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 13: D.A. Powell

Episode 13: D.A. Powell

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.


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.


Episode 14: Alicia Ostriker

Episode 14: Alicia Ostriker

Episode 12: Steph Burt

Episode 12: Steph Burt