Podcasts & Audio

Steven Tagle on “Notes on Looking Back”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google Podcasts.Google Podcast logo

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Steven Tagle Podcast.

Steven Tagle speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his essay “Notes on Looking Back,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. Steven talks about writing this essay, originally in Greek, as a way to explore his love of the language and the experience of learning, speaking, and writing in it. Steven first came to Greece several years ago as a Fulbright Fellow. He discusses his current writing project about borders and migration, and the time he spent visiting and getting to know a family in a refugee camp in Greece. Steven also talks about life in Greece—how friendly and welcoming Greek people can be to outsiders, and how the country weathered the pandemic. When he interned at The Common, Steven spearheaded the magazine’s first podcast series.

Also discussed in this podcast:

Image of Steven Tagle's headshot and the Issue 22 cover (pink-peach seashell on light blue background).

Steven Tagle on “Notes on Looking Back”
Read more...

Podcast: Noor Naga on “Who Writes the Arabian Gulf?”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google Podcasts.Google Podcast logo

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Noor Naga Podcast.

Noor Naga speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about co-editing The Common’s first-of-its-kind portfolio of writing from the Arabian Gulf, which appeared in Issue 22. Noor penned an introduction to the portfolio, titled “Who Writes the Arabian Gulf?”, which explores her experience growing up in the Gulf with no real contemporary literature written for, by, or about that diverse population. Noor discusses her idea to create the portfolio, what she enjoyed about assembling it from submissions, and what themes unite the pieces that became part of it. She also talks about her forthcoming novel from Graywolf Press, and why an earlier novel didn’t find a home in publishing.

Image of Noor Naga's headshot and the Issue 22 cover (pink-peach seashell on light blue background).

Podcast: Noor Naga on “Who Writes the Arabian Gulf?”
Read more...

Podcast: Mary O’Donoghue on “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google PodcastsGoogle Podcast logo.

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Mary O’Donoghue Podcast.

Mary O’Donoghue speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. Mary talks about crafting a story that explores two points of view within the same Irish family, both stuck inside during a strong storm, both coping with loss. She also discusses her work translating Irish-language poets, her interest in stories that require the reader to connect their own dots, and what it’s like to edit fiction for AGNI while writing her own short stories, too.

Headshot of Mary O'Donoghue (white woman with curly hair) next to cover of The Common ISsue 22 (pink seashell on blue background)

Podcast: Mary O’Donoghue on “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors”
Read more...

Podcast: Priyanka Sacheti on “Oman is Mars: An Alien All Along”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google PodcastsGoogle Podcast logo.

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Priyanka Sacheti Podcast. 

Priyanka Sacheti speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “Oman is Mars: An Alien All Along,” which appears in a portfolio of writing from the Arabian Gulf, in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Priyanka talks about her feeling of not belonging anywhere—born in Australia to an Indian family, but growing up in Oman as a third culture kid. She also discusses her work as a poet and an artist, and her experience being stranded between countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Image of Priyanka Sacheti's headshot and the Issue 22 cover (light blue background and pink-peach seashell).

Podcast: Priyanka Sacheti on “Oman is Mars: An Alien All Along”
Read more...

Podcast: Carin Clevidence on “Ghosts of the Southern Ocean”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google PodcastsGoogle Podcast logo.

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Carin Clevidence Podcast.

Carin Clevidence speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “Ghosts of the Southern Ocean,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Carin talks about how her experiences traveling to Antarctica on expeditions have changed over the years, and how that change comes through in her writing. She also discusses her 2011 novel The House on Salt Hay Road, and the novel she’s recently completed about an expedition to Antarctica. 

Image of Carin Clevidence's headshot and The Common's Issue 22 cover: pink-peach seashell on light blue backrgound.

Podcast: Carin Clevidence on “Ghosts of the Southern Ocean”
Read more...

Podcast: Julian Zabalbeascoa on “Igerilaria”

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google PodcastsGoogle Podcast logo.

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Julian Zabalbeascoa speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Igerilara,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation from San Sebastián, Julian talks about writing stories set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and the Basque Conflict. He also discusses his love of travel and his experiences running study abroad programs for college students, and what it’s like to teach The Common in his classes at UMass Lowell.

Image of Julian Zabalbeascoa and Issue 22 cover.

Podcast: Julian Zabalbeascoa on “Igerilaria”
Read more...

In Search of Hassan Matar

By HITEN SAMTANI

As the car passed the Flag and sped toward Za’abeel, Avi’s crisp V’s became softer and less pronounced—“wees,” even. By the time he crossed Sana Signal, coffee shops and villas having given way to the old city’s chai stalls and low-rise apartments, the languid, questioning “ahs” at the ends of his sentences had been abandoned, the tongue clicks dropped. “Paps, what time do we have to make a move to the souq?” he said to his dad on the phone, sounding like just another Bur Dubai kid. “Okay, I’ll be downstairs in an hour.” He gestured to the driver to pull up outside his building and hopped out, throwing the Capri-Sonne straw he had been chewing all the way from school onto the pavement. His gait had changed, too: on the Jumeirah side of the Flag, he adopted the exaggerated chest-swivel of the Khaleeji, ass jutting out, body taking up far more real estate than someone of his frame reasonably should. Here, however, he stepped within himself. 

There were rules, though. If even one lochal or premium expat were spotted, accents would be drawn. Intonations would warp midway, vowels replaced with dressier ones like guest bedsheets. 

 

In Search of Hassan Matar
Read more...

Appetite

By DAN ALBERGOTTI

Emerging from her cocoon without a mouth,
the luna moth climbs onto a stem to unfurl
and dry her wings. She’ll find a mate tonight.

There will be no kiss. There will be no taste.
There will be no speech or song. After midnight
the still, silent couple will join like drops of rain.

Appetite
Read more...

Notes on Looking Back

By STEVEN TAGLE

 

Last year, I wandered through Greece, knocking on all the gates of Hades. I walked along the Acheron River, whose icy blue waters seemed colored by the spirits of the dead. Stalactites dripped onto the back of my neck as a silent boatman ferried me through the caves of Diros. I searched for the entrance to the sea cave at Cape Tainaron, scrambling over sharp rocks below the lighthouse as darkness fell. Sometimes I wondered if my search for the underworld tempted the Fates. I remembered Orpheus, the father of music, who charmed beasts with his lyre and descended into Tainaron to find his lost bride, Eurydice. With song, he implored Hades and Persephone to bring her back to life, and his words moved the deathless gods to tears. They granted his wish, allowing him to lead her out of the underworld on one condition: he must walk ahead of her, not looking back until they left the dark halls of death. Approaching the surface, the farthest reach of light, Orpheus feared his love’s silence behind him. He turned to look and saw her sink back into the depths, reaching out to him and bidding him farewell for the last time.

Notes on Looking Back
Read more...