Letters of James Agee to Father Flye

Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”

The Arab Had a Name

Narrated by the nameless victim's brother, Kamal Daoud's novel asks: Did Camus intend to use the Algerian murder victim in 'The Stranger' as a disposable prop?

Poem | Gunflint Lake: Sunset

A fiery sun / made a path toward us / on the rippled water / and scattered pink shavings / over the rest...

Bookmarks | How Racism Speaks

Claudia Rankine’s 'Citizen' and Jeffery Renard Allen’s 'Song of the Shank' both take up the issue of race in America in jagged and beautiful poetry and prose.

Poem | Aunt Grace Wears Beautiful Clothes

Asleep, she has no idea she is old. // She’s running uphill, no lightfoot, but quite fast / past the houses and driveways of family friends / toward the higher...

Letters | Academic discipline, confirmation, ethnic resentments, etc.

Readers write in on how academic, humanistic, and prophetic cultures should be balanced, when kids should be confirmed, and why nothing's better than the Eucharist.

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

The Age of the Crisis of Man

Many modern American thinkers have asked, often and with anxiety, "What is man?" In his latest book, Mark Greif thinks we've outgrown this—and it's a good thing.

Why the Romantics Matter

In his final book, the late Peter Gay expands familiar notion of the Romantic rebellion against Enlightenment rationality, to the focus on artistic self-expression.

Poem | The Instants

After last night’s rain, the world begun again—you know what I mean, you have been here often...
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