Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world.
The Common’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common’s student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below. Watch video recordings of all the events, readings, and discussions at LitFest ’21 here.
LitFest ’21 Readings by The Common’s Literary Publishing Interns
Student interns at The Common read short excerpts from their writing. Readers are:
Isabel Meyers ’20 (former intern, current Literary Editorial Fellow)
Elly Hong ’21 (Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow)
Whitney Bruno ’21
Sofia Belimova ’22
Eliza Brewer ’22
Olive Amdur ’23
LitFest ’21 Amherst College Alumni Authors Reading
Amherst College alumni read short excerpts from their recent work, and answer questions. Readers are:
Calvin Baker ’94
Chris Bohjalian ’82
Dan Chiasson ’93
Edward A. Farmer ’05
Michael Gorra ’79
Kirun Kapur ’97
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne ’01
Ismée Williams ’95
We are excited to announce that the Pushcart Prize’s contributing editors have nominated eight pieces from The Common‘s 2020 publications, in print and online! The Pushcart Prize celebrates outstanding works of literature produced by small-press writers; each of these nominations are exceptional works of art that take fresh and memorable perspectives on the modern sense of place. Congratulations to our amazing contributors!
On March 25th at 7:00pm, in honor of ten years of publishing and cultivating new voices, please join The Common‘s special events team for an evening devoted to emerging talents! Celebrate with poets and prose writers Ama Codjoe, Sara Elkamel, LaToya Faulk, Ben Shattuck, Angela Qian, and Ghassan Zeineddine. This event will take place virtually via Zoom.
This inaugural festival features readings and conversation, and aims to to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program. All contributions will be matched by the Whiting Foundation.
We hope you’ll join us for the sixth annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s festival features 2020 National Book Award for Fiction winner Charles Yu and finalist Megha Majumdar, National Book Award for Poetry finalists Natalie Diaz and Tommye Blount, and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, among others.
This year, to celebrate Amherst College’s Bicentennial, we’ll have a very special set of readings by The Common‘s very own Literary Publishing Interns at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Join us for this packed weekend!
The Common will receive its fifth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021. The Art Works grant of $15,000 will be awarded to The Common to help it publish diverse writers, expand its readership, and support The Common’s international portfolios.
The Common to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
As The Common office gears up to share exciting new works in 2021, we want to reflect on the pieces that made 2020—our 10th anniversary year—an incredibly special one! Below, you can browse our list of 2020’s most-read pieces to see which works of fiction, essays, interviews, and more left an impact on our readers.
(Amherst, Mass. — December 7, 2020)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has hired acclaimed poet Willie Perdomo as its new Interviews Editor. With publishing experience stretching back twenty-five years, Perdomo currently teaches English at Philips Exeter Academy.
Willie Perdomo To Join Editorial Staff of The Common
It’s that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common’s seventh annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, just in time for the holidays.
Join in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from New York Times-bestsellers, National Book Award-winners, and MacArthur Fellows. In the past few years, authors have famously gone all out with their postcards: expect to receive anything from long letters to drawings and doodles to haikus.
New this year, in celebration of The Common’s 10th anniversary, some bidders will also receive rewards from Penguin Classics! The first and every fifth bidder, plus the highest bidder and top two underbidders (just missed out on winning!), will receive one of a handful of books from the gorgeous Deluxe or hardcover Vitae series including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, George Elliot’s Middlemarch, and the autobiography of Frederick Douglass.
Online bidding will open to the public at 10 am EST on November 9, 2020. Participating authors include literary powerhouses such as André Aciman,Susan Choi, and Valeria Luiselli, as well as writer-performers Jenny Slate and David Sedaris. Newcomers to the auction include acclaimed writers Anne Carson and Phil Klay and world-renowned singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant.
On October 28th at 4:30pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of our 10th anniversary issue! Contributors from across the globe will be tuning in to read excerpts from Issue 20’s portfolio of writing from the Lusosphere: Portugal and its colonial and linguistic diaspora. Don’t miss out! Register for the free event at the link here.