Nathan Jordan Poole, "Idlewild," The Common magazine (Spring, 2022)
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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.

Nathan Jordan Poole is the author of two books of fiction: Father Brother Keeper, a collection of stories selected by Edith Pearlman for the Mary McCarthy Prize, and Pathkiller as the Holy Ghost, selected by Benjamin Percy as the winner of the Quarterly West Novella Contest. He is a recipient of the Narrative Prize, a Milton Fellowship at Seattle Pacific University, a Joan Beebe Fellowship at Warren Wilson College, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at Sewanee School of Letters, and a North Carolina Artist Fellowship. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Blue Ridge, South Carolina.

Read Nathan’s story “Idlewild” in The Common at

In this conversation, Nathan recommends The Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter, available here from Graywolf Press.

The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.

Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her debut novel is forthcoming from Putnam Books. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She holds an MA in literature from Queen Mary University of London, and a BA from Smith College. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.

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