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 16: Jericho Brown

Episode 16: Jericho Brown

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.”


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

Episode 17: Natalie Diaz and Roger Reeves

Episode 17: Natalie Diaz and Roger Reeves

Episode 15: Bernadette Mayer

Episode 15: Bernadette Mayer