reviewed by James Dickson
December 16th, 2013 | 9:00am

Southern writer can be a term of endearment or an epithet. The late Mississipi-born novelist and short-story writer, Barry Hannah, bristled at the label. “Professional Southerners sicken me,” he said. Yet to my ear, Hannah’s work sounds entirely Southern. 

Curated by Jeff Bergman
December 11th, 2013 | 10:58pm

Our relationship with maps has changed drastically in the last ten years, from the pinpoint ease of Google Maps to global positioning systems rendering us a blinking blue beacon on a grid of streets. Rarely are we explorers in the completed cartography of our planet. Visual artist Martha Willette Lewis has given us new, unreal spaces to explore by combining diagrammatic drawings, biological systems, and topographical forms.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Daniele Scott
December 9th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Daniele Scott

It is Red Cup season! Under halogen lights, red metal tumblers gleam and pinken plastic to-go mugs. Swirled teacups shine like candy canes. Behind the café counter, whipped-cream ski hills top the menu of seasonal drinks with a flurry of diamonds and snowflakes. In sizes tall, grande, and venti, towers of patterned coffee cups are plucked by red-aproned baristas, like ornaments off a tree.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Douglas Mills
December 6th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Douglas Mills

It’s late afternoon on the beach in North Florida. It’s October, the end of a season, and the world is in motion. Monarchs cloud through the sunlight in orange swarms; blooms of jellyfish float along the shoreline; and schools of grouper leap in flustered succession, tails suspended above the ocean, bodies flapping. The air is just cold enough to make us duck our shoulders under water and lift our faces toward the sun, not shivering but not warm.

Image of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost "Poetic Dialogue" silhouettes courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell on Flickr Creative Commons.
December 5th, 2013 | 8:00am

Image of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost "Poetic Dialogue" silhouettes courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell on Flickr Creative Commons.

The first Thursday of each month, The Common showcases an audio recording of a poem from our print issue archive, read by the author.  This month, Peggy O'Brien reads "Recidivists," a section of her longer poem "Monhegan," originally published in Issue 05.