Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user USFWS Mountain-Prairie
February 27th, 2015 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user USFWS Mountain-Prairie

At The Common, we’re celebrating the shortest month of the year with new poems by four contributors to our print journal.


Maceo J. Whitaker

            —“Lott’s Wife”


February 26th, 2015 | 6:00am

Welcome readers and listeners! This is The Common Contributor Podcast from The Common magazine. Every other month, we invite our contributors to read and discuss each others work. This month, were going to discuss two stories from Issue 06: “Freefall in a Shattered Mirror” by Hisham Bustani and “Blue Mountains” by Jamie Edgecombe.

February 20th, 2015 | 6:00am

This month we’re playing in the borderlands, exploring the spaces between categories. Intercontinental love stories; strangers in strange lands; the struggle to remain constant in a world of transience. These books bend genre and their subjects navigate the passages between success and failure, present and past, public and private life—between where they are and where they have in mind.

Recommended: Middle Men by Jim Gavin, The Shape of a Pocket by John Berger, Mo
’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir Questlove Thompson and Ben Greenman, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Belonging: A Culture of Place by bell hooks.

Photo by author
February 19th, 2015 | 6:00am

Photo by author

Your name: Kent Wascom

Current city or town: Covington, Louisiana.

How long have you lived here? My parents grew up here: I drew my first breath across the lake in New Orleans and spent my first six years down the interstate in Slidell before spending the majority of my youth in Pensacola, Florida. So in many ways Covington and the area have existed for me as a sort of imaginative heritage for all my life. Boots on the ground, though, 1.4 years.

Three words to describe the climate: Delicious, primordial dankness.  

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chuck Coker
February 18th, 2015 | 9:30am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chuck Coker

The proper term is “government facility,” but it feels like an old university most of the time. Asbestos in the ceilings, paint fresh from 1979. Fluorescent lighting, emergency signage, old handset telephones on the wall in every floor. My role here, in a place where the best of the best tackle noble, courageous goals—the taking of soil samples from Mars and the landing of spacecrafts on comets—is comparatively small. The comforting routine of support, set-up, clean-up; prepare, take care.