March 13th, 2015 | 7:00am

With the arrival of spring we’re leaping bravely into unfamiliar worlds—safe in the hands of experts, of course. An eerie peripheral dreamscape; quotidian life viewed from upside down or inside out, never as expected; the dark bureaucracy of the criminal underground; messages ferried to and from ghosts—these are unmapped terrains, and what better companions than these authors, their first cartographers? Expand your world(s) this month with these suggestions from our contributors and staff.

Recommended: Bone Map: Poems by Sara Eliza Johnson, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins, Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson, Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye, Elegies for the Brokenhearted: A Novel by Christie Hodgen.

March 12th, 2015 | 6:00am


AMHERST, MA. MAR. 12, 2015—From March 24–26, The Common literary magazine and Amherst College’s Copeland Colloquium will host a series of Arabic cultural events featuring internationally recognized writers, editors, translators, and musicians. Literary conversations will delve into the largely untranslated world of new Arabic writing, fiction in particular, and a live musical performance will bring Arabic music to local audiences. All events aim to broaden and deepen cultural exchange.

March 10th, 2015 | 6:00am


William Wenthe reads his poem, “Error Upon Me Proved,” from Issue 06.

March 6th, 2015 | 7:00am

In his 1838 “Essay on American Scenery,” Thomas Cole—the celebrated “founding father” of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting—wrote that American landscapes are:

a subject that to every American ought to be of surpassing interest; for, whether he beholds the Hudson mingling waters with the Atlantic—explores the central wilds of this vast continent, or stands on the margin of the distant Oregon, he is still in the midst of American scenery—it is his own land; its beauty, its magnificence, its sublimity—all are his; and how undeserving of such a birthright, if he can turn towards it an unobserving eye, an unaffected heart!

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Charlene N Simmons
March 4th, 2015 | 10:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Charlene N Simmons

We were tipsy and in a good mood, Paul and I, coming home from our favorite bar in the whirlings of this season’s first “historic snowstorm,” when I noticed the figure floundering in the snow.

He was a dark clot of winter coat and baggy pants, on his knees, fumbling with a long rod. I peered at him.  

“Is he ok?” I said. “Oh—maybe he’s just fitting a snow shovel back together.” Our steps brought us closer. “Wait, that’s a cane.” And I could hear him now, muffled by his voluminous coat, swearing as he crawled toward the curb, inarticulately grumbling and shouting into the blank face of the snowstorm as he dragged the cane forward.