Sunday, July 29, 2018

Paige Turner - August hope you’re having a good winter, whatever your version of good may be. I ate pizza in the bath the other day and that helped in the good-winter stakes. And I’ve been reading Yuri Herrera, a Mexican writer, via his translator Lisa Dillman – who somehow brings Mexican street slang to a sharp gnarliness in English. Ooof! The proscriptive lawlessness of the drugking pin’s court in Kingdom Cons and the young artist, creator of corridos, -smugglers tunes- has knocked me sideways. It’s partly a language thing, as is the preoccupation by the narrator in Susanna Moore’s 1990s dark erotic In The Cut, which I’m reading, alongside pre-reading for the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in September. I saw the movie of Into the Cut years ago so the some of the suspense is gone in the read – but the narrator studies street slang of New York, and often makes asides in the text about the joy or strangeness of a word.
Slam Poetry’s a buzz all around the state in August. In the south, SilverWords' slam night, WhamBamSilverSlam returns after a fantastic first event in June. Poets will have a strict 2 minute time limit and there are cashmoneyprizes for the 1st and 2nd place-getters. Judges are selected at random from the audience. Classic slam set up with some ripper poets. 16 August 6.30pm at Irish Murphys, Salamanca.

And up north, Slamduggery’s dropping in on The Cardinels and friends, as they launch their debut album, Sick Fiction. August 18, Greenwood Bar, Launceston.
And pretty much everywhere else are heats for the Australian Poetry Slam, a national literary performance program and comp. In Tasmania these are coordinated and hosted by Tasmanian writer, poet, thrice National Slam Finalist and twice winner of the Launceston Poetry Cup, Yvonne Gluyas, and award winning writer and poet, Joy Elizabeth. The first and second Tasmanian Finals place-getters will receive flights to Sydney, tickets to the Performing Writers Festival and will compete in the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at the Sydney Opera House. Heats - 2nd August in Launceston, 7th August in Hobart, 12th August in Latrobe, 21st August in Deloraine. Tasmanian Final - 25th August in Launceston. For further details, contact Yvonne Gluyas
The Tamar Valley Peace Festival is a program encouraging local groups to raise awareness of peace in our communities by hosting events in early August. Launceston Toastmasters is holding a public meeting and the theme of the evening is ‘Peace and Respect’. Discover how Toastmasters can help you achieve your confidence, leadership and speaking goals at this event on 8th August 2018, 7pm at Enterprize, Launceston. Free with a light supper.

Publisher Forty South’s Van Diemen History Prize is now open for entries. They are seeking excellent nonfiction articles of up to 3000 words on any aspect of Tasmania’s history prior to the 21st century.  This biennial prize is an initiative of Forty South Publishing and the stated aim is to foster quality writing about Tasmanian history. There is a cash prize and publication in Tasmania 40 South, with a selection of the best work published in The Van Diemen Anthology. Entries close on September 24th and an entry fee of $20 per article.  Click here for more details.

Reading for the Revolution #7: Pause, Reflect, Inspire! This month’s discussion will focus on topics covered so far, and how they relate to each other. Ponder the questions:  What are the links between racism and diversity and a universal basic income? Where does this link with notions of democracy or fair governance?
Millie Rooney, who founded this revolutionary conversation space, suggests going back to some of the big picture work of Naomi Klein and George Monbiot.
14th August, 7.30am, upstairs in the Food Store, South Hobart
For information contact

The Society of Women Writers short story competition closes on the 31st of August.  The theme is 'Life Changing'.  For information regarding rules contact Wendy Laing, the comp’s coordinator. or check their website.

I was recently interviewed about my thoughts on whether there an increase of fora and storytelling events in Tasmania. While acknowledging that ‘storytelling’ a la Moth and the magnificent Storytellers Cup at Huon Midwinter (as biased as I may be- I produce it) is quite the mode, there have been stories told on this land for tens of thousands of years, and organisations like the N
ational Book Council of Tasmania, a little known gem, has possibly been running for decades. Their August meeting to be held on August 15 at 1pm and features Dr Tom Dunning speaking about the new collaborative history The Kaleidoscope of Launceston. Second floor, Launceston Library.

Did you see THAT? Library! Not LINC – we’ve dropped the weasely acronym and returned to calling the library, the library. Little victories, my friends, little victories.

