia Jo’s Instagram (where you can find her bathtub poems)

Alicia Jo’s weekly Kabbalat Shabat (through Kveller)

D. A. Powell:

Atlas T (Rescue Press, 2020)

Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin, 2015)

Hugh Martin’s In Country (BOA Editions, 2018)

A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos By Tim Dlugos, David Trinidad (Editor) (Nightboat, 2011)

Derrick Austin’s Trouble the Water (BOA Editions, 2016)

Akira Kirosowa's Dreams

TJ DiFrancesco (manuscript in progress)

“Gratitude” by Cornelius Eady

“Good Bones” by Maggie Smith

“What the End is For” by Jorie Graham

Emily Dickinson

Judy Grahn

Robert Duncan

Rosa Alcalá:

Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann (Zephyr, 2006)

Bernadette Mayer:

Works and Days (New Directions, 2016)

Memory (Siglio, 2020)

Sonnets (Tender Buttons Press)

Lee Ann Brown

Laynie Browne:

A Forest on Many Stems (Nightboat, 2020)

Poetry and Art at the Rail Park

Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes (Penguin Modern Classics, 2020)

Lisa Robertson’s The Baudelaire Fractal (Coach House Books, 2020)

Collaborator Brent Wahl

Prageeta Sharma

CD Wright

Harmony Holiday

Divya Victor

John Biewen:

The newest series of Scene on Radio is The Land that Never Has Been Yet

Darcey Steinke:

Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life (Sarah Crichton Books, 2019)

The Last Man by Mary Shelley (Oxford University Press)

Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (Grand Central, 2019)

Severance by Ling Ma (Picador, 2019)

Cormack McCarthy’s The Road (Vintage, 2007)

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

Samuel Pepys’ Diary of the Plague

Alison Hagy’s Scribe (Graywolf, 2018)

Rachel Carson

Fredrick Law Olmstead

William Miller (7th Day Adventist)

“Understanding the Book of Revelation” by L. Michael White

Kristin Prevallet:

Flying Rolls of the Golden Dawn

Stephanie Burt:

After Callimachus: Poems (Princeton University Press, 2020)

Don’t Read Poetry (Basic Books, 2019)

Andy Slavitt (Twitter)

Jeremy Konyndyk (Twitter)

Juliette Kayyem (Twitter)

Commonplace Videos are HERE

Please support Commonplace & BECOME A PATRON!

A list of bail funds, sorted by city, can be found here.

Jun 04 2020

1hr 42mins

Play

Episode 87: Global Roll Call, Part 2

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate and the author of the memoir Children of the Land.

Jennifer Croft is an American author, critic and translator who works from Polish, Ukrainian and Argentine Spanish. She is also the author of Homesick.

Nick Flynn is an American writer, playwright, and poet. He has two books out this year: This is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire and Stay: Threads, Conversations, Collaborations.

Sabrina Orah Mark is the author of two books of poetry and one book of short stories. For The Paris Review she writes a monthly column on fairytales and motherhood entitled HAPPILY.

Erika Meitner is the author of five books of poems, most recently Holy Moly Carry Me.

Alicia Ostriker, a poet and critic, has published sixteen volumes of poetry.

Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish Nobel laureate writer, activist, and public intellectual.


New Books Written by and Author/Texts Recommended by Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn's This is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire (W.W. Norton, 2020)

Nick Flynn’s Stay: Threads, Conversations, Collaborations (ZE Books, 2020)

New Books Written by and Author/Texts Recommended by Erika Meitner

Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner

Ballerz 2K20, An Anthology (O, Miami, 2020)

Poet Rebecca Gayle Howell

New Books Written by and Recommended by Sabrina Orah Mark

Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark

Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Algonquin, 2016)

New Books Written by and Recommended by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Children of the Land (Harper Collins, 2020)

New Books Written by and Recommended by Alicia Ostriker

The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002-2019 (Pitt Poetry Series)

Ideas of Order and Disorder (Ghostbird Press, 2020)

New Books Written by and Recommended by Jennifer Croft

Homesick (Unnamed Press, 2019)

New Books Written by and Recommended by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights (Riverhead, 2019)

Commonplace’s compendium of COVID-19 resources

Please support Commonplace & BECOME A PATRON!


[Transcript to come]

May 22 2020

1hr 19mins

Play

Episode 86: Global Roll Call, Part 1

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David Trinidad is the author of numerous poetry collections, most recently Swinging on a Star. He teaches poetry and creative writing at Columbia College and lives in Chicago.

