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 41: Danez Smith

Episode 41: Danez Smith

Rachel Zucker talks with Danez Smith, author of [insert] boy and Don’t Call Us Dead (recently shortlisted for the National Book Award) about confessional-testimonial poems, sonnets, essential poems, poets and books, Cave Canem, the MFA industrial complex, not feeling desired, depression, community, living and learning, Minneapolis, living as a full-time artist, their writing space, hanging out with grandma, HIV+ diagnosis, Danez’s new poems, writing a time travel novel, play, getting over imposter syndrome, and the challenges and pleasures of working on a third book after two early successes. Towards the end of the episode Danez reads two new poems.

Episode 40: Kaveh Akbar

Episode 40: Kaveh Akbar