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 69: Live Reading with Brown, Joseph, Meitner Parker, Pico, Tolbert, and Yanyi

Episode 69: Live Reading with Brown, Joseph, Meitner Parker, Pico, Tolbert, and Yanyi

A live reading featuring past Commonplace guests Jericho Brown, Janine Joseph, Erika Meitner, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, TC Tolbert, and Yanyi, held in Passages Bookstore in Portland, OR, on March 30, 2019.


New Books by Commonplace Guests

The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon, 2019)

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker (Tin House, 2019)

Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner (BOA Editions, 2018)

The Year of Blue Water by Yanyi (Yale University Press, 2019)

Biographies for all the readers featured in this episode

Jericho Brown is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His latest collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019). He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

Janine Joseph was born in the Philippines. She immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight and lived undocumented for fifteen years. She is the author of Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the 2018 da Vinci Eye Award, and named an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club, among other honors. An organizer for Undocupoets and a contributing editor for Tongue, Janine also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Poets & Writers at OSU-Tulsa. Currently, she lives in Stillwater, OK, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.

Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She attended Dartmouth College (for a BA in Creative Writing and Literature), Hebrew University on a Reynolds Scholarship, and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing as a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and her MA in Religious Studies as a Morgenstern Fellow in Jewish Studies. Meitner is the author of five books of poems. Her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018), is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. Meitner is currently an Associate Professor of English, and the Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing and the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Virginia Tech.

Morgan Parker is the author of the poetry collections Magical Negro (Tin House 2019), There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House, 2017), and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015). Her debut young adult novel Who Put This Song On? will be released by Delacorte Press this fall. In addition, a debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World/Random House. Parker received her BA in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her MFA in Poetry from NYU. She is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Parker is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is author of the books IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), winner of a 2018 American Book Award and finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Junk (Tin House Books, 2018), and Feed (forthcoming 2019 from Tin House Books). Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now splits his time between Los Angles and Brooklyn. He co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.

TC Tolbert often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet. TC’s first full-length collection, Gephyromania, was published by Ahsahta Press in 2014. Gephyromania was selected as one of the top poetry books of 2014 by Entropy and was listed by Eileen Myles as one of her favorites for 2014 in The Gay and Lesbian Review. S/he is a nationally certified EMT and in the summer, s/he leads wilderness trips for Outward Bound. In addition, TC is Creator and Director of Made for Flight, a youth empowerment project that utilizes creative writing and kite building to create a living memorial commemorating transgender people who were murdered in the previous year. TC was selected as Tucson’s Poet Laureate in 2017.

Yanyi is a writer and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press, April 2019). Currently, he is an associate editor at Foundry and an MFA candidate at New York University. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House.

Episode 70: Alicia Jo Rabins

Episode 70: Alicia Jo Rabins

Episode 68: Live Reading w/ Calvocoressi, Falkner,  Gay  and Mark

Episode 68: Live Reading w/ Calvocoressi, Falkner, Gay and Mark