Alice Notley is the author of over 40 books of poetry. She lives in Paris.

Cathy Park Hong’s latest book is Minor Feelings. She is poetry editor of the New Republic and is a professor at Rutgers-Newark University.

John Murillo is the author of Up Jump the Boogie and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry. He is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

Tina Chang is a poet, teacher, and editor. In 2010, she was named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn (the first woman to hold this title).

Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the online and summer programs for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet and writer and lawyer who lives in the City of Toronto. She was born in Tobago and now lives in Canada.

New Books Written by and Author/Texts Recommended by David Trinidad

Punk Rock Is Cool for the End of the World: Poems of Ed Smith [Editor] (Turtle Point Press, 2019)

Eula Biss

Robyn Schiff

Emily Dickinson

Alice Notley

William Carlos Williams

Walt Whitman

Sylvia Plath

New Books Written by and Recommended by Tina Chang

Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings (One World, 2020)

Monica Sok's A Nail the Evening Hangs On (Copper Canyon, 2020)

Kimiko Hahn’s Foreign Bodies (W.W. Norton, 2020)

“The Slur I Never Expected to Hear in 2020,” by Cathy Park Hong for the New York Times

New Books Written by and Recommended by John Murillo

Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020)

New Books Written by and Recommended by Alice Notley

For the Ride (Penguin, 2020)

The New York Times review of For the Ride

The New Yorker review of For the Ride

New Books Written by and Recommended by Ada Limón

The Carrying (Milkweed, 2018)

Loving Kindness by Sharon Salzberg (Shambhala, 2002)

Sharon Salzberg

New Books Written by and Recommended by M. NourbeSe Philip

Zong! (Wesleyan 2011)

New Books Written by and Author/Texts Recommended by Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings (One World, 2020)

https://www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

May 13 2020

1hr

Play

Episode 85: The Craft of the Literary Interview

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Mike Sakasegawa, host of Keep the Channel Open, was scheduled to moderate a panel at this year’s annual AWP Conference called “The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview,” featuring Rachel Zucker of Commonplace, Dujie Tahat of The Poet Salon, and David Naimon of Between the Covers. Due to the coronavirus, Mike and the panelists ended up having to cancel their appearance at the conference, which makes it all the sweeter to be able to bring you this podcast version of our panel. In this wide-ranging conversation, Rachel, Dujie, David, and Mike talk all about the “hows” and the “whys” of interviewing, including the importance of establishing rapport with our guests, questions about the ethics of interviewing, and what the role of the host ought to be.

Podcasts by the Panelists

Keep the Channel Open

Between the Covers

The Poet Salon

Apr 09 2020

2hr 3mins

Play

Episode 84: M. NourbeSe Philip

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Books by M. NourbeSe Philip

Blank: Essays and Interviews (Book*hug, 2017)

She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks (Wesleyan University Press, 2015)

Zong! (Wesleyan University Press, 2011)

A Genealogy of Resistance and Other Essays (Mercury Press, 1998)

Frontiers: Selected Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture 1984-1992 (Mercury Press, 1992)

Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence (Mercury Press, 1991)

Other Texts and Writers Featured in the Episode

Kamau Brathwaite

Nathaniel (Nate) Mackey and his lecture, “Breath and Precarity

Phillis Wheatley

George Lamming’s In The Castle of My Skin (University of Michigan Press, 1992)

George Lamming’s The Pleasures of Exile (University of Michigan Press, 1991)

Claire Harris

Dionne Brand

Harold Sonny Ladoo’s No Pain Like this Body (House of Anansi, 2013)

Austin Clarke (fiction writer)

George Elliot Clarke’s argument about Nova Scotia preachers’ sermons

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born

Derek Walcott’s Ti-Jean and His Brothers

Other Relevant Links

Sawubona

Shona

Heinemann African Series

Tabebuia or Poui Trees of Trinidad and Tobago

Lionheart (movie)

Kikuyu people of Kenya

Malinke people (colonized by the French)

Afro-futurism

Mar 25 2020

1hr 35mins

Play

Episode 83: Darcey Steinke

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Books by Darcey Steinke

Flash Point Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life (Sarah Crichton Books, 2019)

Jesus Saves (Grove Press, 2019)

Easter Everywhere (Bloomsbury, 2007)

