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 44: Matthew Zapruder

Episode 44: Matthew Zapruder

Rachel Zucker speaks to poet, prose writer professor, editor, publisher, Matthew Zapruder, an hour after his interview on Leonard Lopate Show, about Ai Weiwei, Tracey Ullman, and being a Commonplace listener. Zucker and Zapruder discuss their relationship as writer-editor, how Matthew appears in Rachel’s poems, power, sharing work with friends and trusted readers, the history of Wave Books, the Poetry Bus, why Matthew wrote Why Poetry?, Matthew’s relationship with his father and his father’s death, how to include not-knowingness, the kind of thinking you can only do in poems, having to say no to things, trying to do less and becoming less of a public person. Matthew reads from Why Poetry? and a new poem from an unpublished manuscript.


Books by Matthew Zapruder

Why Poetry? (Ecco, 2017)

Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014)

Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon, 2010)

Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu (translations by Matthew Zapruder) (Coffee House Press, 2008)

The Pajamaist (Copper Canyon, 2006)

American Linden (Tupelo, 2002)

Other Writers and Books Mentioned in the Episode

Matthew Rohrer

Joshua Beckman

Brian Henry

Travis Nichols

Frank O’Hara’s Personism

Marina Tsvetaeva

Other Relevant Links

Posman Books

Ai Weiwei

Tracey Ullman

Jeff Shotts

Michael Wiegers

Charlie Wright

Heidi Broadhead

KGB Bar Poetry Series

Verse Press / Wave Books


Episode 45: Tyehimba Jess

Episode 45: Tyehimba Jess

Episode 43: Airea D. Matthews

Episode 43: Airea D. Matthews