January 10th, 2014 | 9:00am


Today we’re delighted to feature this close-up of a gorgeous recent acquisition by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

Made in Italy of Carrara marble in the third quarter of the 2nd century CE, this ancient Roman sarcophagus features sea nymphs riding on the backs of sea centaurs while cupids fly overhead. It has “exceptional visual impact,” says Pamela Russell, the Mead’s head of education, “due to its impressive scale, lively marine subject, and pleasing symmetrical composition.”

January 9th, 2014 | 8:00am

Each month, The Common showcases an audio recording of a poem from our print issue archive, read by the author.  In the first of these features in 2014 Don Share reads "Wishbone," originally published in Issue 01.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user railsr4me
January 8th, 2014 | 9:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user railsr4me

After the wind, a man named Chuck died lying on the ice next to the fuel pump at the Phillips 66 off I-80 on the east side of Rawlins, Wyoming. I helped his friend lift him down from the passenger seat of the pickup, a big man, heavy and round, dressed in heavy Carhart work clothes against the cold.

January 7th, 2014 | 9:00am

A six-foot-high, foot-thick concrete wall begins at 8 Mile Road, Detroit’s northern border, known as the Line. The wall marches south for half a mile along the property line behind Birwood Street, cuts through a city park, and halts at a dead end street—a network of potholes and buckled asphalt.

January 6th, 2014 | 9:00am

In October, 1947, Jack Kerouac met a pretty, young Mexican woman named Bea Franco on a bus going from Bakersfield to Los Angeles. She was fleeing an abusive husband; he was gathering notes for what would become On The Road, the defining book of the Beat Generation. For fifteen days, they stuck together, from the streets of East Los Angeles to the cotton and grape fields of California’s Central Valley. In his story, Kerouac devoted twenty-one pages to the affair.