Milk (Bloomsbury, 2005)

Up Through the Water (Grove Press, 2000)

Suicide Blond (Grove Press, 2000)

John-KJV (Grove Press, 1999)

Other Writers and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

Maud Casey

The Testosterone Files by Max Wolf Valerio (Seal Press, 2006)

Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques (Verso, 2016)

Speedboat by Renata Adler (NYRB Books, 2013)

Branwell by Douglas A. Martin

Sarah Manguso (ep. 37)

Maggie Nelson (ep. 82)

Fanny Howe

Nick Cave

Women’s Writing Festival in Sydney, Australia

Other Relevant Links

Mike W. Hudson

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/opinion/reading-writing-stuttering.html   

Mar 04 2020

1hr 22mins

Play

Episode 82: Maggie Nelson

Feb 13 2020

1hr 44mins

Play

Episode 81: Commonplace goes to Taiwan, Part 2

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People, Places, and Events Featured in this Episode:

Brilliant Time Bookstore

(Feature on Mr. CHANG Cheng and his partner, Ms. LIAO Yun-chan)

Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own

FemBooks est. 1994

Witch House (located in the same building as FemBooks)

Peng Wan-Ru Foundation (located in the same building as FemBooks)

KANG Min Jay

National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Building and Planning

WenRooTin Cultural Area

Eslite Bookstore

(More on Eslite’s cultural significance and future)

Treasure Hill

KANG Min Jay’s speech “Altered Space: Squatting and Legitimizing Treasure Hill, Taipei” presented at Cultural Development Network’s 2006 Forum, “Artivism: The Role of Arts in Regeneration”

Public art project at Taipower Spider Tree

Tonsan Bookstore est. 1982 (the leftist bookstore referred to by KANG Min Jay)

GinGin Books est. 1999 (the gay bookstore referred to by KANG Min Jay)

(More on GinGin’s founder, LAI Jeng-jer 賴正哲)

Taiwanese poet CHEN Kehua’s poem, “Anal Subjectivity”

(Note: This webpage from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture has a different translation of the poem’s title. Google also translates differently as “The Need for Anal Sex.”)

Taiwan’s 2018 Referendum

Music

“Monday Spirit”

長笛Flute/作曲Composition:張瑛蘭 Ing Lan CHANG

人聲Vocal/ 作詞 Lyrics:喜辰晨 XI Chenchen

吉他Guitar:林華勁 Gin LIN

Other Relevant Links:

Selected patrons will receive copies of Salsa by Taiwanese poet Hsia Yu translated by Steven Bradbury, courtesy of Zephyr Press.

(More translations by Steven Bradbury)

書店裡的影像詩 Video Poems Inside a Bookstore: 2016 Web Documentary Series Profiling 40 Different Independent Bookstores in Taiwan

友善書業合作社 Taiwan's Independent Bookstore Culture Association

During their trip, Rachel and Doreen also visited the Beitou Museum exhibit: “Stories Told Through Mother’s Hands: Children’s Textile & Embroidery Arts” guided by its curator Brenda Lin, who also serves as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Les Enphants Co and is the author of Wealth Ribbon.

The exhibit showcased items from Brenda’s mother, Christi Lan Lin’s, collection of traditional Asian textiles made by mothers for their children.

Brenda’s forthcoming essay, “Things,” will be published Feminist Press’ WSQ in May 2020.

Liner Notes:

01:08 Doreen provides a brief overview of Taiwan’s history.

09:55 Rachel and Doreen speak with CHANG Cheng, one of the co-founders of Brilliant Time Bookstore.

19:28 Rachel and Doreen speak with YAO Yuting (Analeigh), a staff member of Brilliant Time Bookstore.

25:50 Rachel and Doreen speak with LI Xiumei (Sophie), manager of FemBooks.

28:35 Rachel and Doreen speak with KANG Min Jay, a professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, one of the activists behind the creation of the WenRooTin Cultural Area where FemBooks is located.

1:00:29 Our gratitude to the many people who were involved with the making of this episode!

Jan 27 2020

1hr 4mins

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

Play

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

Play

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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One of my favorite podcasts

By jmr1490 - May 29 2020
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I listen to every episode and have since the beginning. A phenomenal set of conversations.

Thank you

By actual.magic - Apr 20 2020
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I feel almost embarrassed by how much I love these interviews and how hungry I am for this kind of conversation. Thank you.