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 14: Alicia Ostriker

Episode 14: Alicia Ostriker

In this episode, host Rachel Zucker speaks with poet, critic, biblical scholar Alicia Ostriker about the election, feminism, the difference between the contemporary moment and the idealism of the sixties, how the ego is subsumed in the process of writing poetry, William Blake, and the differences between writing poetry and prose. They also talk about motherhood, daughterhood, Ostriker's friendship with Toi Derricotte, teaching, and the interpretive process of biblical reimagining called "midrash."


Books of Poetry by Alicia Ostriker

Waiting for the Light (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017) 

The Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014)

The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979–2011 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) 

The Book of Seventy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009) 

The Mother/Child Papers (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017)  

No Heaven (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017)

The Volcano Sequence (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002)

The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968–1998 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998)

Green Age (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989)

A Woman Under the Surface (Princeton University Press, 1982)

Songs (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969)

Criticism by Alicia Ostriker

Dancing at the Devil's Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic (University of Michigan Press, 2000)

Writing Like a Woman (University of Michigan Press, 1983)

Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America (Beacon Press, 1987)

Visions and Verse in William Blake (University of Wisconsin Press, 1965)

Biblical Scholarship by Alicia Ostriker

For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book (Rutgers University Press, 2007)

The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions (Rutgers University Press, 1994)

Feminist Revision and the Bible (Wiley-Blackwell, 1993)

Other Authors Mentioned in the Episode

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)

Silences by Tillie Olsen (The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2003)

The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte (W.W. Norton, 1999)

Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton, 1995 reprint)

The Complete Poems by William Blake, ed. Alicia Ostriker (Penguin Classics, 1978)

Galway Kinnell

Other Links of Note

Leonard Cohen’s “Closing Time”

Cave Canem

Alicia’s essay, “Milk,” published in Fourth Genre

Project Muse offers The Mother Child Papers as a downloadable PDF!

Episode 15: Bernadette Mayer

Episode 15: Bernadette Mayer

Episode 13: D.A. Powell

Episode 13: D.A. Powell