January 2nd, 2015 | 6:00am

To go from inspiration to the completion of a work of art or literature or architecture is a voyage in the dark. Artists smuggle intuitions from a place beyond words into achievements the public can regard and appreciate or not. This voyage fascinates the Italian architect Matteo Pericoli, author of the new book Windows on the World, which collects 50 of his drawings published over recent years by The Paris Review. Strong, solid lines render rooms around the world, rooms where every day the likes of Orhan Pamuk, Teju Cole, Francisco Goldman, and others sit down to do their writing. In Pericoli’s drawings, the architectural feature of the window frames a writer’s consciousness.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user JR Aquila
December 26th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user JR Aquila

Please enjoy four new poems by The Common contributors.

Sandeep Parmar

from Eidolon, xxxv.

December 23rd, 2014 | 6:00am

AMHERST, MA. DEC. 23, 2014—In its first year of eligibility, The Common literary magazine has been awarded an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Based at Amherst College, The Common is one of 55 organizations across the country to receive an NEA Literature grant in 2014. $10,000 in NEA funds will be matched by $20,000 from Amherst College to bring The Commons place-based literature into classrooms, to develop and promote its online presence, and to grow its readership.

Photo by author
December 22nd, 2014 | 9:00am

I studied history in college, because it seemed somehow practical (don’t ask me why), and after three years of study I realized that I was a mediocre historian at best, that what I loved about researching the past were the stories, and so I took a creative writing class.

By sheer luck that class was taught by Kent Haruf. I had no idea of the tradition of great writers who had taught at Southern Illinois University (before Kent, Richard Russo and John Gardner held his faculty position), nor the already strong and growing writing program that was present in 1995 when I was there.

December 19th, 2014 | 6:00am

This month’s recommendations from The Common’s contributors and staff deal with the intersection of old and new, ancient and modern, on every level—personal, religious, political, even supernatural. Perhaps in the spirit of the season, we seem preoccupied by stories of intergenerational strife, love, and ambition. In their urgent focus on belief and truth-seeking, these books represent a literature of searching, a catalogue of quests across time and around the world.

Recommended: To the End of June by Cris Beam, The Harafish by Naguib Mahfouz, We Others by Steven Millhauser, Hum by Jamaal May, High as the Horses
 Bridles by Scott Cheshire.