We demanded, we begged, we guilt-tripped our parents for money. We had reached the age where we cared about our image. We no longer accepted garage sale clothes or Kmart blue-light sale items. We wanted the hip-hugging, sailor-pant flap Chemin de Fer jeans, we wanted the upside-down-U-stitch-on-the-butt Dittos, we wanted the iconic Ralph Lauren polo, and we wanted the clunky Connie Clogs. We wanted the clothes our American middle school classmates strutted around in.
As this week of costumes, candy, and spooky Halloween cheer comes to an end, we at The Common are gearing up for the launch of our fall issue! Issue 26—full of vivid poems and prose from all over the world, as well as a special portfolio of writing and art from the migrant farmworker community—launches this coming Monday. After a brief Friday Reads hiatus, to get you excited about the issue, we return this month with recommendations from Issue 26 contributors Ned Balbo and Nora Rodriguez Camagna. Keep reading to see what’s been on their shelves this fall!
This fall, in its 26th issue, Amherst College’s award-winning literary magazine The Common will publish a special portfolio of writing and art from the farmworker and farm laborer community: the migrant, seasonal, and often immigrant laborers who make up much of the US agricultural workforce.
Co-edited by Miguel M. Morales, the portfolio includes work by twenty-seven contributors with roots in this community, most of whom started work in the fields as children. It reflects their diverse experiences—long hours and low pay, protests and picket lines, the fierce resilience of their families, the warmth of their communities, and the satisfaction of doing hard work will, among loved ones.
The Common is a print and online literary journal with a mission to deepen our individual and collective sense of place: to reach from there to here. Since its debut in 2011, The Common has published nearly 1900 emerging and established authors from 53 countries, developed unique workshops and educational programs, and built a local and global community of writers and readers of all ages, all from our office in Frost Library.
On November 9th and 10th, as a part of this mission, we will host two events on the Amherst College campus celebrating our Issue 26 farmworker portfolio and exploring the relationship between its questions of land, migration, and belonging and our home here in Western Massachusetts. Contributors Nora Rodriguez Camagna and Julián David Bañuelos, as well as portfolio co-editor Miguel M. Morales, will be guests at both events.