white feather on a vibrant yellow background While the other campers were as foreign to me as I was to them, no racial incidents stand out in my memory. And if anyone tried to “save” me, I was oblivious to it.” Notes on Camp: 2020   |   New essay by Val Wang» white feather on a vibrant yellow background The statue greets you and you do not analyze it. You do not wonder who the Indian and Black men are. You do not wonder why their eyes are downcast.” Lisa Williamson Rosenberg   |   New Dispatch from the Upper West Side » white feather on a vibrant yellow background Before we / Know it it’s two in the morning / Or three and we are swearing / Sweating laughing and sure / Later the man will come to / Throw rocks at us and Shaily / Will slam his own body against / The chain link fence...” Northern Israel-Palestine   |   New dispatch by Moriel Rothman-Zecher »
Image of snow geese

Dick Cheney Was Not My Father

But he could have been. My father was a similar man. And his name was Richard Cheney, though he never went by Dick, and he never lived at the Naval Observatory. He was an orthopedic surgeon in suburban Kansas City who said stupid things like, “These hands are gold.”


Notes on Camp: 2020

It was to be my first experience of summer camp, that quintessential American rite-of-passage. It would also be the first of many lessons in what summer camp reveals about what it means to be American – lessons that have come flooding back to me this summer.

july 2020 poetry feature

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Steven Leyva and Elizabeth Scanlon

Get down to the smallest birthright / I cannot claim: say beignets / and doesn’t the stutter of hot oil start / to sizzle the small plates of memory? / Faces powdered with sugar, no thought / to whose ancestors cut which cane, sing / a hymn of “mmm, mmm, mmm.”

Image of Statue


As a little Black girl, you have not asked this question. The thing you think most about this statue outside the American Museum of Natural History is that there are never fewer than three pigeons roosting on it. There is always one on the highest spot.

Such a Fun Age Book Cover

Friday Reads: August 2020

Welcome back to Friday Reads! After a brief hiatus, we are returning with selections from former TC interns that have educated and entertained them during quarantine. To find out what our former editorial assistants have been doing to pass the long days inside, read on. 

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 »