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 74: Rachel Zucker's SoundMachine

Episode 74: Rachel Zucker's SoundMachine

Host Rachel Zucker speaks with her husband, Josh Goren, and her friends, teachers, mentors and former Commonplace guests—Wayne Koestenbaum, Sharon Olds, Craig Morgan Teicher and Cathy Park Hong—about her recently released book and recently-launched audio project, both called SoundMachine. They discuss publication anxiety, shame, capaciousness, simultaneity, traditionally female forms of discourse, motherhood, writing about family, knowing when and when not to listen, how to intimidate bears, and the way art keeps one company. 

Books/Projects by Rachel Zucker

SoundMachine (Wave, 2019)

The Pedestrians (Wave, 2014)

Mothers (Counterpoint, 2013)

Museum of Accidents (Wave, 2009)

The Bad Wife Handbook (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

The Last Clear Narrative (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)

Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)

Home/birth: a poemic  with Arielle Greenberg ( 2011)

Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections with Arielle Greenberg (University of Iowa Press, 2008)

Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First One Hundred Days with Arielle Greenberg

SoundMachine, the audio project

Books by Guest Interviewers

Sharon Olds

Arias (Knopf, 2019)

Odes (Knopf, 2016)

Stag’s Leap (Knopf, 2012)

One Secret Thing (Knopf, 2008)

Strike Sparks (Knopf, 2004)

The Unswept Room (Knopf, 2002)

Blood, Tin, Straw (Knopf, 1999)

The Wellspring (Knopf, 1996)

The Father (Knopf, 1992)

Gold Cell (Knopf, 1987)

The Dead and the Living (Knopf, 1984)

Satan Says (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980)

Wayne Koestenbaum

Circus (Soft Skull, 2019)

Camp Marmalade (Nightboat, 2019)

Double Talk (Routledge, 2018)

Notes on Glaze (Cabinet, 2016)

Andy Warhol (Open Road, 2015)

The Pink Trance Notebooks (Nightboat, 2015)

My 1980s and Other Essays (FSG, 2013)

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (UC Press, 2012)

Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background (Turtle Point, 2012)

Humiliation (Picador, 2011)

Jackie Under My Skin (Picador, 2009)

Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007)

Best-selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006)

Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004)

Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (Soft Skull, 2004)

The Queen’s Throat (De Capo, 2001)

The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999)

Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender (George Brazillier, 1995)

Ode to Anna Moffo (Persea, 1991)

Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings (One World, 2020)

Engine Empire (WW Norton, 2013)

Dance Dance Revolution (WW Norton, 2008)

Translating Mo’um (Hanging Loose, 2002)

Craig Morgan Teicher

We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf, 2018)

The Trembling Answers (BOA Editions, 2017)

To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012)

Cradle Book (BOA Editions, 2010)

Brenda Is In the Room (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008)

Liner notes

03:08 Introduction to episode

08:45 Conversation with Josh Goren

13:40 Conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum

35:35 Conversation with Sharon Olds

43:40 Conversation with Craig Morgan Teicher

55:35 Conversation with Cathy Park Hong

1:15:30 Conversation with Josh Goren

1:23:19 Excerpt from “The Moon is in Her Caul Tonight”

1:41:17 Outro to the episode

All audio was recorded by Rachel Zucker.


Episode 75: Victoria Chang

Episode 75: Victoria Chang

Episode 73: Jennifer Croft (Translation Series Ep. 3)

Episode 73: Jennifer Croft (Translation Series Ep. 3)