All posts tagged: Issue 23

Podcast: Liesl Schwabe on “The Marching Bands of Mahatma Gandhi Road”

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Liesl Schwabe speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “The Marching Bands of Mahatma Gandhi Road,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. Liesl talks about the time she spent in Kolkata, India listening to the mostly-Muslim marching bands perform at Hindu weddings and religious ceremonies, and what drew her to this subject. She also discusses the research, writing, and revision that went into this essay, her approach to teaching creative writing, and her next writing projects.

lies schwabe headshot next to cover of issue 23

Podcast: Liesl Schwabe on “The Marching Bands of Mahatma Gandhi Road”
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Podcast: Ben Stroud on “Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro”

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If you require a transcript or other accessible format, please contact us at [email protected].

Ben Stroud speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. The story fictionalizes a moment in the lives of historical figures from fifteenth-century Italy. In this conversation, Ben talks about finding his interest in writing stories set in ancient and medieval times, and what kind of research and play is required to blend fact and fiction in those stories. He also discusses his process for revising his work and teaching creative writing.

headshot of Ben Stroud next to cover of Issue 23, green background with burned toast

Podcast: Ben Stroud on “Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro”
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Podcast: Mark Kyungsoo Bias on “Adoption Day”

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Transcript: Mark Kyungsoo Bias Podcast.

Mark Kyungsoo Bias speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his poem “Adoption Day,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. Mark talks about the inspiration and process behind the poem, which looks at issues like memory, immigration, and racism in post-9/11 America, all through the lens of a family experience. Mark also discusses his approach to language, sound, line breaks, and more, and the methods and techniques he’s found helpful in revising poetry. He reads two additional poems published in The Common: “Meeting My Mother” and “Visitor.”

issue 23 against mark kyungsoo bias

Podcast: Mark Kyungsoo Bias on “Adoption Day”
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Podcast: Adrienne G. Perry on “Flashé Sur Moi”

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Transcript: Adrienne G. Perry Podcast.

Adrienne G. Perry speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “Flashé Sur Moi,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. Adrienne talks about the questions that inspired this essay: questions about memory and friendship and coming of age, questions about what it means to desire someone and be desired, and what we do to appear desirable to others. She also discusses her approach to teaching creative writing, her interest in writing about place, and her current works-in-progress.

Image of Adrienne G. Perry's headshot and The Common's Issue 23 cover (toast on turquoise background).

Podcast: Adrienne G. Perry on “Flashé Sur Moi”
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Podcast: Cheryl Collins Isaac on “Spin”

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Transcript: Cheryl Collins Issac Podcast.

Cheryl Collins Isaac speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “Spin,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. “Spin” is about two Liberian immigrants making a new life in Appalachia. In this conversation, Cheryl talks about the inspiration behind this story: writing from music and toward beautiful, sensual language. She also discusses Liberia’s interesting cultural history, her writing and revision process, and what it’s like to do a writing residency in Edith Wharton’s bedroom.

Image of Cheryl Collins's headshot and the Issue 23 cover (piece of toast on turquoise background)

Podcast: Cheryl Collins Isaac on “Spin”
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Podcast: Nathan Jordan Poole on “Idlewild”

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Transcript: Nathan Jordan Poole Podcast.

Nathan Jordan Poole speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Idlewild,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. In this conversation, Nathan talks about doing seasonal work at Christmas tree farms, the workers from all walks of life he met there, and how those experiences and those people helped to inspire this story. He also discusses his writing and revision process, his story collections and future projects, and why he chooses to write unromantically about rural life.

Image of Nathan Poole's headshot and the Issue 23 cover (piece of toast on turquoise background)

Podcast: Nathan Jordan Poole on “Idlewild”
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Hummingbird Tantra

By CORRIE WILLIAMSON

 

 

Everybody wants to let go, but how do you let go if you
        don’t hold things?

               —Daniel Odier, Tantric Quest

 

Red draws their tiny eye, and every hummingbird
feeder you can buy blooms a plastic, stoic
ruby, effigy of flower, tadasana of red. Already
they have eaten me out of sugar, but forgetful today

Hummingbird Tantra
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Idlewild

By NATHAN JORDAN POOLE

December evenings, his wife and daughter would linger at the kitchen window to watch the deer come down their switchbacks. There was a stand of chinkapins. The deer would prize the nuts from the urchin-shaped husks. He can see his wife leaning over the sink. His daughter on a stool beside her.

He once cherished this time of year. Days of red sumac and rime, days when the rock walls along the mountain parkway bared swags of gray ice. The rhododendron would curl up like tubes, near blue. Everything on the hillsides would be exposed, including the deer. He sees them standing there still, two images of each other across time, their red aprons on, matching bows at the back of their waists, watching the deer. Such a small, true pleasure, to watch something wild and vulnerable. He rides along the parkway, heading home, knowing his wife and daughter will not be there. He watches the roadbed for ice, for rocks that broke free in the first hard frost. It’s an old habit, the way a parent drives, wary of any threat.

Idlewild
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The Woman in the Well

By ANU KUMAR

 

For nearly two years of my life, I lived with a ghost. It was when my father, a civil servant, was posted in Sambalpur, a now forgotten town in northern Odisha, a state in India’s east. Newspapers then, and even now, always added the descriptor “India’s poorest state” whenever Odisha made the headlines. This happened in the late 1980s, when several hunger-related deaths were reported in a tribal-dominated district in the state’s west, and a decade later, after an Australian missionary was burnt to death, along with his two sons, by a group led by a Hindu fanatic.

The Woman in the Well
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Side Mirror

J.D. SCRIMGEOUR

You’re trying to reattach your car’s side mirror
but your ungloved fingers can’t remove
the protective strip from the two-sided tape,
and the mid-morning sun angles into your eyes

as you try to align and fasten the plastic clips.
You’re floundering in flashes of light and dark,
so after a few minutes you scoot inside
because January’s cold, and ask your wife for help,

Side Mirror
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