All posts tagged: Amherst

The Common’s Issue 27 Launch Party

Issue 27 cover of The Common

The Common Spring Launch Party
Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 7pm
Friendly Reading Room, Frost Library
Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Free and open to the public, wine and snacks will be provided. 

Join us for the launch of Issue 27 of The Common! We welcome essayist and AGNI editor Sven Birkerts, poet January Gill O’Neil, and fiction writer Jade Song. Issues will be available for purchase. We’ll have brief readings, a short Q&A, and lots of time to mingle!

 

Left to Right: Sven Birkerts, January Gill O'Neil, Jade Song Left to Right: Sven Birkerts, January Gill O’Neil, Jade Song

Sven Birkerts is the author of a number of books of essay and memoir. His The Miro Worm and the Mysteries of Writing will be published in October. Former Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he co-edits the journal AGNI. He lives in Amherst with his wife. 

January Gill O’Neil is the author of Glitter Road (CavanKerry Press, 2024), Rewilding (CavanKerry Press, 2018), recognized by Mass Center for the Book as a notable poetry collection for 2018; Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, 2014), winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; and Underlife (CavanKerry Press, 2009). The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O’Neil was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant and was named the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence for 2019-2020 at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She is an associate professor of English at Salem State University and is board chair of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (2022-2024). O’Neil lives in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Jade Song is a writer, art director, and artist in New York City. Her debut novel Chlorine was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins (US) and Footnote Press (UK) in 2023 and will be translated into Chinese and French. Chlorine was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice, lauded as “visionary and disturbing,” and listed as a must read book by Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, and other outlets. Say hi @jadessong and jadessong.com

The Common’s Issue 27 Launch Party
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Introducing the David Applefield ’78 Fellowship

By SAM SPRATFORD

Before I learned about his utopian philosophy of expat writing or his scrappy resistance to publishing-market forces, I knew David Applefield as the marketer of the HAPPY CAP—the world’s first mess-free way to cover a toothpaste tube. This was, of course, completely by chance. 

I was thumbing through his papers in the Amherst College archives as The Common’s inaugural holder of the David Applefield ’78 Fellowship, an Amherst College student internship endowed in Applefield’s honor by his friends and family. Tucked among sheets of poetry, reviews of Applefield’s two novels, and other literary artifacts, I was surprised to find a series of letters typed on the official stationery of “A.R.A. Industries.  

Introducing the David Applefield ’78 Fellowship
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Issue 26 Launch Party in Amherst [VIDEO]

This event has passed, but you can watch a recording below! (Closed captions are included; download a transcript here.)


 

Issue 26 cover: light pink background with a turnip and greens

The Common Fall Launch Party
Thursday, November 9, 2023, 6pm
Friendly Reading Room, Frost Library
Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Free and open to the public, wine and food from La Veracruzana provided.

 
Join us to celebrate the launch of Issue 26, with three contributors to our portfolio of writing from the farmworker community!

We welcome portfolio co-editor Miguel M. Morales, poet Julián David Bañuelos, and prose writer Nora Rodriguez Camagna for brief readings and conversation about place, immigration, writing, farmwork, and family. All three of our guests grew up doing seasonal farmwork with their families. The event will be hosted by the magazine’s managing editor Emily Everett.

Pioneer Valley Workers Center logo (tractor wheel with sheaf of wheat)
Issue 26 Launch Party in Amherst [VIDEO]
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Beyond the Tejo

By JEFF PARKER

It’s July 2020. I am supposed to be in Portugal for the tenth edition of the DISQUIET International Literary Program. Instead I’m at my home in Amherst, Massachusetts, about half a mile from the very common the magazine that you hold in your hands is named after.

Beyond the Tejo
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LitFest Friday Reads: January 2020

Curated by: SARAH WHELAN

Mark your calendars! For the fifth year, The Common is preparing for LitFest, a weekend of events to recognize and celebrate contemporary literature. In conjunction with the National Book Awards and Amherst College, The Common will celebrate extraordinary voices such as Jesmyn Ward, Susan Choi, Laila Lalami, and Ben Rhodes.

LitFest will be held on the campus of Amherst College from February 27th through March 1st. For more details, visit the LitFest website. But first, read on for recommendations from the participating authors.

Recommendations: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward; Trust Exercise by Susan Choi; Battle Dress by Karen Skolfield, and The World as It Is by Ben Rhodes.

LitFest Friday Reads: January 2020
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Daybreak

By J.J. STARR

Bend to me so that I may present my devotional whispers & gifts made from what bled
out the night before—my god, do not forsake me fragile as an eyelid

I could ask where does the pay check go if not into the cupboards?
but silence is my masterwork a child prodigy it could have been said.

Daybreak
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My Life as a Sardine

By BENIGNO TRIGO 

My grandfather, Luis A. Ferré (1904-2003), was the third governor of Puerto Rico and the founder of the Pro-Statehood Party. When I was little, he used to say it is better to be a big fish in a little pond than a sardine in the big blue sea. It was a reminder of how good we had it on our little island, and a warning against leaving it in pursuit of a bigger and impossible dream.

My Life as a Sardine
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Honoring Amherst Writers

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.


The Poet in Rome: Richard Wilbur in Postwar Italy by Robert Bagg

Richard Wilbur circa 1944, standing near the 6 X 6 truck that transported gear for the 36th Texans Division during World War II.

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.”

Honoring Amherst Writers
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