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 26: Alice Notley

Episode 26: Alice Notley

Host Rachel Zucker speaks with one of her most important influences and inspirations, author of more than 40 books, poet Alice Notley. They talk about a recent reading that Notley gave with Eileen Myles and Sonia Sanchez that Zucker attended, Notley’s reading and poetic styles, and how Zucker came to Notley’s work. They also discuss writing an epic, suffering, writing about family, writing through pain, communication with the dead, how Notley represents her deceased brother, poetry as the public communication of the dead, money, poverty, survivor's benefits, working for Allen Ginsberg, the dearth of women (particularly women with children) in poetry, the shock and shame of postpartum depression, self-hypnosis, the unconscious, the tyrant, Trump, fascism, the desert, and growing up in a small town.


Books by Alice Notley

Certain Magical Acts (Penguin, 2016)

Benediction (Letter Machine Editions, 2015)

Culture of One (Penguin, 2011)

Songs and Stories of the Ghouls (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2011)

Culture of One (Penguin, 2011)

Reason and Other Women (Chax Press, 2010)

Grave of Light (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

In the Pines (Penguin, 2007)

Alma, or The Dead Women (Granary Books, 2006)

Coming After: Essays on Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2005)

Disobedience (Penguin, 2001)

Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998)

The Descent of Alette (Penguin, 1996)

Closer to Me & Closer…(The Language of Heaven) & Desamere (O Books, 1995)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Alice Quinn

Eileen Myles

Sonia Sanchez

Bob Creeley

Rachel Zucker’s MOTHERs (Counterpath, 2013)

Diane Wolkstein’s Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth (Harper, 1983)

A Curriculum of the Soul by Jack Clarke and Al Glover (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing)

Joanne Kyger

Samuel Noah Kramer

Kenneth Koch

Allen Ginsberg

Bob Rosenthal

Ted Berrigan

Philip Whalen

Edwin Denby

Anselm Berrigan

Eddie Berrigan

Bob Holman

Sylvia Plath

Jack Kerouac

Other Relevant Links

Bob Wilson

Episode 27: Rita Dove

Episode 27: Rita Dove

Episode 25: Ross Gay

Episode 25: Ross Gay