Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 3:06pm


Rich Benjamin is a journalist-adventurer and the author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey To The Heart Of White America. He is a senior fellow at the think tank Demos in New York City, and a frequent commentator on NPR, Fox News, The New York Times and many other media outlets. Melody Nixon caught up with Rich Benjamin this spring, at his office overlooking the Flatiron building in Manhattan.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 9:45am


Eleanor Stanford is the author of the memoir História, História: Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands, and of a poetry collection, The Book of Sleep. Stanford’s essay “Geology Primer (Fogo, Cape Verde)” was published in Issue No. 06 of The Common. Fellow Philadelphian Zinzi Clemmons chatted with Stanford about poetic form, the importance of language, and ways to feel at home in the world.


Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 1:45pm

Joshua Mehigan, whose poems “How Strange, How Sweet” and “Believe It” appear in Issue 06 of The Common, was born and raised in upstate New York. His poems have been published in a variety of journals and magazines, including Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, and The New York Times. His most recent book, The Optimist, was published in 2004 by the Ohio University Press and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prive. His second book, Accepting the Disaster, is forthcoming in July 2014 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 

reviewed by Karen Uhlmann

Monday, January 20, 2014 - 10:10am



What We’ve Lost is Nothing, a debut novel by Rachel Louise Snyder, weaves the stories of a group of neighbors in famously liberal Oak Park, Illinois, after burglars hit every house on the block in a single afternoon. The residents’ reactions expose their fears and mistaken assumptions about safety and acceptance.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 9:13am

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is the recipient of the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing for her story "Weight of Whispers." She is the author of the forthcoming novel, Dust (Knopf, January 2014), an excerpt of which was published in Issue No. 06 of The Common. While in South Africa Zinzi Clemmons talked with Kenyan-based Owuor about "deadlines as flexible soul mates," lessons in artistic humility, consulting "the passing herdsmen" on the art of reading the landscape, and the up-and-coming literary world of Kenya.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 10:28am

Claire Messud is the author of six novels, including The Emperor's Children, a New York Times bestseller that was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Her sixth novel, The Woman Upstairs, was released by Knopf in April 2013 to much critical acclaim and a long listing for the Canadian Scotiabank Giller Prize. As December temperatures plummeted Melody Nixon caught up with Claire Messud over the phone about fiction, philosophy, and that comment about the "likeability" of literary characters.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 8:45am

David Lehman, born and raised in New York City, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection New and Selected Poems, published by Scribner. He is Series Editor of The Best American Poetry anthology and co-founder of the KGB bar poetry reading series. His poems "Mother Died Today," "Remember the Typewriter," and "The Bronze Décor"appeared in Issue No. 05 of The Common.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 10:27am

Carrie Tiffany is an Australian writer and author of the novels Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (2005, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction), and Mateship with Birds (2012, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for fiction, winner of the Stella Prize), as well as several short stories.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 4:44pm

Terese Svoboda is the author of several books of poetry and prose, most recently the novel Bohemian Girl, which Booklist named one of the ten best Westerns of 2012. Her fourth novel, Tin God, was re-issued this year. Zinzi Clemmons caught up with her during a mild August to discuss Sudan, life in foreign cultures, and multi-genre writing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 9:56am

Amy Brill’s articles, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in One Story, Redbook, Real Simple, Salon, Guernica, and Time Out New York, among many others. Her debut novel The Movement of the Stars was published by Riverhead Books in April. This month she chatted with S. Tremaine Nelson about the island of Nantucket, historical fiction, and the first American female astronomer, Maria Mitchell, who shares characteristics with Hannah Price, the heroine of Brill’s novel.

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