Sofia Belimova

The Common to Receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts

Amherst, MA—The Common literary journal is pleased to announce its seventh award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $10,000 Arts Projects award approved for 2023 will support the publication and promotion of place-based stories, essays, and poems by diverse writers from around the world.

National Endowment for the Art logo

In previous years, The Common has published numerous global portfolios from areas including Palestine, the Lusosphere, and the Arabian Gulf. In spring 2023, supported by the NEA award, Issue 25 will feature a portfolio of stories and art from Kuwait, co-edited with TC Arabic Fiction Editor Hisham Bustani. This will be the magazine’s sixth annual portfolio bringing contemporary Arabic fiction to American audiences.

“This generous NEA grant funds our continuing commitment to bring readers in this country the best contemporary Arabic short fiction,” says founder and editor in chief Jennifer Acker. “Our unique portfolios showcase a curated selection of work that can’t be found anywhere else.”     

The grant will also support The Common‘s ongoing commitments to make a wide variety of international literature available to American readers and to provide writers in the U.S.with a global platform. The magazine’s comprehensive outreach and promotion plan includes the open-access website, publicity campaigns and partnerships, educational programs like The Common in the Classroom and The Common Young Writers Program, as well as a variety of audio and web features promoting reader and contributor engagement throughout the year

Since 1966, the NEA has supported arts projects in every state and territory in the nation. The Common‘s grant is among 1,251 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling nearly $28.8 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with The Common strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit https://www.arts.gov/news.

The Common to Receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts
Read more...

Friday Reads: January 2023

Curated by SOFIA BELIMOVA

Happy new year! If you’re hoping to read more in 2023, we’ve got just the thing for you: exciting book recommendations from our contributors. From reportage that reads like a page turner to romance against the backdrop of political turmoil, these exhilarating books are perfect for cozying up somewhere warm. 

Friday Reads: January 2023
Read more...

Weekly Writes Volume 7: Accountable You

 
typing on a laptop

Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning January 30.

We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to prioritize in 2023? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration (and accountability) in your inbox!

Weekly Writes Volume 7: Accountable You
Read more...

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

Poems by KEVIN McILVOY

Editor’s note: In October a friend told me about Kevin McIlvoy’s recent passing, days after I had read and been deeply moved by the following poems. We are honored to offer them to you here. 

—John Hennessy

 

Kevin McIlvoy, known to his friends as Mc., published six novels, a story collection, and a collection of prose poems and flash fictions. A long-standing faculty member in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, he was my colleague but, more importantly, my friend. Mc. loved books and, like many writers, he loved them so much eventually the only way to love them more was to add to them by writing. These poems were sent out prior to his death on September 30, 2022. He is missed by many, but thanks to his work, his voice is still with us. 

—C. Dale Young

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy
Read more...

Most-Read Pieces of 2022

As 2022 comes to an end, we want to celebrate the pieces our readers loved! Browse our list of 2022’s most-read pieces to see the writing that left an impact on our readers.

Most-Read Pieces of 2022
Read more...

The Way Back Home

By S. G. MORADI

 

Image of a building with colorful glass windows in the twilight.

Iran

We grew up on salty rocks, collecting bullets,
holding onto hope as if it were a jump rope that 
come our turn, would go on spinning forever
our feet never failing us.
We ran through sunburnt alleys, kicking up
clouds of dust that were quick to settle
as if somehow knowing
that we had nowhere else to go.

The Way Back Home
Read more...

Learning from Las Vegas (Air) Strip

By ZOE VALERY

This woman in the airport is neither catching a plane nor meeting one. (…)
Why is this woman in this airport? Why is she going nowhere, where has she been?
      —Joan Didion, “Why I Write” (1976)

 

In the margins of the Strip, planes shimmer in and out of Las Vegas. I photographed this periphery, populated by plane watchers. Why they watch and why I write seem to be connected by a tenuous link that became clearer as the afternoon transpired.

*

Palm trees and an airplane in the sky.

Sundown marks the time and the place for a discreet show among Las Vegas locals. At the golden hour, vehicles on Sunset Road veer toward McCarran International Airport and park in front of the runway. While the casino-jammed stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip blinks itself awake in the background, the airstrip stages a steady stream of landings and take-offs. Every day, new and seasoned plane watchers come here to view the aircrafts rolling between the sky and the Vegas skyline.

Learning from Las Vegas (Air) Strip
Read more...

Craft Classes: Translation, Nonfiction, Revision, and Poetic Form

Image of a graphic with all four headshots, saying: 2023 craft classes; join us for a series of illuminating craft classes on writing and translating formal poetry, editing your own work, and writing nonfiction on place and belonging. 

Give your writing a boost this winter. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
 

    • Boris Dralyuk: “Extraordinary Measures: Translating Formal Poetry” [register]

    • Anna Badkhen: “Writing about Place: Geography, belonging, historical context, and the implications of our gaze” [register]

    • Megha Majumdar: “Demystifying Publishing and Being Your Own Best Editor” [register]

    • Zeina Hashem Beck: “The Ghazal and the Poetic Leap” [register]

 
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
 
Each class is $125, or $85 for current subscribers or current and past Weekly Writes participants. 

 

Craft Classes: Translation, Nonfiction, Revision, and Poetic Form
Read more...

Friday Reads: December 2022

Curated by SOFIA BELIMOVA

 

Last month, we launched Issue 24, which features wispy, ethereal poems, striking watercolors of the Stebbins Cold Canyon flora and fauna, stories about resilience in the face of war and natural disaster, and essays that celebrate humor and heritage. Wondering what our contributors are reading to keep themselves inspired? Look no further than this month’s Friday Reads.

 

Book Cover of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy. Abstract drawings on black background.

Friday Reads: December 2022
Read more...

Writing from the 2022 Outpost Fellows

A note from Outpost founder Ricardo Wilson

Launched in 2022, Outpost is a residency for creative writers of color from the United States and Latin America. Each September, we welcome two writers and award them with a stipend as well as complimentary travel, lodging, and meals to spend a month cultivating a generative writing community in the mountains of Southern Vermont. STEFFAN TRIPLETT and MARICEU ERTHAL, whose work you will encounter below, are exceptionally talented, and we feel quite privileged to have had them represent Outpost’s inaugural cohort. Thanks to the ongoing support of our funding community, we have been able to increase the stipend to $2,000 for our 2023 cohort. Applications are open and will close January 15th.

 

Writing from the 2022 Outpost Fellows
Read more...