reviewed by Julia Lichtblau
February 9th, 2015 | 7:00am

De Guatemala a Guatepeor. (From Guate-bad to Guate-worse.) The acid Spanish pun captures the reflexive pessimism this beautiful, tormented Central American country evokes. The central event of modern Guatemalan history, a 1954 CIA-backed coup that halted land reform, precipitated a 36-year civil war, during which 200,000 people, many indigenous, were killed or disappeared. The repercussions still play out, de mal a peor, in poverty, drug violence, corruption, and impunity.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user squash-buckler
February 4th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user squash-buckler

There were hundreds of summer camps in Maine in the ’60s. It was a seasonal gulag for middle-class white kids, ages 8–16. Being shipped off to the woods by your parents for eight whole weeks felt like a secret Get Out Of Jail Free card. Only the nametags on your clothes connected you to who you were once you had been dropped into June, and then, somewhere around August, you would brown and swell and burst into flame like a marshmallow on a stick.

February 3rd, 2015 | 7:00am

Jonathan Moody is a poet and professor. His first full-length collection, The Doomy Poems, deals with time and place through persona poems, and is described by Terrance Hayes as having an “innovative funkiness that transcends the ruckus and heartache of our modern world.” Moody’s second poetry collection, Olympic Butter Gold, won the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize and will be published in summer this year. His poem “Dear 2Pac” appears in Issue 08 of The Common, and his “Portrait of Hermes as a B-Boy,” “Kleosphobia,” and “Paranoid,” have all been featured at The Common Online. Melody Nixon caught up with Moody this winter, and between New Zealand and Texas they talked poetry activism, politics, Houston skyscrapers, and the cosmopolitan radiance of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user ClickSnapShot
January 30th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user ClickSnapShot

At The Common, we’re celebrating the New Year with four poets new to our pages.

Didi Jackson

—“Almost Animal”

—“San Bonaventura”

reviewed by Dara Barnat
January 26th, 2015 | 7:00am

Kerrin McCadden’s poignant debut collection of poetry, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, is filled with composed wisdom for how to cope with separation in general, and divorce in particular. The collection won the New Issues Poetry Prize in 2014, and McCadden’s poetry has appeared widely in Best American Poetry 2012, American Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere.