Snow lying on rooftops and trees with a background of a cloudy sky.

These Winters in Pittsburgh are Making Us Strong

JANE MCCAFFERTY
Ah, last day of the semester. The professor goes on a long walk into the winter woods near the Highland Park Reservoir, her pale face chapped with cold. She’s had one glass of wine. OK two and a half. It’s perfect out here! The sky looks pink, sweet and pillowy.

scene of ocean with sun reflecting down on water

Negotiating Fluidity

BRIDGET A. LYONS
My customary visual bearings don’t seem to be serving me here in Alice’s Arctic Wonderland, where even the most fundamental rules of spatial arrangement have been upended. I see liquid lying over land, tundra hovering in midair, and chunks of ice floating several feet above the sea.

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains

Small plants grow outside the window of a house. The window frame is white, with paint that is peeling slightly.

What the Midwest Was Like

JENNIFER S. CHENG
For months I cared for my plant: watered it, brought in light, cleaned its jar. I noted with pleasure when new leaves began to sprout. The capillary green that unfolded overnight. I watched its roots mingle and spread, tracing against the glass.

Still image from movie: two women in each others arms

Film Review: El Planeta

HANNAH GERSEN 
In Amalia Ulman’s debut feature, El Planeta, which she wrote and directed, Ulman and her real-life mother (Ale Ulman) play a mother and a daughter awaiting eviction. Ulman’s character, Leo (short for Leonor), has returned home after the death of her father, whose sporadic alimony payments barely supported her mother.

Using The Common in my first-year seminars has been fun, fruitful, and helpfully startling for these classes.”

—Martha Cooley, Associate Professor of English, Adelphi University Receive classroom subscription discounts, lesson plans, and more when you TEACH THE COMMON »

Home