Sofia Belimova

Podcast: Talia Lakshmi Kolluri on “The Good Donkey”

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Talia Lakshmi Kolluri speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “The Good Donkey,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Kolluri talks about writing fiction from the perspectives of different animals, and where the inspiration for those stories comes from. She also discusses how being mixed race can complicate conversations about race and identity in the U.S., how books and literature are making space for those conversations, and how she balances writing with a full-time job as an attorney.

Podcast: Talia Lakshmi Kolluri on “The Good Donkey”
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Podcast: Ravi Shankar on “The Five-Room Box”

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Ravi Shankar speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his essay “The Five-Room Box,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Shankar talks about constructing this essay on identity, family, and fitting in from an excerpt of his memoir, Correctional, about his time spent in prison. He also discusses how that time changed the course of his academic work, what it’s like to transition from poet to prose-writer, and the privilege and profiling Asian-Americans experience as the ‘model minority.’

Image of Ravi Shankar and the Issue 21 cover.

Podcast: Ravi Shankar on “The Five-Room Box”
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Weekly Writes Summer 2021: Accountable You

Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning August 2nd.

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

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Weekly Writes Summer 2021: Accountable You
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A Salamander

By MORIEL ROTHMAN-ZECHER

Image of a photo of two people in a park.

Southwest Ohio

Cute, I said bending over, a salam
I swallowed the second half of the word

as my face drew nearer to the shiny body
and I saw the white oozing from its mouth, but

it was too late.

My daughter was already rushing over,
What is that little guy?

I stood, tried pivoting,
a bit dizzy from the way the thing

lay there still

moving one of its tiny arms, I looked at Kayla
and said in Hebrew, which we both speak thanks to

A Salamander
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The Common Magazine Announces Second Literary Editorial Fellow

(Amherst, Mass. July 12, 2021)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has announced its second Literary Editorial Fellow: Elly Hong ’21. The fellowship is funded in part by generous support from alumni donors and from the Whiting Foundation, which is providing a $20,000 matching grant for the second consecutive year, in recognition of the magazine’s secure and important foothold in literary publishing. In 2019, The Common was the top print award winner of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes.

The Literary Editorial Fellowship was created with two goals in mind: to strengthen the bridge between The Common’s existing Literary Publishing Internship (LPI) program for undergraduates and the professional publishing world; and to provide invaluable, real-world experience for an Amherst graduate, transferable to any job in nonprofit, trade, or academic publishing, or a wide variety of related fields. 

The Common Magazine Announces Second Literary Editorial Fellow
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On the Path from the Edison Fishery to the Moose Boneyard

By RUSSELL BRAKEFIELD

Image of moose skulls. Isle Royale National Park

The powerboat clips Scofield point and breaks away from my cabin toward the more serious waters of Lake Superior. My guide, Tom, cranes his neck to view the shore as if he’s never seen it before, though he knows these bends and inlets well. We pass the outer islands—Rabbit, Caribou, Cemetery—which lift like teeth from the blue-green water. The motor quiets as we turn inward and thread the eye of Moskey Basin, toward docks and wooden nets, remnants of a long-gone fishing industry cast along the shoreline.

On the Path from the Edison Fishery to the Moose Boneyard
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Podcast: Wyatt Townley on “Instructions for the Endgame”

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Wyatt Townley speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her poem “Instructions for the Endgame,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Townley talks about experiencing poetry in all parts of her life—in dance and yoga, in astronomy and physics, and in nature. She also discusses her time as Poet Laureate of Kansas, the pleasure of revising poems, and what it’s like seeing her work performed as an opera.

Image of Wyatt Townley's headshot and Issue 21 cover.

Podcast: Wyatt Townley on “Instructions for the Endgame”
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Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment

This event has passed. Watch the recording above!


Join The Common and Foglifter for a virtual panel conversation, moderated by Callum Angus, on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PDT. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link!

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Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment
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Podcast: Silvia Spring on “The Home Front”

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Silvia Spring speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her debut short story “The Home Front,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Spring talks about the inspiration and process behind this story, which tangles with the difficulties of coming into adulthood, and the experience of living abroad without feeling part of the community. Spring drew from her own experience studying and living in London in the U.K., and her time as a journalist at Newsweek, embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conversation also includes discussion of the revision process; writing without an MFA; and U.S. foreign policy, today and over the last few years.

Image of Silvia Spring's headshot and The Common's Issue 20.

Podcast: Silvia Spring on “The Home Front”
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Hunters’ Gate

By JONATHAN LEE

Image of the cover of The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee.

Excerpted from THE GREAT MISTAKE ©2021 by Jonathan Lee, published by Alfred A. Knopf. (Pre-order here)

One night, out walking, unable to sleep, and more fatigued than usual by his endlessly unfolding apprenticeship, the eighteen-hour days, the bugs that puncture his skin every night, the lack of money for real milk or for visiting his favorite sister, Andrew saw a man in the street who was raising a gun and pointing it at what?

A young mastiff, thin and weary-looking, staggering for a place to sleep.

Hunters’ Gate
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