December 9, 2018

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Kyoto Journal, Ken Rogers

December 9, 2018

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The Common, Jennifer Acker


The Common editor, Jennifer Acker, talks with FUSE about her experience with editing and publishing. The Common is a biannual literary magazine based at Amherst College that has been recently cited by The New Yorker as a journal that’s found its way.  It publishes fiction, essays, poetry, documentary vignettes, and images that embody “a modern sense of place.” The editors seek to capture an old idea: that the extraordinary can be found in the commonplace.


Let’s start at the beginning. How did you become interested in editing? What path led you to the position you’re in now?
What I love about magazines is that they involve a sustained community because issues are continually published over the years, unlike a book which is a one-time affair…for a few years until the author’s next book. A magazine brings together a group of readers with similar literary interests; in our case it’s an excitement about sense of place.

Editing is a special relationship with authors and with writing.

If you don’t mind, I’ll point you toward a local TV interview that includes some of the magazine genesis story:


This is a relatively young journal. As the The Common grows and evolves, what goals do you have for it?
In the fall, for Issue 04, we have a special portfolio of contemporary Anglophone South African poetry. The following year will likely include pieces that grow out of the M