Monday, October 31, 2016

Paige Turner - November

Journalist Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year. She is a journalist from Belarus whose book, Secondhand Time, the Last of the Soviets, translated by Bela Shayevich, is a truly transformative read. For decades Alexievich had placed her tape recorder on the table and in the book she presents the devastating people’s history of the USSR. This year’s Nobel Laureate of Literature is, controversially, the mystical poet of the people, Bob Dylan. A film made from Alexievich's essay Voices from Chernobyl is featuring as part of the Tasmanian Eco Film Festival on November 20, in Hobart. 

Closer to home there is a great selection of events happening around Tasmania in November, wherever your noble affiliations lie. The Story Island Project is a new organisation that celebrates the power of a story, and the people of an island. They are having a public celebration at the Moonah Arts Centre on  24 November at 6pm. Australian of the Year Local Hero and Sydney Story Factory co-founder Cath Keenan will speak at the event. Wetlands are slimy and amazing places and to celebrate their unique habitat, Tasmanian students are invited to submit a poem into a poetry competition. For more information click here

Red Parka Designer Jennifer Cossins is releasing a gorgeously illustrated book called A-Z of Endangered Animals (pictured here). The launch will take place at the Red Parka Shop on Criterion St, Hobart in the afternoon of November 2. For further information click here. 10% of the profits will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

This year’s Sustainable Living Festival will feature a poetry slam and a story slam where you have a chance to get on stage and delight, astound or murder a poem or story. While I will not judge you, I am a judge for the story comp and the incomparable Storyteller Spinks is MC. For details click here. 

The Adam and Eve ABC Guide to the Art of Ageing Disgracefully is being launched at Petrarchs in Launceston on November 25, 6pm. This is a slightly risqué stocking filler about some of the challenges we face as we age. It’s a quick read that will give you a few laughs and some excellent food for thought about how you might like to age...disgracefully.

Also at Petrarchs in November are the following events:Country girl and bestselling Tasmanian Ruro (rural romance) writer extraordinaire, Rachael Treasure will be signing copies of her new book Down the Dirt Roads on November 5 at 11am. Photographer Owen Hughes will be signing copies of his latest book Love This Island Tasmania on November 12 at 11am. Owen successfully captures the diversity of our cities and regions, our strong sense of community and the pleasure we take in joining others to celebrate and play.

Two of my favourite things are flowers and books and I may head north for Woolmer’s Festival of Roses, especially as Petrarchs will be on site hosting the book side of this floral event. The following authors will be speaking; Janice Sutton on her book, Garlic Feast 11am, Karen Hall, about Wychwood, - Indira Naidoo will discuss The Edible Garden and The Edible City and Ben Milbourne will yarn about his book Tasmanian Trail. All of this on a single Sunday (the 13th) in November.

In Hobart, Fullers havesome good looking events including Robyn Williams from ABC’s The Science Show discussing his book In Love with Betty the Crow, on November 8, Melissa Ashby on November 10 discussing The Birdman’s Wife, and Briohny Doyle will be chatting about her dystopic fiction (is it dystofiction?) The Island Will Sink, on Friday 18th. Captain Blueberry strikes again – and The Journey of Admiral Bolognaise will be launched on November 12, the day after the launch of Margaretta Pos’ new book Shadows in Suriname. Make sure you RSVP!

The Hobart Bookshop is hosting the launch of Tony Brennan’s A Beauty That Catches, a collection of poetry on November 3. On November 9 Jen Gibson will launch Meanderings by Betty Mckenzie-Tubb and on November 24th, Dianne Coon, secretary of the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association will launch Ro Evelyn’s first novel, The Volunteer.

Furious Penguins is looking for people to read their favourite Joseph Conrad passages at a special event in December. The tribute reading will be held on the Derwent bank adjacent to the scuttled remains of Conrad's ship, The Otago. Poets and writers who would like to read their own original work about or inspired by Conrad are also welcome to participate. Click here for details.

Matthew Evans and Nick Haddow will be having a hearty yarn about cheese and tucker and their array of books, including Nick’s new one, Milk Made, a book about cheese, at the State Cinema in Hobart on Monday, November 7. Click here for further informationand to book tickets.

Tony Fenton spent a lot of his childhood roaming around Melaleuca and Port Davey with his grandfather, the legendary Deny King. His book, Fleeting Hopes, an immaculately researched history of the area is complete and ready to go to print. He’s crowdfunding to make this happen. I’ve pledged and am busting to read it. You should pledge too. 

The Tasmanian Writers Centre are hosting a Twitch Celebration at the Centre’s Reading Lounge on Tuesday 22 November at 6pm. This will feature readings from some of the young writers involved in this excellent program. They have a workshop called Perfect your Non-Fiction Book Proposal with Mary Cunnane on November 20. The centre has also extended the deadline for Young Writers in the City, Devonport until November 7. Get on it.

If you have some book news or events you would like to share, email me at

A version of this column was published in Warp. 

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