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.
Helen Benedict is the author of seven novels and five works of nonfiction. A professor of journalism at Columbia University, Benedict spends her time between New York City and upstate New York, where her latest novel, Wolf Season, is set—though the characters’ lives encompass Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the US. Wolf Seasonwas selected as a 2018 Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association.
As the seasons changed from fall to winter, Melody Nixon spoke with Benedict about her newest book, the “effects of war on the human heart,” Benedict’s path to social justice, and the way forward with the crisis of tolerance.
Multiple Geographies: an Interview with Helen Benedict
In mid-May 1999, alone on my last morning in the Annapurna Sanctuary, I tramped along the moraine below Annapurna Base Camp. The sun reflected off Machapuchare, the distinctive fish tail peak, at the bottom of the valley. Tharpu Chuli flanked me on the left, its 6000 meter crown glistening with fresh snow. No clouds covered Annapurna’s summits behind me or obscured the immense sky. The trail meandered from 13,500 feet to 12,000 feet. The low-oxygen air, like a drug, rendered the sapphire sky in vivid contrast to the silver cliffs, the white snow, and the wild crocuses that burst from south-facing patches in happy pink dots.
Signups for Weekly Writes Vol. 2 closed on January 27th. To register your interest in future WW programs, click here.
Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based fiction and nonfiction.
WW Volume 2 kicks off on January 28, just in time to help you sustain the momentum of your New Year’s writing resolution! The deadline to sign up is January 27, 2019.
Sign up for Volume 2 is now closed. The $15 fee includes one free, expedited* submission via Submittable after program completion. Prompts and advice are brand new for Volume 2, so Volume 1 participants will not encounter any repetition or old prompts.
Join the staff and interns of The Common for a celebration of uncommonly good literature! Come to hear readings from our most recent issue and enjoy wine and cheese in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College.
Free and open to the public – students, parents, and local lit lovers all welcome!
Friday, September 14, 2018 – 7 p.m. at Leonard Library, 81 Devoe St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
with Andrés Cerpa, Francisco Font-Acevedo, Carmen Graciela Díaz,
Joey de Jesus and Carina del Valle Schorske
September 2018 marks one year after Hurricane María devastated the island of Puerto Rico. This event features contemporary Puerto Rican writers of both poetry and prose sharing new creative work and discussing how the ongoing crisis has transformed our styles of survival, our experience of diaspora, and the function of translation. Readings will include a bilingual element to fully represent Puerto Rican linguistic diversity.
Puerto Rican Writing: One Year after María @ Brooklyn Book Festival
This month we welcome back contributor LOREN GOODMAN, the author of Famous Americans, selected by W. S. Merwin for the 2002 Yale Series of Younger Poets, Suppository Writing, and New Products. He is an associate professor of creative writing and English literature at Yonsei University / Underwood International College in Seoul, South Korea, and serves as the UIC Creative Writing Director.
The Rabbi’s little son
Decked out in stripes
One leather strap
Over the edge
Of the black
Lacquer box wraps
August 2018 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Loren Goodman
In 1994, the last year my husband and I lived in Paris, a Senegalese woman named Delphine cleaned our apartment, often bringing her baby girl. At some point, she asked us to help her resolve her immigration problems. The baby was a French citizen; Delphine had come to France to work for French expats returning from Dakar and been let go some years ago.