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 12: Steph Burt

Episode 12: Steph Burt

Rachel Zucker speaks with poet-critic-professor Steph Burt about types of criticism, ethical problems of criticism, gender expression, female embodiment, an aesthetic of adornment and neon violet and an aesthetic of naturalness and apparent authenticity, form, formalism and informality, The Vision, Kitty Pride and the desire to dematerialize, authority and male privilege, Steph’s recent book of criticism The Poem Is You and their forthcoming book Advice from the Lights, different kinds of questions one might ask of short, lyric art works v. the kinds of questions one might ask of longer, more comprehensive works, persona poems, cultural appropriation, whiteness, influence, and “a poetics of incremental change.” Patreon subscribers will receive two additional readings by Steph: Randall Jarrell's "A Man Meets a Woman in the Street," and "The Cars' Greatest Hits" from Advice from the Lights.


Books Written or Edited by Steph

From There: Some Thoughts on Poetry & Place (Ronsdale Press, 2016)

Belmont: Poems (Graywolf, 2013)

The Forms of Youth: Twentieth-Century Poetry and Adolescence (Columbia University Press, 2012)

The Art of the Sonnet (Belknap, 2011)

Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia University Press, 2010)

Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler (University of Virginia Press, 2009)

Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf, 2009)

Shot Clocks: Poems for the WNBA (Harry Tankoos Press, 2006)

Parallel Play: Poems (Graywolf, 2006)

Randall Jarrell on W.H. Auden (Columbia University Press, 2005)

Popular Music: Poems (Colorado Prize for Poetry, 1999)

Books by Other Writers

Tom King’s Vision (Marvel, 2016)

Kelly Thompson’s Jem and the Holograms (IDW, 2015)

George Eliot’s Middlemarch (Penguin Classics, 2013)

Allan Peterson’s Fragile Acts (McSweeney’s, 2012)

Rosa Alcalá’s The Lust of Unsentimental Waters (Shearsman Books, 2012)

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt’s Voyage to the Fortunate Isles and Other Poems (Antique Reprints, 2016)

Monica Youn’s Blackacre (Graywolf, 2016)

W.H. Auden’s The Dyer’s Hand (Vintage Books, 1989)

Robyn Schiff’s A Woman of Property (Penguin, 2016)

Angie Estes’s Enchantee (Oberlin College Press, 2013)

Brenda Shaughnessy’s So Much Synth (Copper Canyon, 2016)

Other Related Links

Steph’s poem “My 1987,” published in The New Republic

Smothered to Smithereens: the poetics of motherhood, published by the Boston Review

Poetry’s Cross-Dressing Kingmaker, published in the New York Times

Episode 13: D.A. Powell

Episode 13: D.A. Powell

Episode 11: Shane McCrae

Episode 11: Shane McCrae