Western Massachusetts photo from Creative Commons, user Maxine 2
July 2nd, 2014 | 9:39am

Western Massachusetts photo from Creative Commons, user Maxine 2

Two men scrape blue paint from the wall of the building across the street. They sit cross-legged, each plying his scraper with energy. The one on the right is thickset, wearing a gray t-shirt stained with sweat. The one on the left is more striking. His tight white t-shirt rides up his torso, baring his muscular lower back and the crest of black underpants. His long army-green shorts droop, exposing still more of that black arc. His hair is black and spiky, sideburns visible when he turns his head.

Gainesville, FL
July 1st, 2014 | 6:00am


Justin Taylor is the author of the short story collection Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever (2010) and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy (2011). His latest collection Flings is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Melody Nixon caught up with him in Brooklyn, New York, to discuss the progression of his work, fiction like a warm bath, and riding reindeer into rivers.

reviewed by Karen Uhlmann
June 30th, 2014 | 9:12am

The Weight of the Human Heart, a short story collection by Ryan O’Neill, plays with language, cultural understandings, and misunderstandings. O’Neill, who was born in Glasgow and now lives in Australia, has traveled extensively, and this is reflected in the stories’ settings and in the characters, who seem to dwell on language as much as their author.

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, user Raiana Ferron
Multiple Authors
June 27th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, user Raiana Ferron

We’re pleased to offer our readers a selection from The Spines of Love by Mexican poet Victor Terán, translated from the Isthmus Zapotec by David Shook, as well as an excerpt from Chinese poet Xiao Hai's long poem Song of Shadows, translated by Zhu Yu. Both volumes were recently published by Restless Books


June 26th, 2014 | 2:15pm

Welcome readers and listeners! Today we're launching The Common Podcast: Contributors in Conversation. Every other month, we'll invite contributors from our recent issues to read and discuss each other's work.