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There are two ways to be ordinary: either true ordinary or the false kind.

To be true ordinary you forgo the temptation to be better than you are. You feel no great effort in this. You feel perfectly natural and complete. False ordinary is a different matter entirely. It is an affectation you must work hard at. The mainstream culture is comfortable with ordinary people. There are benefits therefore in holding yourself back. Beware false ordinary, embrace the true. How can you tell which is which, though?

Extraordinary memoirist, novelist and writer-of-all trades Craig Sherborne will tackle the question of ordinariness – its various kinds, what it means, and how to use (or fake) it to your advantage.

Craig Sherborne’s highly acclaimed memoir Hoi Polloi was published in 2005 and shortlisted for several literary awards. Its sequel, Muck, was published in 2007 and won the Queensland Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2008. His first novel, published by Text in 2011 The Amateur Science of Love (Text, 2011) won the 2012 Best Writing Prize and was short-listed for a Victorian Premier’s Literature Award. He is a former Wal Cherry Play of the Year award-winner. His verse-drama, Look at Everything Twice for Me, was published by Currency Press, his first volume of poetry, Bullion, by Penguin in 1995, and his second, Necessary Evil, by Black Inc. in 2005. Sherborne’s journalism and poetry have appeared in most of Australia’s leading literary journals and anthologies.

The School of Life Melbourne Secular Sermon Series

Now, it’s not just religious folk who can get life lessons (and a good stirring of the soul) from a regular Sunday sermon. London’s School of Life offers good ideas for everyday life – and its hugely popular Secular Sermon series arrives in Melbourne in 2013, curated by theatre producer Stephen Armstrong. Join some of Australia’s (and the world’s) most maverick cultural figures as they explore the values we should live by, in hour-long theatrical events that will make you think, reflect and even laugh.

Subjects range from vengeance and lying, to humour and the virtues (or otherwise) of being ‘ordinary’. Expect persuasive polemics delivered with particular passion, communal singing … and possibly even sticky buns with fellow ‘parishioners’. Whimsically pitched, but with a serious purpose, the Secular Sermons will pop up in cultural venues all around Melbourne.

The School of Life Sermons are a co-presentation between Melbourne Conversations, the City of Melbourne’s free public talks program, and The Wheeler Centre with generous support from the Trawalla Foundation.


Craig Sherborne

Craig Sherborne is an acclaimed memoirist, novelist, poet and playwright, best known for Hoi Polloi, Muck and The Amateur Science of Love. Craig is the Sydney-born son of Kiwi publicans. They pursued horseracing for a lifestyle and raised him as a racecourse brat. He was transfixed by the seedy glam... Read more


Dining Hall, Ormond College, the University of Melbourne

49 College Crescent Parkville Victoria 3052

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