Clark Writes editor Laura Barker was the winner of this year’s Loring Holmes & Ruth Dodd Drama Contest. Her play explores a multi-racial family before and after the infamous 2016 election. Laura was inspired by how race, sexuality, and gender played into the political environment we live in today. Read 2016 below.
KEVIN: The father. A easy-going man who tries to see the good in everything.
ISABELLA: His Hispanic wife. She’s too busy being pregnant with baby number three to care about the election.
FELIX: Kevin’s son. He’s flamboyantly gay and hell-bent on being a YouTube celebrity.
VALERIE: Kevin’s daughter. An outspoken liberal.
OLIVER: Felix’s boyfriend. Sweet, socially awkward.
CRAIG and FREDDIE: Patrons of Kevin’s bar.
REPORTER: A reporter covering the events.
A Indiana suburb in the year leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election.
ACT I, Scene 1
(Afternoon, the living room of a typical 21st century suburban house. ISABELLA is plays a game on her iPad, a hand on her stomach. FELIX applies purple lipstick and checks his reflection in his phone, taking the occasional selfie. VALERIE does homework. FELIX sighs.)
You know what your abuela would have to say about that.
Yes, yes, “You’re not bored, you’re just boring.” Well, what does she know? Bingo is the most exciting thing in her world. I want to do something. Let’s go out to eat tonight. There’s an incredible little Thai place that just opened up and everyone’s been raving about their dragon berry nom yen. Or we could go for a sunset walk on the beach.
Or you could do your homework.
I wasn’t asking you.
You only want to do that stuff so you can post it on Instagram.
So what? There’s nothing wrong with a little glamour. Not everyone wants to live their life in sweatpants. Continue reading
Christian Farren is a senior English major and Department representative who has “always had a fantasy/supernatural bent” but has been experimenting with darker themes after reading an H.P. Lovecraft anthology last Christmas. The following poem focuses on stories that Christian “started and abandoned” when he was younger, brought back to life by his new inspiration. Read “Opus” below.
All things tender dear.
Forged in dragon bone.
A succubus’s smile
Honeyed venom, demon’s guile.
Pagan paramour, born of dying dreams!
Condemned to the cold,
But I am no stranger here.
Know you are loved. Treasured.
Through the twilight, I will keep you safe.
The following collection of short, insect-themed poems is Sebastian Baker’s “way of trying to dramatize the lives of creatures that we typically think of as insignificant.” He bestows tone, personality, and sensational stories upon everything from a firefly to a roach through vivid scenes that turn their quiet existence into something thrilling and extraordinary. The alliteration and careful diction used to craft these poems made them wonderful pieces to perform out loud at our last creative writing forum. Read the compilation below.
F. Sebastian Baker
I see them sip sweet nectar
And crunch crispy greens.
With envious venom in my gut
I chew my bitter brew
Though I hate the taste.
I know I’m slow and soft and fat
We all are easy treats
But when the hunter hungers
My pestilence protects me.
I’ll imbibe my bitter bile
To survive when others die.
One day I’ll sleep on silken sheets
Inside a coffin, a cocoon
Broken down, dissolved, digested
To be reborn anew.
And all shall call me Monarch. Continue reading
Written by junior English/Philosophy major Sam Marlinga, “A Day in the Life” is a brief but powerful impressionistic portrait of depression. As the speaker goes about his “pale,” nightmarish existence, he develops a troubling relationship with a nevertheless alluring woman – a clever personification that he’s not quite ready to embrace. Read more below.
A Day in the Life
I met her when the world ended. Sure, the bombs hadn’t dropped and everyone just went about their lives in the morning, but as far as I was concerned, it was all over. The infinite and miniscule choices we make ultimately determine the end of our lives. That is where I met her. We’d seen each other before, briefly, and only from a distance. Now we were face to face, and my god she was enchanting with her quiet, knowing smile and grey eyes piercing with finality.
I didn’t go with her then, though part of me wanted to, we just talked for a while. She was the patient type, elegant and kind. Then she left, without a word of when she’d return, but I knew she’d be back. So I kept moving. Life was normal. Just like it was for everyone else. But every once in a while we’d talk to each other, like sending love letters during a war. She came to say hi when my friend left us. I remember sitting with her in silence for a long time, just looking into those grey eyes. Continue reading
The following lyrics are the work of Asir Arif, one of Clark’s most beloved writers, performers, and producers of music. Asir is a junior international student from Bangladesh, a psychology major, and the director of the Music Society of Clark University. On the topic of music’s role in his life, he says, “I’ve been a musician for about 8 years now and I practically live and breathe music – it is both my best platform (to express and communicate) and my preferred coping mechanism. I’ve been playing with my band 3 Piece Meal for almost a year now, and I write all the lyrics for our songs. I mostly write about issues and topics that seem important to a lot of people, and can potentially inspire people, and shed light on certain aspects of this confusing world.”
