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 60: Robin Coste Lewis

Episode 60: Robin Coste Lewis

Host Rachel Zucker speaks with Robin Coste Lewis, author of the 2015 National Book Award winning Voyage of the Sable Venus and poet laureate of Los Angeles, about when to say no, how to say no, wishing people would educate themselves on centuries-old African American intellectual tradition before asking her to respond to obvious questions, professionalism, calling in, her position as Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, the pressure, power and exhaustion of having to offering historical correctives, migration, celebrating black culture, archives, writing work that spans 38,000 years, photography, narrative as a story filled with holes, the arctic, brain damage, being a “baby writer” in her fifties, the value of having to confront mortality, environmentalism, research as devotion, the difference between beauty and prettiness, Cave Canem, Gwendolyn Brooks, loneliness, why she’s going to burn her diaries, Henri Matisse, and much more.

Episode 61: Rosa Alcalá (Translation Series, Ep. 1)

Episode 61: Rosa Alcalá (Translation Series, Ep. 1)

Episode 59: Alison S. M. Kobayashi

Episode 59: Alison S. M. Kobayashi