Culture Shock: Hello Summer, Flash Fiction Contest, The Normal Gallery, Duke City Classic

Hello, Now Write A Story

Summer Olsson
3 min read
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Readers of last week’s Culture Shock know that I’m replacing the intrepid John Bear as Arts and Lit editor. It’s a pleasure to jump right into his scuffed and holey shoes (that’s for you, John) and, as one of my first projects, announce our annual Flash Fiction Contest. I encourage every writer and would-be writer in the area to take an hour, get that very short story that’s brewing in your brain down on paper and send it my way. The top four entries will be published in this here paper, and winners will get cool prizes, like books and gift certificates. Keep your submissions to 119 words and email to

Culture Shock: Change Is Normal Change Is Normal

Eli Wentzel-Fisher, operator of The Normal Gallery, will be passing the torch to Portland, Maine transplant (and all-around generative guy) Andrew Lyman. The official switch isn’t until July, but on Saturday, May 14, there will be a party to celebrate it. Lyman describes the gathering as “quite the Swiss Army Knife of an event.” A new zine named “Bands!” will release its first issue, some movies will be projected and some “night games” will be played. Lyman’s new band, The Pissfits, will rock covers of Gang of Four, Wire, Pylon and “secret stuff.” It sounds like you better just show up if you want to know what’s going on. The free event at The Normal Gallery (1514 Fourth Street SW) starts at 9 p.m. As for Lyman’s plans for The Normal, he will continue to curate art shows, live music and other performances, as well as collaborate with as many artists as possible to dream up new ideas for the space.

Culture Shock: Ride Your Bike Ride Your Bike

The second annual Duke City Classic—originally the brainchild of David Polka and Jacob Klink—is upon us. This year’s event was organized mainly by Polka, and May 14 through 22 will see tons of bicycling events, including a “duchess ride” (ladies-only) an “alleycat race” (urban and often informal) and a brewery tour. Sam Peifer from Fixed & Free bike shop says participants don’t need to preregister; they can just show up at an event in which they’d like to ride. He notes that each ride will be friendly and anybody can try anything—except maybe the bike polo tournament. “That’s going to be a bit more advanced,” he says. “If you haven’t played polo, that’s probably not the place to go out and try it for the first time.” There will be something for everyone, whether you’re a competitive fixie rider, a weekend cruiser or even a laid-back recumbent cyclist. Find some details and a schedule at or

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