Emily Everett

Issue 20, Fall 2020: 10 Years of The Common

Issue 20 cover with cake

Issue 20 of The Common will be here this fall. Subscribe by September 30 to find this hot pink celebration in your mailbox! In addition to the global, place-based stories, essays, and poems you’re used to reading in The Common, this issue also includes a portfolio of writing from and about the Lusosphere: Portugal’s colonial and linguistic diaspora. You’ll find works in English and in translation, and explore Lisbon, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and even Luso-American families and communities here in the States. 1 year subscriptions start at $12.

Subscribe now, so you can have your cake and eat it too!

Issue 20, Fall 2020: 10 Years of The Common
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August 2020 Poetry Feature: Raisa Tolchinsky

Poems by RAISA TOLCHINSKY

ON BOXING:

Table of Contents

  • A Note by the Poet
  • Circling the Ring
  • Below the Belt

After training for multiple years with womxn boxers who had the Olympics on their minds, I began to grapple with the dynamics of control I observed within the spaces I encountered. These poems are from a longer series which ask: what does it mean to be a womxn fighter (both inside and outside of the ring) in a world still dominated by men? In what ways is the ring an escape or subversion of the power dynamics encountered outside of it, and in what ways does the ring reinforce or sanction manipulation, harassment, and abuse? Both of these persona poems are composite portraits, representative of the osmosis between bodies and narratives that occurs among close training partners. Though I didn’t have what it took to pursue a fighting career, these poems are a way of writing into the imagined life where I became a boxer instead of a poet & scholar. Through this work I am also asking: how does the poem function as a body? How does the page function as a ring? 

—Raisa Tolchinsky

August 2020 Poetry Feature: Raisa Tolchinsky
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Weekly Writes Summer 2020 – Poetry or Prose

 

♦ Sign-ups for Weekly Writes Summer 2020 are now closed. If you want to be the first to hear when we open our next round of Weekly Writes, register your interest here. ♦

 



handwriting in a notebook in summer

Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning August 3.

We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to write this summer? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration in your inbox!

Weekly Writes Summer 2020 – Poetry or Prose
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FAQ: Weekly Writes

write with us now

Q: I didn’t participate in Weekly Writes Vol. 1, 2, 3, or 4. Can I still sign up for Summer 2020?

A: Absolutely! Our Summer 2020 program doesn’t build upon or rely on experience with earlier volumes of the program. Prompts are designed for both beginner and advanced writers.


Q: I already did Weekly Writes Vol. 1, 2, 3, or 4. Is this the same thing?

A: Our Summer 2020 program is not all brand new prompts. Prose prompts this summer are from our Weekly Writes Vol. 1 program. Poetry prompts will be from Weekly Writes Vol. 3, our first poetry program. So if you already participated in Vol. 1 or Poetry Vol. 3, you will be familiar with the prompts in our Summer 2020 program. 


Q: What if I’m busy and can’t work on the week’s prompts? Will they expire?

A: No. While we hope that writing every week is part of your program experience, we understand that life gets in the way. The prompts are yours to download and keep, so you can start writing whenever you have time.

FAQ: Weekly Writes
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Labor Day: Brighton Beach

By NATHAN MCCLAIN

How lovely, at last, to have nothing to do but sit, shirtless, in my collapsible chair, reading Gerald Stern’s American Sonnets, and lovely to sit, beer in my lap, just a little tipsy, lovely, too, to ignore beauty, or desire, or whatever, the young woman unfolding her nylon tent, smacking each stake into the sand with her sandal’s heel, slipping discreetly into her swim suit, though I could watch the plane zip past, tugging a banner for Wicked, which there was still time to see if you wanted, or the sailboat glide slowly by, and it was a good day for sailing, a good day, so I didn’t have to think about sorrow or loss, though, let’s face it, I did, how not to—the old man missing a left leg—not how it happened, or when—but if it gets easier, you know, living with it, crutch snug under each armpit, and Jill had been gone a long time to warm her goat curry, then further out, a jet ski, like a straight razor, slits the water’s surface, Carmen already asleep under a sun hat.

Labor Day: Brighton Beach
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Tunnel #2 (Merlion)

By LAWDENMARC DECAMORA

The shadow tall and lean, inspired by a lighthouse, squints at the Merlion. My morning behavior skips breakfast just to tell my body to overcome the effects of the Merlion. People at the pet store are quitting their jobs only to watch the Merlion spurt water from its mouth like the tunnels of human love. The newly admitted patient who is seen from the open window waves at the Merlion. Clairvoyants finally predict a winner with the face of Singapura tattooed on the mythic scales of the Merlion. Lovers split, fully convinced about the Mertiger calling itself no more as the Merlion. Children down 10,000 bottles of Yakult so they can help the Merlion save this lion city and the sea overflowing with centillion neon. The televangelist reports about a new miracle and how it takes advantage of the daily shifts of the Merlion, spatial to temporal, particle to plexus. Accountants give celebrities free hugs, their palms are sweating, after taxing the civil case of the Merlion. But hold on there, youngster. What is the color of the Merlion? Does it speak a foreign language like Resilience? Does it roar, swim, walk aimlessly around the Central Business District? Will it quit water and start eating poetry? I know a place where it can go when it’s alone. Through its mouth, a tunnel: right where it starts it ends.

Tunnel #2 (Merlion)
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Available Positions with The Common

Consider any listing on this page active. We will continue to post future opportunities here as they arise.


reading The Common

READING STAFF (Positions filled; apply for wait list.)

The Common invites those interested in the world of literary publishing and passionate about contemporary fiction and nonfiction to apply to join our Reading Staff. Volunteer readers evaluate short works of fiction as well as essays; readers must be open-minded yet analytical. They must judge, quickly and thoroughly, the literary merit of each submission and the rightness of its fit for The Common given its sense-of-place mission. Readers are expected to review an average of 12 stories per week. We welcome undergraduate and MFA students as well as avid, sophisticated readers of all kinds.

Interested applicants should be thoroughly familiar with work published in The Common. All pieces published in print and online content are available in our digital archive. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated skill and experience in critical reading and comprehension, and must be concise and articulate writers. Candidates must be able to read and review 12 pieces per week.

 

Please click here to express your interest in the reading staff position. You will be asked for contact information as well as a CV and cover letter outlining why the position appeals to you and any relevant experience. The next step for qualified candidates is evaluating two test pieces. The Common’s reading team is currently at capacity, so candidates will be vetted and added to our reading team wait list.

 

Available Positions with The Common
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LitFest Friday Reads: February 2019

It’s that time again—The Common and Amherst College will be hosting the fourth annual LitFest at the end of the month. For three days, February 28th to March 2nd, award-winning authors, poets, and critics will descend on Amherst to read, discuss, teach, and celebrate great writing. This year the lineup includes two National Book Award finalists, two Pulitzer Prize winners, and a New York Times bestseller. View the full list of participating writers and a calendar of events here.

LitFest Friday Reads: February 2019
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