The Most-Read Pieces of 2023

As our new year of publishing and programming picks up speed, we at The Common wanted to reflect on the pieces that made last year such a great one! We published over 200 pieces online and in print in 2023. Below, you can browse a list of the six most-read pieces of 2023 to see which stories, essays, and poems left an impact on readers. 


Two Poems from The Spring of Plagues by Ana Carolina Assis, translated by Heath Wing

bird on a branch

“i wish I could / prevent your death / and bury your body alive / in the puny damp / earth
we tended / so that it kept on living / mandioca corn banana / would not sprout forth / 
but instead / acerola cherry blackberry pitanga hog plum.” 

Read more. 

January 2023 Poetry Feature, with work by Tina Cane, Myronn Hardy, and Marc Vincenz

Purple flowers close up 
“Sheila had IHOP     delivered to her apartment     in El Alto, NY    / on January 6th    
so she could kick back     self-proclaimed terrorist     / that she is     and eat pancakes
     while watching white supremacists / storm the Capital.”

Read more. 

The Story of A Box by Jeffrey Harrison 

box with art on the inside   
“Duchamp gave my grandparents the Boîte-en-valise in the early 1960s. It was one of many handmade boxes Duchamp created containing miniature versions of his paintings and other works. This item… might have been the most intriguing to my siblings and me.”

Read more. 


Dispatch from Moscow, Idaho by Afton Montgomery

Moscow Idaho plain    
“The neighbor children are in the Evangelical cult that Vice and The Guardian wrote about last year. They’re not allowed to speak to us, which is a thing no one has ever said aloud but is true, nonetheless. This town is full of true things that no one says aloud.”

Read more. 

Five Poems by Serbian Poet Milena Marković, translated by Steven and Maja Teref

clothes hanging on a line in front of yellow building 
“the girl isn’t wearing warm socks / some men catcall her at the bus station / she pretends not to hear them / the barking dog chases the escaping sun / there used to be a landfill / behind the supermarket / black birds used to have lunch / and even dinner there.” 

Read more. 

Farmworker Poetry Feature, with work by Rodney Gomez

eye of a hurricane

“If I sang I was sinful, I was animal. Stole sips from circumscribed fountains.
I said murciélago, my knuckles drew a ruler. I said San Judas, my arm was viced.
Survived by christening the bruise a train track.”

Read more. 



Thanks for a great year! We are excited to continue sharing work by writers all over the world with you in 2024. Keep up with the art, prose, and poetry we publish each week by subscribing to our newsletter

The Most-Read Pieces of 2023

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Author portrait of Jeffrey Harrison


It was just doing what it needed to do / to survive, yet we watched through the window // amazed by its relentlessness, / like someone making the same / obvious point over and over, / until we gave in to the amusement / I know my father would have felt / at the way, between bursts of pecking, / its head popped up.

A Good Girl in the People’s Republic

When she stepped outside and closed the door, the iron handle was so cold, it felt like it was burning. With the basket on her arm, Fu Rong slipped her hands into a pair of cotton mittens her mother had made. She knew she would warm up once she started walking.

headshots of the authors reading at tc's festival of debut authors

Join us for the 2024 Festival of Debut Authors!

Join The Common's team on March 27th at 7pm for our 2024 Festival of Debut Authors, an evening devoted to emerging talents! This virtual celebration will highlight poets and prose writers Felice Belle, Jordan Escobar, Irina Hrinoschi, amika elfendi, Nina Perrotta and Shanna Tan.