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 57: Dorothea Lasky

Episode 57: Dorothea Lasky

Rachel Zucker speaks with poet and educator Dorothea Lasky about the volume and quality of her voice, the game Kill, Marry, Fuck, rules, craft, associational thinking, obsession as a vital part of learning and creativity, preschool pedagogy, the penultimate part of poems, being only-children, witnessing one’s own life, Albert Einstein, not going to medical school, getting degrees in Education, the movie The Shining, motherhood, misogyny, Lasky’s essay “Why I am Sad,” a difficult interpersonal interaction between Rachel and Dorothea, feeling that one’s narrative is outside of motherhood, writing to the future, Lasky’s lectures and dissertation, small “c” creativity and much more.


Books by Dottie Lasky

Milk (Wave, 2018)

Rome (Liveright, 2016)

Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (With Jesse Nathan, McSweeney’s 2013)

Thunderbird (Wave, 2012)

Black Life (Wave, 2010)

Awe (Wave, 2007)

Matter: A Picturebook (Argos, 2012)

Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Other Books and Writers Mentioned in the Episode

Sheila Heti’s Motherhood (Henry Holt, 2018)

Brenda Shaughnessy’s Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon, 2012)

Joshua Beckman

Bernadette Mayer

Alice Notley

Other Relevant Links


Heidi Broadhead

Carlina Rinaldi and Reggio Emilia  

Steven Seidel and Shari Tishman at Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Shining

Woman Writer and Writer Mother: A Conversation Between Sarah Manguso and Rachel Zucker (published by Candor Magazine)

Episode 58: Cate Marvin

Episode 58: Cate Marvin

Episode 56: Jennifer Kronovet

Episode 56: Jennifer Kronovet