If you have some bookish news, I’d love to hear from you

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Paige Turner - July

July already! Two more months of darkness to go, but two months which offer opportunities for all of you wonderful writers and readers hidden in pockets around our obscure and beautiful island. These include:

1) Lots of reading time. The weather, the darkness calls us to refine our activity. Reading is the ultimate in refined.

2) Submitting to the Wheeler Centre’s wonderful initiative The Next Chapter. T
his is for ‘the stories that aren’t being told, the voices we’re not hearing, and the ideas that need patience, care and work to introduce to the world.’ Such a gorgeous premise I could weep. It translates as $15 000 and a mentor to help you develop your work, as well as easing your way towards being published. For more information, head to the Wheeler Centre’s website.

3) Are you a writer who identifies as from Tasmania, Iran or India? Transportation Press is lurching towards our third international collection. Submissions for original short stories close on July 8th. Check out Transportation Press for more details – or email me directly, I am part of the lurching machine that is Trans.

4) Hachette are offering the Richell Prize for an unpublished manuscript again, as well as the chance to apply for a 4 day residential intensive, for which they are partnering with the Queensland Writers Centre. Hachette or for more.

5) On the reading side of things, Silent Reading is in hiatus for July but we hope to be quietly back in August. But Reading for the Revolution’s happening again, this time discussing the notion of Universal Basic Income. 10th July, 7.30am, upstairs in the Food Store in South Hobart. This is organised by the irrepressible Millie Rooney (the world needs more Millies) Contact her for more details, and for a list of the readings.

6) I was disappointed to miss Greg Lehman’s discussion at Society of Editors (Tas) about writing with and about Aboriginal people, and while this roams some different territory, I hope to make it along to the discussion about cultural appropriation at Page and Cup in Hobart on July 18th. They will explore the fine line between cultural appropriation and appreciation, and how it can be navigated sensitively. More details are on their FB page, but get in quickly as places for this mediated discussion are limited.
 7) July 3 will see the launch of a collection of opinion pieces that were gathered as inspirational groundswell for the Communicating: The Heart of Literacy public dialogue, driven by Chatter Matters. Literacy is one of Tasmania’s biggest challenges, and as much as I can harp on about the beauty, challenges and transcendence offered by reading a good book, there are only half our us who have the skills to do this. Half of us Tasmanians do not have functional literacy folks. Ask your politicians what they are doing to address this. Her Excellency the Governor, Kate Warner is launching this collection at Fullers Bookshop.

8) On July 11th in Launceston there’s a great opportunity for authors and prospective authors at Stories Bookshop. This is a free event, starting at 5.15pm. It’s excellent to see Stories stepping into this place, and offering writers a chance to discuss their books, and talk about how the bookshop can help promote. It’ll also touch on traditional versus independent publishing, and some elements of marketing and distributing.

9) I hope to see you at Fullers on Friday, July 6 for the ‘in conversation’ I’m doing with Adam Courtenay about his book The Ship That Never Was, a rollicking history, about the convicts that fled by sea from Tasmania’s wild west coast.

10) Entries are open for Forty South’s new history writing prize, the Van Diemen History Prize. It’s a generous contribution to this space, offered by a prolific and necessary publisher. Check their website for more details.
11) Slamduggery will welcome Canadian spoken word artist and educator, Brandon Wint, to the stage for an exclusive Tasmanian performance. As a two time national poetry slam champion and published writer, it is safe to say Brandon knows a thing or two about poetry. July 24th at the Royal Oak in Launceston.
12) The Hobart/nipaluna launch of The Tension by Josh Santospirito, a comic he made to mark the 5th anniversary of the most difficultest graphic novel he'll probably ever make 'The Long Weekend in Alice Springs'. Happening on July 6th at Yambu and you can buy a comic there for $8. Performances from 8:30 or so. Supported by Island magazine.
13) Pop along to the launch of Tony Caplice’s memoir of love,loss, pain – those vital elements of life Just One Word, Just One Smile, Life and Love after an Aneurysm. Tony was in Bolivia with his long term partner when she suffered a massive aneurysm. It’s a story of resilience. I’ll be in conversation with Tony about the book, and in the esteemed launching company of Tony, Senator Carol Brown, Federal Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers, and Dr Jane Tolman, one the leading dementia care specialists in Australia. Saturday 7 July, 5.30 upstairs at the Republic.

