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.

March 3rd, 2015 | 7:00am

Brian Sholis is Associate Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum. He writes about photography, landscapes, and American history, all of which topics are combined in his essay “Our Poor Perishable World, appearing in Issue 08 of The Common. In this chat with Oregonian S. Tremaine Nelson, Sholis touches on the American West, beauty and destruction, and the similarities between fiction and photography.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user USFWS Mountain-Prairie
February 27th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user USFWS Mountain-Prairie

At The Common, we’re celebrating the shortest month of the year with new poems by four contributors to our print journal.


Maceo J. Whitaker

            —“Lott’s Wife”