iiii Magazine is an independent arts and culture publication, based in London and Manchester. We talk about culture in the sense suggested by Francis Bacon, when he said of intellectual enrichment: 'the culture and manurance of minds’. Our approach to culture is the same: that something bright and engaging may be derived from detritus. We love cultural ephemera in particular, and despite Bacon’s near-perfect turn of phrase, it is the position of the magazine that it is not sufficient. We publish articles that stretch our assumptions of what culture can be, so long as they are forged with originality.
We place no limits on subject matter or form — we have published incisive criticism, personal essays and memoirs, humour pieces and odes to oddities — but we take as a guiding principle this from Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman (1967):
‘Always ask any questions that are to be asked […] Turn everything you hear to your own advantage. Always carry a repair outfit. Take left turns as much as possible. Never apply your front brake first’.
¶ Work With Us
iiii Magazine is a non-profit organisation, and our modest team of editors, reporters, and social scribes work on a voluntary basis. We do have plans to address this in the future. As it is we are looking for a creative, driven individual to join the team, to help shape future editions. If you would like to work for iiii Magazine, do send a CV and a cover letter outlining the sort of role you would like to take to email@example.com. We will do our best to get back to you quickly.
¶ Forthcoming Editions
A Publication by iiii Magazine: A look at football culture through twenty classic kits
(crest) is a book that entwines history, design, and football culture to enliven debate about belonging — both local and national — in a fractious British and European moment. Classic football kits are artefacts highly sought after by collectors and fans alike. Is this a question of design, of a club’s success, or of nostalgia? Can it be all or none of these things? In twenty short essays by twenty writers, (crest) charts the peculiar histories of each of the 2018/19 Premier League football clubs through the lens of a prized classic kit from the past decades. The book takes football seriously at its root, and looks at how larger forces drive the sense of allegiance of football-loving individuals — what hidden personal stories make the Beautiful Game beautiful when it can seem so ugly?
Produced by iiii Magazine, (crest) will feature quality photography and minimalist design. iiii encourages deep and engaged archival research, as well as idiosyncratic and strange personal stories. Whatever the mode or the form, iiii Magazine is committed to providing generous editorial support to writers.
The online publication continues all year round, and publishes articles in three broad categories:
- Esoterica and funny writing [the stranger, more parochial, the better]
- Long-form interviews and features
- The 500 [react, respond in 500 words to an artefact, a lyric, a piece of punctuation, anything]
If your text does not fit into one of the above categories, don't fret, we just need a pitch. Please send a query or an extract from your text to firstname.lastname@example.org with SUBMISSION in the subject line. Work should be previously unpublished; but we will consider work under consideration elsewhere if you let us know. We are run by a team of volunteers, and thus we are unfortunately not yet in a position to offer a fee.
Please provide a short author’s bio-line which will be published under your piece. 'Algenon Overling is a fictional writer based in 12th Century Denmark. He likes to relax with his kestrel and his crossbow. Good with kids’.
Please defer to the short style guide. It not only saves on editorial nit-picking, but illustrates commitment to the publication.
- Oxford commas, yes. In lists of three or more things, include a comma between the final two, before the ‘and’ (Manchester, Leeds, and London).
- Titles of books, films, exhibitions italicised. Titles of artworks ‘Like This’ (2018).
- One space after full-stops. Always.
- ‘Use single quotation marks “except for quotes within quotes” at all times’.
- Include spaces before and after em-dashes. (I wouldn’t — but for in unlikely circumstances — consider a teacake).
- Dates: 5 May 2016 / Decades: 1980s.
- Special formatting requirements are difficult to manage on an optimised website, but we will always try to meet a writer’s needs.
Notes on Listening: Cécile McLorin Salvant
‘And then one morning upon waking up, it's almost nothing but it's there', sings Cécile McLorin Salvant a haunting song. ‘A dull ache in the hollow of your back'.
This song, Le Mal de Vivre, appears in McLorin Salvant’s album For One to Love released in 2015, when Cécile was only 25. One doesn’t need to know French to understand Le Mal de Vivre — the malaise of being. With her voice, Cécile chronicles the oscillation between quiet, dull desperation and the timid optimism which emerges with the accomplishment of a song and finally with life.
Originally written by French singer Barbara in the 1960s, the song has come to be, thanks to Cecile and, before her, the rendition by Stacey Kent, a jazz standard. Not all jazz standards are written by jazz composers. What makes them “standards” is their revisiting by musicians throughout the years and their wide recognition by the audience; what makes them jazz is their flexibility, their openness towards the reception of new voices, their space ultimately for novelty. ‘A quiet exercise in freedom’, Oliveira, the Buenos Aires émigré, calls jazz in Julio Cortazar’s novel Hopscotch, while he dances in the minuscule Paris apartment to a record by Charlie Parker.
What Cécile achieves syllable by syllable in her rendition is namely to state, in song, the barely perceptible moments when our life’s meaning disintegrates and we are left paralyzed by nothingness. Notice the way Cécile stretches “rien”, which means “nothing”, the accusative case of the Latin term for “thing”. With conviction in her voice, she concretizes this barely perceptible ennui. Hear her daring timing; she stretches the phrases as if she speaks rather than sings. She dives into the lyric, the song’s blood, like an actress, and yet still someone who knows of sorrow, dullness, closed spaces.
‘And then without a warning in advance, it comes, it takes a stroll from river bank to river bank'.
For a study of the voice: listen closely to Cécile and you will hear. What better way to put it than does Calvino: ‘A voice involves the throat, saliva, infancy, the patina of experienced life, the mind’s intentions, the pleasure of giving a personal form to sound waves. What attracts you is the pleasure this voice puts into existing'.
Finally notice the partita-like flourishing of the piano performed by Aaron Diehl, Cécile’s loyal accompanist since her second album in 2013, as the song reaches its end. Cécile then sings ‘La joie de vivre', replacing the title’s malaise with joy. A counterpart to the uplift expressed by the vocalist, the piano’s allegretto fills the space and in very fine ways articulates the quiet triumph accomplished in song.
Curious how this song stays with you, seeps into the daily moments, as if to keep you company during these crises, unseen and private, of the meaninglessness of things. When it gets dreary, an amulet to put around your neck, and let sing.