May this gentle summer wrap you in some sweet tendrils, afford you relaxation and also some dedicated reading time. And a hammock and some proper time immersed in the sea. And sunrises and stone fruit, and strawberries. Juicy, sun warmed strawberries. And peace of mind, and some love, too, while we are about it.
I have been hanging around with Vladimir Putin, in the form of The Man Without a Face, the unlikely rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen and balancing this with Women and Power by Mary Beard. Women and Power is a book tiny in structure but huge in content, tracing misogyny back through Western culture and explains why women have had such a hard time getting heard, with culturally endemic silencing and mocking of women’s voices. Beard is a historical scholar of significance and she explains how abuse and tirades against women on Twitter are the continuum of Ancient Greece’s Aristophanes’ mockery of women’s voices. Both of these books, as well as Masha Gessen’s latest The Future is History, How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, are setting a summer reading tone for me.
The other part of my summer reading will consist of new poems from Tasmania and from Iran, as Transportation Press launches its 2018-2019 publishing program with Wine and Words, poems from Tasmania and Iran. We are welcoming Shirindokht Nourmanesh back as editor of the Iranian content and the esteemed Tasmanian poet and scholar, Pete Hay is on board to source and edit the best new writing from Tasmanian poets. Check out the website for more information, better still sign up for the newsletter on the website.
MonaFoma is happening in the middle of the month. North and south. I’m busting to hear Maxine Beneba Clarke, award winning poet and author, most recently of The Hate Race, perform some slam poetry during the festival. Slam’s a powerful form that takes poetry to a whole new universe, where words crystallised through the filter of form are taken into a performative space.
Cut Common, with the smart and savvy Steph Eslake at the helm and which showcases emerging artists across the country will be launching its first ever print magazine in 2018 and will be having a roving launch in twenty places (I love this idea). You can get more information here.
Fullers Bookshop’s event program hardly stopped for Christmas – and in January they are hosting the launch of Treaty and Statehood by Michael Mansell. This is on January 12 at 5.30pm and Bob Brown and Jimmy Everett are both speaking. Not to be missed by any Tasmanians. So many elders in one room and from what I can glean about the book, new territory and topics that we should be considering. For further information and to RSVP – Fullersbookshop.com.au
I’m delighted to break the news that Nigella Lawson will be in town, and speaking at the Federation Concert Hall on February 1. Nigella is famous for her general lusciousness as well as her cooking and her magnificent cookbooks (I love them! So many TV chefs but her recipes are solid). She will be discussing her new book At My Table. Tickets will soon be available at the TSO Box Office, and for more information contact Fullers, as they are the organisers of this event.
Speaking of cookbooks, Pie Hard is a super new Tasmanian one, from Amelia Cree and Honni Cox. About all things pies – sweet, savoury, and all the trappings and tricks. The recipes include a Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake and a Chilli Chocolate Ganache Tart which may be featuring in a pie filled summer.
January’s Bright Thinking event, from the New Philosopher and Womankind, crew, in partnership with Island mag will return on January 11 at the delicious Salamanca Arts Centre. The topic will be ‘Property’ and panellists will be announced soon. Bright Thinking is a monthly philo café that Marc Sautet (founder of the first philo café) would approve of: one that is participatory rather than dictatorial. A topic is chosen ahead of time for each event to allow attendees to prepare; the hope is that people participate and put forward their point of view. It is open to all thinkers who are looking for solutions to the fundamental problems faced by humankind. For more information, check out the New Philosopher website.
It has been a wonderful year of reading and book events for Tasmania in 2017 and I expect more of the same as well as some invigoratingly creative publishing and writing ventures in 2018. If you have any news you would like to share, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace and Love.