It’s not often a book prize increases sales of a book, the Man Booker Prize being a rare example, but since the 1980s I have paid heed to books which have been awarded the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. The CBCA is a truly worthy body that pays wise attention and advocates for writing for young people and right now their Tasmanian branch is seeking new blood and energy to keep a presence on the ground. The branch not only celebrates writers, it organizes author tours, judges the CBCA awards, advises on literature for families and celebrates the importance of literacy in our state. The current committee is retiring and is recruiting. If you care about writing for young people please contact email@example.com. The next meeting is at 11am 22nd October at Zeps in Campbelltown. DO IT.
Reading groups have traditionally been the mainstay of middle aged, middle class women. That is not to say that there are some variations that smash that rule. One is launching in Launceston. It’s called the Tough Guy Book Club and they meet each month for a beer and a yarn. It sounds reasonable, especially in the greater context of men often lacking the ability to discuss thoughts and feelings and the affects this lack can have on their mental health. However, I wish their purview was to read a bit wider than simply ‘masculine’ books because it is essentially wiser to explore territory you don’t know, rather than bunkering down in your beliefs without seeking a broader understanding of the world. Here’s a link to a recent article that was published in The Examiner.
On October 9, Vice Versa, new & selected poems by Arjun von Caemmerer is being launched at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. This is poetry that uses language like plasticine. It engages the reader in the service of poetry, medicine, yoga, art, love, music, and friendship and creates a world that allows the reader to plunge into the very depths of poetry. The launch will take place at 3pm October 9th and tickets are available here.
New from Forty South, Tasmania’s biggest publisher is a children’s book not only making science fun but also celebrating auroras. It’s called There’s Magic in the Sky! The story of the Aurora by Shanna Rudov-Clark.
Up North at Burnie’s Not Just Books, loved Tasmanian Ruro writer (yep, try and say that out loud, it means Rural Romance), Rachael Treasure is celebrating the launch of her memoir Down the Dirt Roads. Rachael is a bloody good egg, if I can put it in rural parlance, and a rum’un to boot. She will speak at the Metro Cinema in Burnie on October27 and there will be a Q & A followed by a book signing, Bookings essential.
Tasmanian historical author and biographer, Stephen Dando-Collins will be at Petrarchs in Launceston to celebrate his new book The Hero Maker. This book explores the contradictions of one of Australia's most successful, but troubled, writers, Paul Brickhill and his extraordinary story; from youth with a debilitating stutter, to Sun journalist, to Spitfire pilot and POW, to feted author.
Dando Collins will also be at Fullers on October 13 as part of their rich events calendar in October which also includes chef Philip Kuruvita with From the Menu, Hobart on October 6.
Hannah Kent, author of the fascinating novel that told the story of the last woman hanged in Iceland, is back with a follow up to Burial Rites and will be in conversation with my favourite effervescent Tasmanian, Posie Graeme-Evans about the long awaited The Good People (pictured). Here is a link I did with Hannah about her first book, the wonderful Burial Rites, the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman hanged in Iceland in 1829.
I'm looking foward to chatting with Hannah later this week about her new book.
Editor and writer, Helen Hayward will be talking about her new book Homework on October 9. On October 14, Katherine Johnson will be celebrating the launch of The Better Son. October 19 will see a Tasmanian celebration of the excellent lit mag Going Down Swinging. The illustrious band, Heart Beach will be playing and Robbie Arnott will be reading from a piece of his in their latest issue. One not to be missed. Don’t miss, on October 25 poet Anne Kellas talking about her new collection White Room Poems. She will be in conversation with Ben Walter.
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. Please see here for details.
Performance storyteller Bert Spinks will appear as roving correspondent “The Owl” throughout the Unconformity festival. He will be reporting on the story of Queenstown in poetry and prose, telling site-specific stories that blur the lines between past and the present. Blending everything from natural history to pub gossip, these performances will attempt to unravel how Queenstown came to be, from millions of years ago to now. The Unconformity will run in Queenstownfrom 14-16 October.
Got any book news, events or gossip you’d care to see in these pages?–Email me firstname.lastname@example.orgRachel Edwards