Rachel Zucker, poet

Rachel Zucker


    Rachel Zucker is the author of 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. She is also the co-author (with Arielle Greenberg) of the nonfiction title Home/birth: a poemic and co-editor (also with Arielle Greenberg) of Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days and Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections (both from the University of Iowa Press). A graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Zucker currently teaches poetry at NYU. 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 lives in NYC with her husband and three sons.


  • Reviews

    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.
    Library Journal

    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

    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.
    Library Journal

    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.
    American Poet

    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.
    Chicago Tribune

    Reviews of books by Rachel Zucker


    The Pedestrians

    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

  • Audio

    - 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)

  • Tuesday, October 15, 8:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will read at Stories Books with Tommy Pico and Christine Larusso.

    Stories Books, 1716 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    Thursday, October 17, 8:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will read at Beyond Baroque with Sarah Vap.

    Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA

    Thursday, October 31, 6:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will read at Seimary Co-op

    Seminary Co-op, 5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL

    Monday, November 4, 2:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will present her work on Commonplace and the audio project companion to SoundMachine and engage in conversation with Professor Neil Verma.

    Northwestern University, University Hall 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL

    Thursday, November 7, 7:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will read at the Pivot Reading Series at the Tranzac Club.

    Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto, Canada

    Tuesday, December 3, 7:00PM

    Rachel Zucker will read at the Espresso 77 Cafe.

    Espresso 77 Cafe, 35-57 77th St, Jackson Heights, NY

    Wednesday, February 12, Time TBD

    Rachel Zucker will read at St. Mark's Poetry Project

    New York, NY

    Wednesday, April 1, Time TBD

    Rachel Zucker will read at Lewis & Clark College.

    Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

    Thursday, April 2, Time TBD

    Rachel Zucker will read at the University of San Francisco

    University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

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