Rachel Zucker is the author of The Poetics of Wrongness (Wave Books, 2023), Soundmachine (Wave Books, 2019), The Pedestrians (Wave Books, 2014), and Museum of Accidents (Wave Books, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Zucker is an adjunct professor at NYU and other places. In 2016 she was a Bagley Wright Lecturer and wrote and delivered a series of talks on poetry, photography, confessionalism, motherhood, and the ethics of representing real people in art. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in 2012, a Sustainable Arts Fellowship in 2016, and residencies from The MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center in 2018. Zucker is mother to three sons and lives in Washington Heights, NY and Scarborough, ME.
Zucker is about the only contemporary poet I’ve read who manages to address [motherhood] without sounding coy and cloying. Mothers should read, others can learn.
With crushing self-consciousness and undeniable urgency, Zucker continues her ongoing meditation on family and the boundaries between private and public life.
—Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR
Zucker is a poet of bottom-scraping, blood-chilling existential anxiety, one among many, and a poet of New York City, one among many, and a poet of American Jewish inheritance, one among many, and one of the funniest, too..
—Stephen Burt, The Boston Review
Rachel Zucker is a courageous poet. Not because she dodges bullets in a war zone (though I bet she would), or because she yells outlandish things on cable TV (I bet she'd do that, too), but because she writes poetry in a way that interrogates what it means to tell the truth.
—Travis Nichols, The Huffington Post
By sharing experience through interrogating and dynamic language, Zucker shines light on how we can live honestly against the grain of expected feeling and attitude and how we might feel powerful and passionate in a time of terror and fear.
Zucker's not interested in making readers see anything “as if for the first time.” She's here to remind us how much there is to see in what we've seen before.
Reviews of books by Rachel Zucker
The Poetics of Wrongness
Museum of Accidents
- Rachel Zucker’s website
- Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People), Zucker's podcast
Articles and Poems
- Two poems (in B O D Y)
- “Hey Allen Ginsberg Where Have You Gone and What Would You Think of My Drugs?” (on Poets.org)
- “Two Kinds of Suffering” (in Virginia Quarterly Review)
- Two poems (in Epiphany)
- “Letter (Persephone to Demeter)” (in As It Ought to Be)
- “Welcome to the Blighted Ovum Support Group” (in 42opus)
- “Poem” (on The Best American Poetry blog)
- “We Told Him We Would Hold Him Forever” (in Free Verse)
- “Little Apocalypse” and “After Baby After Baby” (in Verse Daily)
- “Rachel Zucker on [taking away taking away everything]” (in Poetry Society of America)
- “Pedestrian” (in The Rumpus)
- MARY, with Melissa Burke
- The Rumpus, with Dave Roderick
- Tin House, with Leah Umansky
- Los Angeles Review of Books, with Michael Kimball
- A. Bradstreet, with Arielle Greenberg
- The Believer, with Matthew Roher and Wayne Koestenbaum
- 32 Poems, with Serena M. Agusto-Cox
- Huffington Post, with Travis Nichols
- Candor, with Sarah Manguso
- The L Magazine
- The Adroit Journal, with Donna Vorreyer
- Excerpts from her lecture for the Bagley Wright lecture series
- "i'd like a little flashlight" (from The Pedestrians for PBS Newshour)
- At State of the Union: a Poetry Reading (Zucker was one of fifty contributors to State of the Union: 50 Political Poems)