The Common is excited to announce Nina Sudhakar as its new Book Reviews Editor. She has served as The Common’s Dispatches Editor since July 2018 and has been a submissions reader since September 2017. She will continue to edit dispatches as well as reviews.
Nina Sudhakar is the author of the poetry chapbooks Matriarchetypes (winner of the 2017 Bird’s Thumb Poetry Chapbook Contest), and Embodiments (forthcoming from Sutra Press in summer 2019). Her work has appeared in, among other places, The Offing, Ecotone, and Midnight Breakfast, and been nominated for Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, and Bettering American Poetry. A graduate of Amherst College (BA) and Georgetown University (JD/MSFS), she currently lives in Chicago.
On her new position, Sudhakar says, “Working for The Common over the past two years—as a prose reader and currently as Dispatches Editor—has been an absolute joy. I’m so excited to take on the role of Books Reviews Editor and continue helping our team bring exciting, thought-provoking and transporting work to our readers and the literary community.”
New York, NY (May 30, 2019)—The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the national nonprofit organization that for more than 50 years has supported the essential work of literary publishers, has announced the finalists of its fifth annual FIRECRACKER AWARDS. Given to recognize the importance of independent literary publishing, the FIRECRACKER AWARDS honor the best self- and independently published books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry and the best literary magazines in the categories of debut and general excellence.
The Common Magazine Named Finalist for CLMP Firecracker Award
Amherst, MA— The Common magazine, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has been selected for a 2019 Amazon Literary Partnership grant. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and diverse authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.
Since 2009, the Amazon Literary Partnership program has awarded more than $12 million in grants to more than 150 organizations, including the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and Poets & Writers amongst others. Through these grants, the Literary Partnership program helps to uplift and amplify marginalized voices in order to promote a more diverse literary community. In 2019, the Amazon Literary Partnership worked with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses to establish a new Literary Magazine Fund, and The Common is one of only 15 magazines awarded a grant from the Fund in its inaugural year.
The Common Magazine Receives $8,000 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant
Congratulations to contributor Ben Shattuck for winning a Pushcart Prize for his Issue 16 story, The History of Sound! His story will be published in the forthcoming Pushcart anthology, out this November.
“Clarity isn’t an exciting virtue, but it is a virtue always.” I repeat this maxim to my students, and it runs through my own head with even greater frequency. It comes from Good Prose, a guide to writing and editing excellent nonfiction, co-written by Tracy Kidder and the late Richard Todd, who passed away on April 21.
For Amherst College’s fourth annual LitFest, The Common put together a Literary Landmarks tour of Amherst College, highlighting locations on campus with special connections to literary figures affiliated with the college, from Robert Frost to Lauren Groff. Building on that effort, we’ve compiled these highlights from The Common that were written either by or about Amherst professors, alums, and even current students.
Richard Wilbur graduated from Amherst College in 1942, and returned to Amherst to teach towards the end of his life, from 2008 to 2014.
“Richard Wilbur first visited Rome with the American Fifth Army that liberated the city, just behind the fleeing Germans, on 5 June 1944. By 10:00 p.m., his division, the 36th Texans, in trucks, in jeeps, and on mobile artillery, followed the tanks of the First Armored Division into the southern outskirts of Rome, where it paused, expecting to camp and rest within Cinecittà—then, as now, the sprawling center of Italy’s movie industry. Ever the explorer, Wilbur wandered into an abandoned viewing room and found, already loaded into an editing machine, a costume drama set in the Roman Empire. He turned the hand crank and watched a Fascist version of ancient history until his disgust overcame his curiosity.”
This year marks the fourth LitFest, an annual literary festival hosted at Amherst College. From February 2-March 2, students, professors, alumni, and community members came together in Amherst College’s Johnson Chapel to hear National Book Award finalists Jennifer Egan, Brandon Hobson, and Jamel Brinkley speak about their writing processes, what writing means to them, and the purpose of writing. On March 2, Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Kolbert and NYT-bestselling author Charles C. Mann ’76 had a robust conversation about environmental changes and science journalism. Additional events included author masterclasses, a poetry slam, career panels, and a literary tour of Amherst. LitFest is sponsored by The Common, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the Emily Dickinson Museum.
Event Date: Wednesday, March 27–Saturday, March 30 Location: Oregon Convention Center
The Common will host a booth at AWP 2019 from March 27–30. Visit us at table T7040, and check out these panels, featuring Editor-in-chief Jennifer Acker and Managing Editor Emily Everett! More info below.
Featured authors include Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Kolbert, Jamel Brinkley, Brandon Hobson, and more!
Amherst College’s fourth annual LitFest, a literary festival celebrating fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and spoken-word performance, will be hosted on February 27 – March 2 of this year. Co-hosted by The Common, this year’s events feature panels with 2018 National Book Award Fiction Finalists Jamel Brinkley and Brandon Hobson, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction author Elizabeth Kolbert, award-winning science writer Charles C. Mann, and more. Author events will be taking place in either Frost Library or Johnson Chapel on Amherst College campus, with most being followed by Q&A sessions and book-signings. All events are free and open to the public. Click here for coverage from the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
As The Common office continues to anticipate the exciting work we plan to share in 2019 both online and in our next issues, it seems like a great time to reflect on the pieces that made 2018 just as exciting for us. See what resonated with readers the most in 2018 by browsing the list below of our most-read works of the past year: they range from fiction to essays, interviews, and more!