sky and house

The Sky in Ohio

MICHAEL BYERS
The house in Hewer was three stories, much larger than they needed, and full of odd vacancies, as though the Jenkinses, from whom Paul and his wife were subletting, had planned to be away much longer than a single semester.

gray beach

The Tao of Sunbathing

MEGAN MAYHEW BERGMAN
What if I told you some of the most enlightened women I knew took to the beach and spread oil across their shining décolletage in order to receive the divine? To place themselves in the present and in the path of nature?

The Common logo (black box) in between POETRY and FEATURE, in white print on a light green background

November 2017 Poetry Feature

SEBASTIAN MATTHEWS
There’s something a little creepy about attending so completely, incessantly, to trauma. Something masochistic about it. But what was I supposed to do? I am a writer, a processor, a worrier. The first lines of a poem came to me in the ICU.

Bethany Ball headshot

Awkward Sex Scenes Are My Superpower: An Interview with Bethany Ball

BETHANY BALL
I was just reading an interview with Kumail Nanjiani, who ... said, “Generally, comedy is a person in trouble; it’s a person dealing with a situation that they’re ill-equipped to handle.” That’s pretty much how I feel a lot of the time. I’m bombarded by situations I’m ill-equipped to handle. But I guess I also wonder: doesn’t everyone feel that way?

A field in Hunterdon County, NJ at sunset

Wisdom

HUGO DOS SANTOS
The trip is expensive and dangerous, and the job doesn’t wait so to return home is to lose the small steps that have already been taken and to leave again is to restart from scratch. The man doesn’t say this but he says it.

Book Cover

Friday Reads: November 2017

KENAN ORHAN, ANYA VENTURA, WILL PRESTON
This novel is born from the chaos of Turkey after the fall of the empire and the rapid Westernization of Atatürk’s policies. During this time, the dazzling ethnic variety of Ottoman culture was suppressed in favor of distinctly Turkish notions to bolster the confidence and security of the newly formed, susceptible nation, bringing with it a slew of dichotomies (East/West, Present/Past, Progress/Stagnation, Turkish/non-Turkish).

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

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