A series of intimate and captivating interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and artists about quotidian objects, experiences or obsessions, Commonplace conversations explore the recipes, advice, lists, anecdotes, quotes, politics, phobias, spiritual practices, and other non-Literary forms of knowledge that are vital to an artist’s life and work. One feels, when listening to Commonplace, the pleasure of eavesdropping on the kind of unexpected, intriguing connections that only happen when interesting people sit together in a small room and talk about their real concerns and ordinary lives.

Episode 10: Olena Kalytiak Davis

Episode 10: Olena Kalytiak Davis

Rachel Zucker speaks with Olena Kalytiak Davis, author of three books and a chapbook, about her daily writing practice (or lack thereof), writing autobiographically, and what it means to not fake it in her work. The two discuss a new poem of Rachel’s, “Enough Is Enough,” in which Olena is prominently featured as a subject without her prior knowledge. The poem sparks an animated conversation that explores questions of shared memory, the ethics of writing about people you know, and what it’s like to be concretized in poem. Olena reads two short poems during the podcast: “I Was Minor,” and “My Own Self Still Unconcerned.” Rachel’s poem “Enough is Enough” and Olena’s poem “Late Summer Ode” are available to Patreon subscribers of Commonplace.



Books by Olena Kalytiak Davis

The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems (Copper Canyon, 2014)

Shattered Sonnets, Love Cards, and Other Off and Back Handed Importunities (Copper Canyon, 2014)

On the Kitchen Table from Which Everything Has Been Hastily Removed (Chapbook, Hollyridge Press, 2009)

And Her Soul Out of Nothing (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)

Other Books Mentioned in the Episode

Seeing is the Name of Forgetting the thing One Sees, Robert Irwin

Other Relevant Links

You and Me Both,” an article about Olena’s writing by Dan Chiasson, published by the New Yorker

Their True and Untrue Confession of Olena Kalytiak Davis by Ira Sadoff on the Poetry Foundation website

What To Read Now” by Arielle Greenberg in American Poetry Review mentioning lots of books from 2014 and comparing Olena Kalytiak Davis’s The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems and Rachel Zucker’s The Pedestrians

Big Love (Polyamory and its Discontents) Dear Sugar episode with Arielle Greenberg

Arielle Greenberg’s website


Episode 11: Shane McCrae

Episode 11: Shane McCrae

Episode 9: Wayne Koestenbaum

Episode 9: Wayne Koestenbaum