The lyrics to “And She Was Green” stemmed from Arif’s discontent with Middle Eastern conflicts and the ‘war for profit’ ideology. The song will be featured on 3 Piece Meal’s upcoming album, Tomorrow’s Forecast.
And She Was Green
Asir Arif (3 Piece Meal)
Before these hands, they go to the place that you want
Fallen soldiers all drowned in the taste of your tongue
You like attention, a force of addiction
Everyone persists; no one’s giving you up
Windows are breaking, the hearts they are aching
The force of a storm, foreign puddles are shaking
The ripple effect, we stepped over the edge
We’ve gone too far now, what’s the price that you pledge?
They take, and they take, never give her away
You’re too rich, yes too rich, that’s the price that you pay Continue reading
“Moon Juice,” a short play by Clark senior Raechel Segal, was performed in the final of Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s 10-Minute Play Contest on August 24. From Raechel’s synopsis: “Hippies rejoice! It’s time for the Manchester Radio Show! Will Moon Juice steal the spotlight? Or will a cis, white, and racist man-band show them up? Who is ‘The Real MVP’ in the battle of human dignity? Who knows? But clap your hands, and give it up for Moon Juice!”
Check out a selection from the script below.
. . .
Hey, everyone, I’m sorry, but this guy got our name wrong again. We are Moon Juice! Not like there’s juice on the moon, but was it Jupiter where we recently found some clot? Gotta clean the planets, take good care of them to prevent early onset juice clots. Anyways, we’re actually gonna play on the carpet with you all.
Sexy howls from the audience. Everyone sits on the carpet and enjoys Moon Juice’s jams. Picture the perfect combination of The Kinks, Violent Femmes, and Velvet Underground, or just folk rock. Suddenly, a fake feminist appears.
Busting through the door
Hey, we gonna pump up the party?
This is folk rock.
Doesn’t mean I can’t get turnt. Let’s jam! Everybody, get up! Off the rug, it’s time slam now! Continue reading
On behalf of the Clark University English Department, the Clark Writes Board of Editors would like to wish you all a successful Fall 2016 semester! We’re excited to announce that we’ll resume activity this week, so get ready for some contests, forums, and more writing from our talented Clark community. We’d love to see what you have to offer, so check out our submission guide and send us your work!
Catch us in Red Square tomorrow from 1-2:30 p.m. to learn more about Clark Writes and be featured in this year’s What are you writing? collage!
Our first creative writing forum of the semester will take place from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30. Location is TBA. Email email@example.com or contact one of the editors to sign up to read!
Meet the Board of Editors
Jess Hoops, Editor-in-Chief
I’m an English/Philosophy double major who drinks a lot of black coffee and wears a lot of black clothing. I enjoy Greek mythology, putting exorbitant amounts of hot sauce on my food, pretending I live in the Anderson and Beck houses, and reading horror novels at night.
Laura Barker, Editor and Social Media Coordinator
I’m thrilled to be returning to the Clark Writes Board of Editors. When I’m not aggressively promoting the creative writing clubs at Clark, you can find me procrastinating on my novel or Instagramming pictures of my two cats, Kowalski and Bobby. Continue reading
Thank you to all who submitted to our Spring 2016 contest, and congratulations to our winners:
First Place: “High Tide” by Aubrey Haskell
Second Place: “Occupational Disappointment” by Mal Sklar
Third Place: “Tree Trough (Raised to Die)” by Nick Porcella
Find the winning submissions below.
It just seemed so wrong.
The sharp, slimy rocks that had sliced his left foot open, leaving a raw, jagged gash soon gritted and salt sore. His hasty and unsatisfactory remedy, six Adventure Time Band Aids. The muffled stillness of the beach, sky bare save for the pale mid-morning sun and a few wispy cloud puffs. The cold, tightly-packed sand. The initial echo of their voices, now long passed. The tidal pools and nooks and crannies that should have been teeming with life, somehow underwhelming. But it was only May, after all. Perhaps he was expecting too much. Continue reading
Before I begin the biannual descent into madness known as finals week, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who contributed to the growth and success of Clark Writes during this academic year: Continue reading