The Night Light

The Night Light is an online magazine based in Manchester, England. We're a disorganised cooperative publishing stories, plays, poems, essays and artwork.

Jul 12

Woody Guthrie’s only completed novel to be released next year

Woody Guthrie would have been 100 years old last week. His proletarian folk songs have influenced generations of socially conscious American lyricists and he is rightly lauded as hero by socialists and songwriters alike. Socialist songwriters love him, coughbillybraggcough.

Recently divorced patron of the arts and sometime pirate impersonator Johnny Depp has partnered with the author and history professor Douglas Brinkley to publish Guthrie’s only known novel House of Earth next year.

The novel tells the story of a hardworking rural couple in Texas defending their run-down home from the external pressures of developing capitalism and the dust storms of the 1930s. Drawing comparisons to Steinbeck and DH Lawrence and written largely in colloquial dialogue, the novel, according to the Library of Congress’ Alan Lomax, was “quite simply the best material I’d ever seen written about that section of the country.”

Guthrie completed House of Earth in 1947 and immediately retired it to focus again on songwriting. Lomax, Bob Dylan and the filmmaker Irving Lerner were among the few people to read the manuscript.

The recently discovered typescript is on display at the University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library and will be published in 2013.

- New York Times
- McFarlin Library
- Woody Guthrie

Jun 28


Chris Ballantyne.

Untitled Intersection (Woods), 2008. Acrylic on panel 48” x 36”.

Backyard Fences (Plank). India ink on paper 12” x 16”.

You can see more work on his website,, although there’s currently nothing more recent than 2008. There are few more recent images at Hosfelt Gallery and at Steven Zevitas Gallery

The chap who punched Glenn Danzig is releasing a book

Danny Marianino from the band North Side Kings once punched Glenn Danzig from some bands you’ve actually heard of. To prove that there’s more to him than this incident he’s going to release a book called, erm, Don’t Ever Punch a Rockstar: A Collection of Hate Mail and Other Crazy Rumors. Danzig is very awesome.

- Punknews

Why do Scousers keep electing very young councillors?

In the last few years Liverpudlian voters have elected several politicians not even out of their teens, sparking a bit of debate about how much age matters in politics. “The other night I chose to go to a meeting rather than watch the football,” says one. Well done.

The Night Light’s been pitching a series about an 18 year old councillor that would fall somewhere between The Thick of It and Diary of a Wimpy Kid for years. Someone really needs to hook us up with that one.

- Liverpool Echo

New WHY? song and tour!

In a rare bit of Night Light news that’s actually less than 24 hours old, genre disregarding hip-hop/indie rock/folk band WHY? yesterday announced a new EP to be released in August and a new album in the autumn!

The EP will be called The Sod in the Seed and this is what the title track sounds like:

WHY? also announced a little European tour for October, including a stop at the Central Methodist Church in Manchester. YES!

Oct 5 Düsseldorf - New Fall Festival
Oct 6 Evreux - L’Abordage
Oct 7 Paris - Maroquinerie
Oct 8 Brighton - Old Market
Oct 9 London - Electric Ballroom
Oct 10 Manchester- Central Methodist Church
Oct 11 Bristol - Fleece 
Oct 12 Glasgow - SWG3
Oct 13 Oxford - The Bullingdon
Oct 15 Berlin - Volksbühne

- Stereogum
- WHY?

May 30

They’re emptying out libraries in the middle of the night now

The Save Kensal Rise Library campaign was shocked yesterday to learn that council workers and police had ‘plundered’ the library in the middle of the previous night. Council workers and police removed books, artwork, furniture and memorial plaques between 2am and 3am Tuesday.

The council is claiming that the matter is out of their hands and in the hands of the library’s original landlord All Souls College, Oxford. As late as March, All Souls were claiming to be “happy to consider keeping the library open”.

More than likely, all is proper and correct with the closure because nothing says proper and correct like sneaking into public buildings in the middle of the night and stripping them bare.

The library was opened in 1900 by Mark Twain.

- The Guardian

Neil Gaiman gives a graduation speech

Some pretty serious Mr Holland’s Opus shit. Brought tears to our eyes.

May 28

Don’t fuck with Occupy Wall Street’s books, unless you want to get sued

Last November police raided OWS’ camp at Zucotti Park, confiscating the contents of their ‘People’s Library’ in the process. Of the roughly 3,600 books swiped by the rozzers, only 1000 have been returned, 200 of them in ‘unusable’ condition.

Not the sort to take things lying down, the plucky OWS-ers filed a federal lawsuit against the City on Thursday.

- Reuters

Exciting news if you’re excited by the idea of a Confederacy of Dunces film!

The long-intended film version of a Confederacy of Dunces was recently revived with the promising news that Zach Galifianakis could now star, with Flight of the Conchords’ James Bobin directing. A script is currently being written by Phil Johnston who wrote the thoroughly passable Cedar Rapids and the upcoming Alexander Payne film Nebraska

The novel by John Kennedy Toole was published in 1980, 11 years after the author’s suicide. It won a Pulitzer in 1981.

- /Film

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