Photo by author
September 27th, 2013 | 7:00am

Last month I enjoyed following media coverage of an unusual writing workshop and design studio held at Columbia University. Italian architect and writer Matteo Pericoli originated his “Laboratory of Literary Architecture” course in Turin, and brought it to New York this spring as a joint course for students of the School of Writing and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.


September 25th, 2013 | 7:00am


We show up at Mayflower Beach at ten one August morning, and the parking attendant, a tanned teenaged girl in a gold tee shirt, tells us we’re too late, the lot is full. To ensure a spot, it’s best to come around 8:00 a.m., or even earlier.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Shreyans Bhansali
September 24th, 2013 | 7:00am

I moved back to my parents’ house in Philadelphia just over a year ago, when I found out my mother was dying from cancer. The day I found out was my first day of a part-time job at Columbia University in New York City, where I was a master’s degree candidate. My father called me at the tail end of my lunch break, while I was browsing discounted greeting cards at a gift shop that was going out of business.

reviewed by Deborah Michel
September 23rd, 2013 | 7:00am


The prep-school novel has never grabbed me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Californian who didn’t go to an exclusive New England boarding school or send my children to one. Maybe it’s because these novels (yes, you, A Separate Peace, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Prep, A Starboard Sea, and all the Harry Potter books, not to mention The Dead Poet’s Society, even though it’s a movie)—seem precious and predictable portraits of a cossetted (albeit often deadly) social niche.


Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache
Multiple Authors
September 20th, 2013 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache

This month we are featuring eight new poems by four The Common contributors:

Ishion Hutchinson:

            --The Two Boundaries of Night

            --Leaf Bed