Good things come in threes, according to the Icelandic crone who blessed our yoghurt crops, but this week they come two by two like the giraffes and the monkeys and the unicorns marching onto the yacht that Noah built.
Two Flashers! If you like being haunted by words rather than spooky ghosts, we have two beautifully written flashers for you. Sauced by Nick Couldwell will place you in a moment of time that you have not visited. You will hear what the child hears and feel the same muted emotions of a person who has been let down too many times, still cautiously hoping for better. The Eighth Hole by Dominic Carew will haunt you in a different way, and place you in the skin of a thirteen year old girl, ruminating on the aftermath of trauma. Both are accompanied by wonderful artwork by Luke Marcatili.
Two short listed Viva la Novella authors! Meet Jane Rawson. Her green hair matches her green shirt, and as impressed as I am by that, I am even more impressed by her short Q&A. Meet Libby Sommer next. Her Rumi quote feels like essential meditation for writers, and she's having Paddington Bear over for brunch. Marmalade sandwich?
Two AltTxt pieces! Firstly, C’s Dick: on digital spaces and a new language of desire by Emma Marie Jones, takes a longer look at the dick-pic phenomenon that is emblematic of sexuality in the modern age. For a fascinating insight into modern intimacy with emojis, this is a must read. Erotic, intelligent prose from an erotic, intelligent writer.
Now come, the moment of madness! Executive Chairman’s Letter to the Shareholders, 2014 Annual Report by David Thomas Henry Wright is the longest title and author name I have been forced to type in recent time, but it was worth it. Do you remember the last work meeting you had where all you thought about was how you were sick of office birthdays, or KPIs, or the repetitive songs on a loop, or that one dude that kept telling you to smile, or that manager that you could just imagine feeling the life drain out of as you held your perfectly manicured hands around his neck, panting as the beat of the blood flowing through his jugular begins to slow and slow and slow and his limbs fall slack beneath your body like a spent lover, spent now to breathe no more? Well I’m sure you’ll like this piece. A modest parasite lets another modest parasite know what he really thinks of the company.
Lastly, singularly, if you missed the last Late Night Library, then you missed out on words, music AND JAM. Your next chance for late night shenanigans will be Wednesday March 25, 8-9pm. Join the gang for an Erotica Sketch Jam (you don’t want to miss out on more jam, do you?) featuring Lady Sings it Better as musical guest, Maeve Marsden as cheeky orator, and illustrators Sam Paine and Ben Juers as the people most likely to liven the evening with a good old fashioned dick and balls. Grab your FREE tickets here.
Prizes are not just for great pumpkins, Charlie Brown
The Monash University Undergraduate Creative Writer’s Prize is open once more, with $5000 of prize money on offer as well as VIP tickets for all of the shortlisted writers to attend the Opening Night Gala of the 2015 Emerging Writers’ Festival. Entries are open to undergraduate and honours students currently studying in Australia or New Zealand. Submission deadline is Friday April 17, winners will be announced on May 26 at the EWF. Details ahoy!
The Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize is open for submissions and will be offering four $5000 prizes. Winners in four categories; fiction, essay, poetry, and graphics or cartoons will be in the running to win. Submissions close at midnight April 1, and winning pieces will be published in a special Fair Australia supplement in Overland 220 this August. Entry is free, details can be found here.
If you are not so much interested in winning money, but very much open to the inheritance of ghosts and general administration duties, why not enter an essay competition to win a bed and breakfast in scenic, lobster obsessed Maine? In 200 words or less, tell the current owner (and winner of the last essay competition, which made her the owner) why you should own the most haunted hotel in this priceless piece of history.
The opposite of deficit
I’ve known for quite some time now that you are little more than an uncultured swine of a human being, and you should be more grateful to have me here to guide you directly towards the BBC iplayer. You may or may not be speaking Greek this month, but I know for a fact that you are not putting in even the most basic effort to speak Ancient Greek. In lieu of classical language, I am going to let you off the hook and advise that you listen to an amazing rendition of the Sophocles tragedy Electra, featuring Kristen Scott Thomas and a supporting cast who recently performed at the Old Vic Theatre in London. Set aside an hour and 24 minutes to immerse yourself in the visceral sound of Electra’s grief and suffering, elevated by music composed by PJ Harvey.
If you need a little more help with understanding Greek tragedy, tune into this episode of In Our Time first, for a little background into the ancient tradition of tragedy as entertainment, and why we are still drawn to it.
One more Greek thing and then I am gone. The Nillumbik Shine Council of Victoria have opened the 2015 Ekphrasis Poetry Award. Being that Ekphrasis is a rhetorical device in which a visual artwork is vividly brought to life in another artistic medium (we all know that, scumbag), the competition calls for poems written in response to works of art from the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection, which can be viewed online. Poems must be up to twelve lines and submitted by 5pm Monday March 30. Click here for details.
Lastly, my love
In closing, here are 50 great novels about madness from Flavorwire. May you look into the abyss and not see googly eyes peering back at you. This is my deepest wish.