Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kate Holden podcast - click here



I had to apologise to Kate Holden when I met her, I'd been flagrantly stating that I was interviewing a former prostitute and heroin addict - 'sexy' and glib catch phrases. The apology was simply about that - that she, as an intelligent, informed, reflective and reconciled woman in the 21st Century had become reduced to that for promotional purposes.
Kate is a professional writer with a regular column for the Saturday Age newspaper, she is a voracious reader and thinker with a tendency to overshare. The thing that struck me most, though, while interviewing this sweet, gently witty woman, was the simple fact that she has reconciled her time as a pariah (try and tell me that being a heroin addict is not the paedophilia of drug addictions) with her day to day existence - and that has made her appear more whole than a lot of the sanctimonious bores we encounter day to day.
  Simply put, there is no apparent hypocrisy about her being.
Kate has written two books, both memoirs, covering different times in her life. In My Skin (2005) began as a project while she was studying and eventually ending up in a bidding war between publishing houses - with Text Publishing winning out. The Romantic was published by Text earlier this year. In My Skin tells the story of Kate's time as a junky and as a prostitute. She was writing a diary when she was using, and while she says that the diary, on re-reading, is boring 'got to get clean, going to get clean, getting clean starting after this taste,' - it helped bring back snippets of her life then that allowed her to flesh out the memoirs. And, there is a fair bit of flesh in it.
The Romantic, a slightly sarcastic title, tells of Kate's time in Italy, and the process of reconciliation - life as junky and hooker merging with a drug free and free sex life. How do you tell a lover of your past - and should you even tell them at all? Recounted through the story of a series of lovers, saunters past Byron's house, reading Casanova in a hotel alone, ferocious sexy fucking and an eventual fiance in the form of an Italian Stallion it is a gorgeous conclusion to In My Skin.
There is a wordsmith at play here - and at least a couple of hearty tales - have a listen to Kate describe some of these things in her own words.

For further information, check out Kate's website

The Romantic
by Kate Holden
Text Publishing 2010
9781921656743

The recorded interview was first played on Edge Radio on Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Final events 2010 and the odd opportunity -

As the Christmas drag race begins - the one where we paradoxically forget that we cross the finish line at the same time and all as exhausted as each other - here are some events happening around Hobart and some opportunities that may interest you.
   The Tasmanian Writers' Centre has a great connection with other island based writers and those on Prince Edward Island in Canada in particular. Established Tasmanian writers are invited to apply now for a four week exchange on the island. This is offered in partnership with the Hobart City Council and more details can be found on the Tasmanian Writers' Centre website.
  The Writers' Centre are also hosting an evening called 'The Underbelly of Hobart' with Geoff Dean and John Tully on December 15th at the Lark Distillery -sure to be a good evening as it coincides with their end of year celebrations.  This is also the launch of John Tully's book Dark Clouds on the Mountain, organised by the gorgeous Hobart Bookshop.
     

   Fullers Bookshop is hosting one more event for the year - and it's a celebration of Christmas and cooking with cookbook author, quiet acheiver and purveyor of recipes that work, Belinda Jeffery. Judith Sweet, the respected former cooking show host and Mercury Columnist is hosting the evening (with canapes and sparkling) -  and there is an excessive lucky door prize of a mountain of cook books. PS Mountain is the official collective noun for cookbooks. Tickets for this are available now at Fullers Bookshop 
  Australian Poetry (supported by the Pratt foundation) are offering a Poet In Residence grant of $20 000. Details are available, again, from the Tasmanian Writers' Centre's website.
     Australian Poetry is also looking for a selection panel of industry leaders and established poets. If you are an established poet, publisher or representatieve of a poetry organisation. To express your interest, email Paul at Australian Poetry.
    And that, my friend, is not the end. It is just a winding down of things as everyone becomes mercenary- and then in January in Hobart we have MoFo. Phew, no doubt there will be some book and word related events humming around thatglorious hub. Stay tuned.

Review - Flame Tip, Short fictions by Karenlee Thompson. Foreword by David Walsh

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