14) Kate Gordon’s new book, Girl Running, Boy Falling are fresh off the press. You can pre-order your copy witha limited-edition pin here.

15) completely over my word count – but check out Stories in September, Slam Nationals and the Chocolate Poetry Comp.
16) And! I hope to see you all at the MACq01 Storytellers Cup on the Saturday evening of The Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival, I’m pretty excited to be MC’ing this high energy, delightful storytelling competition.

16) Seasonal Poets this Winter will take place on July 23rd in the George Cartwright Room (now just who was this George Cartwright?) at 6pm. This season's poets are Liz Winfield, Christiane Conesa-Bostock and Liz McQuilkin. Cost is $15 or if you are a member of the Tasmanian Writers Centre, $10. A light supper will be served. 

PS – this is in August, but it’s SARA MANSOUR speaking in Launceston. This amazing woman started the Bankstown Poetry Slam, which is now an essential component of the strong, diverse and exciting literary work happening in Western Sydney. Sher’s speaking on the future of feminism and diversity, as a guest of the Tamar Peace Festival and the Institute for the study of Social Change. Launceston, August 1.
Road trip anyone?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Paige Turner - June

There are fires and sermons and bacchanals ahead, almost unavoidable if you’re on this island in the month of June.

Heather Rose, winner of the 2017 Stella Prize for The Museum of Modern Love, will take part in a Q&A at a screening of Marina Abramovic in Brazil: The Space in Between on June 3rd at the State Cinema. Heather will talk about her research and discoveries around Abramovic’s life and art. For further information check the State Cinema website.

Dive further into the world of Tasmanian letters- The Society of Editors, Tasmania are hosting Dr Greg Lehman, on June 18 at 7pm. Greg’s a Tasmanian curator and essayist, descended from the Trawulwuy people of north east Tasmania. He also recently wrote the most beautifully elucidated tome, Crystal Bone for Lost Rocks.  and for more details about the event with Greg, here.
Dark and Dangerous thoughts, of course, of course,dark and dangerous thoughts. This two day explosion of a mini writers/talk fest is part of Mofo and is sure to get some pistons, some emotions firing. I hope it will make my head hurt in a good way. 9-10 June.

If you have a yen for a weird collection of Tasmaniana, and other curious tomes whether you are visiting from the mainland, or local, take advantage of the no postage trick at On Her Selection, my especially selected secondhand bookshop LOCALPICKUP. Can’t but augment your time on the island.

Come and be silent, let's silently read. Silent Reading, a rare and dedicated opportunity to read silent for a few hours (in a nice place, with very nice gin this month), is an initiative of Island magazine and Transportation Press. This month it is hosted at Institut Polaire between 6-8 on June 6. Arrive a little early with polished glasses and a book, and settle in for good old read.

Hobart Bookshop, on June 6, 5.30pm are hosting the launch of The Curious Life of Krill by Stephen Nicol. It looks like a bodice ripper, krill style; sex lives of krill, krill tattoos and personal stories of time with krill. I love a good bit of science writing – translations if you like as I don’t speak science – and this seems to be one of those.

Fullers Bookshop are hosting Bri Lee discussing her confronting memoir Eggshell Skulls, a debut from the young writer and lawyer. It’s a gutting expose of our legal system, and its inability to properly deal with sex offences, and a personal story- she took a crime perpetrated against her to court. I’ll be in conversation with her at Fullers on June 1, 5.30.
Fullers are also hosting writer and philosopher, Damon Young reading his kids’ book My
Mum is a Magician on June 30th, 10am.

Submissions are now open for Transportation Press third international collection of short stories. If you are a writer from Iran, India or Tasmania, they* want to read your short stories. Open until July 8.

Tasmanian writer Astrid Wootton has launched a FB page to share some of her writing and considerations – Check out Poems of Stone and Lightness on the ‘book

Every Monday 10-11am Stories Bookshop in Launceston hosts their Beloved Story Time, in store, one hour of stories for 0-8 year olds. $5 a pop (excuse the pun).

There is a massive book sale happening on July 13-14 at 7 Ballawinnie Rd in Lindisfarne. This is a fundraiser for Masonic Care, and you’re also very welcome to donate books to them. 

The Huon Valley Midwinter Festival Storytellers Cup is back for the third year running and this year is proving so popular that a heat will be held to determine the very best storytellers to share their tales on Cup night. June 18th the date for the heat – 3-4 minute stories to go in the running to compete for $800 in prizes and the gorgeous Huon Pine Storytellers Cup. Drop me a line (I’m producin’, MC’n) to find out more or check out the website.

Bent Window Publications, who publish poetry chapbooks, are currently open for submissions. Incidentally, two poets who have both lived in– and identified with- Tasmania, Ivy Alvarez and Stuart Barnes, are their advisory board.

Our mountain is a truly dear and important space for many. Dear kunanyi is an exhibition of contemporary artistic responses to kunanyi/Mount Welly. The exhibition looks at our relationship with the mountain, its importance to our city and its presence in our lives. You are invited to submit an artwork inspired by, of, or about kunanyi. Entries close Friday 29th June. Open to artists working in any medium – I’m assuming they can cater for words…maybe some readings the launch? For more details and to apply visit the website.
Slam comes south, finally – Silverwords has just celebrated 5 years. On June 14 at Irish Murphys in Hobart they’re hosting their first Slam proper. Now, let’s see if we can get up to the standard of some of those northern rhymsters. 2 minutes only! Checkout the fb event.

Bruny Bird Festival is calling out for speakers to present at the October festival. Drop them a line by June 22. 
Twelve Times He Spoke, a play written by Finegan Kruckemeyer, directed Ben Winspear and acted by Guy Hooper is on at the Theatre Royal in late June, early July. I’m really looking forward to this,  

Excellent, excellent for Tasmanian, or Tasmanian identifying writers. Kill Your Darlings are seeking essays, criticism and short stories for a special Tasmanian volume.

Check out Kickstart Creative Exchange, a range of programs are being offered throughout the year– calligraphy, bookbinding, and more.

Forty South Publishing have announced a new history writing prize, the Van Diemen History Prize. This is a generous contribution to this space, offered by a prolific and necessary publisher. This is a biennial prize for non-fiction history articles written for a general audience and entries open July 1.

Dr Rosie Dub is an author, teacher and editor whose research centres around the role of stories as powerful transformational tools. She is running a workshop called Healing the Wound, Writing Character on July 8, in Fern Tree. Incorporating a blend of readings, discussions and creative writing exercises, this workshop is designed to help participants delve deeply into the layers of motivation behind their characters’ actions and reactions. More information here. 

The latest Island is out, featuring new short fiction from Ben Walter, Cate Kennedy, Josephine Rowe, and curiously, Mareke Hardy, an essay on ‘Punishment Box, dark technology of isolation’ by Delia Nichols, coverage of the delicious Sisters Akousmatica and also an article about Tasmanian Requiem. Do it.

Ten years ago, and new to the game, I interviewed Bryce Courtenay who sideswiped me during the interview by talking about women’s sex drives post menopause. You can listen tothat awkward interview on my blog. His son, Adam, has written a book called The Ship That Never Was, a story immortalised in the West Coast play, and about the escape of James Porter from Sarah Island.

Poet Sarah Day has a new collection out,
Towards the Light. Published by Puncher & Wattman.

Reading for the Revolution #5: An economy for people and planet is happening on 12th June at 7.30am - 8.45am Upstairs in the Food Store in South Hobart. The topic of the economy/economics has been bubbling away in organiser Millie Rooney’s brain for some months, actually it’s probably the topic that started the whole reading for the revolution idea. Contact for a list of the readings.

The Tasmanian Poetry Festival is back this year, October 5-7 at St Ailbes Hall, Launceston. The Poetry Cup will return, there will be workshops and of course readings and performances. Another date holder - The Tamar Valley Writers Fest is on September 14-16.
The National Book Council, Tasmania is hosting Shirley Patton, author of The Secrets We Keep, on June 20, 1pm in the Launceston LINC, second floor.

The Tasmanian Writers Centre held an AGM where there was a mutiny of sorts, which lead to a SGM and a new committee was elected. Hobart City Council have offered some digs, they have very little operating dosh left, but Arts Tasmania have provided a consultant to assess the strategic and business plans and to assist with grant writing.

Drop me a line
*we* disclaimer, Transportation Press is one of my gigs

Paige Turner - August

I hope you’re having a good winter, whatever your version of good may be. I ate pizza in the bath the other day and that helped in the go...