Common Read

The Thomas College Common Read is our invitation to join our academic community of individuals who share and explore ideas with each other.

2024 Common Read

The 2024 Common Read is Mary Oliver’s poem “Starlings in Winter.

Thomas College 2024 Common Read Assignment: May Oliver's poem, 'Starlings in Winter'

About the Author

Mary Jane Oliver (1935 – 2019) was an American poet who found her inspiration in nature. Her modest language and striking imagery conveyed a profound connection with the environment. Oliver’s writing encourages us to appreciate the wonder of the natural world around us. Her first collection of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, was published in 1963, when she was 28. During the early 1980s, Oliver taught at Case Western Reserve University. She was recognized with the National Book Award, the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1984. Her legacy continues to grow, inviting readers to explore the beauty of the natural world through her verses.

Common Read Instructions

After reading and reflecting on this year’s selection, we’d ask you to create a written response. During Fall Orientation, you will have an opportunity to discuss what you have written along with other students in your class.

Your written response is due to the Provost’s office by Friday, August 2. For more information about the read, click the button above.

Previous Common Reads

  • “The Hill We Climb”, Amanda Gorman
  • “Still We Rise” and “On the Pulse of Morning,” Maya Angelou
  • We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • A Hope in the Unseen, Ron Suskind
  • I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai
  • Dear Marcus, Jerry McGill
  • An Invisible Thread, Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
  • The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore
  • Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • The Pact, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt
  • The Last Lecture, Jeffrey Zaslow and Randy Pausch
  • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin