February, as ever, is jam packed with books and writing related events, and two of the more curious ones are Lost Rocks, and the opening of a new gallery (that stocks books) called Private.
Lost Rocks is a slow publishing artwork. That already makes my heart ease. In 2015 Hobart-based artists Margaret Woodward and Justy Philips found a dilapidated Tasmanian Mineral Board at the Glenorchy Tip Shop, and over the next five years they are commissioning artists to choose from a missing rock and create a fictionella (from the Latin 'fictio', meaning to make-with, rather than to make up or invent – and 'novella', meaning news or a story that turns on a single event). These works, from A Published Event, will be released, eight a year, for the next five years. On February 2 they are launching a crowdfunding campaign that will run to March 13 – and this is your way of growing your Lost Rocks Library of experimental text-works, narrative prose and fictiō-critical writings grounded in lived experience. Each fictiōnella will be printed in a limited edition of 250 paperback copies, making Lost Rocks a highly collectable publishing artwork.
Private is a new art space in Moonah. Private is looking to show new art to new audiences and look into different understandings about art. They are also stocking new and old texts, graphic novels and interesting printed matter, a lot of which is second hand and highly collectible. They currently have in stock new works from veteran underground artist Michael Fikaris including a collaboration between Nicole Gunn and Fikaris called An Instruction Manual for Lonely Mountains. The future will bring small press delights from Leigh Rigozzi and some art publications from the fabulous art writing magazine Discipline. @privatedlr on instagram.
Tasmania has a new bookshop, Scribe, which you can find at Au Bien Etre Cafe at 34a Main Street, Huonville (just next to the roundabout). The Scribe's collection has strong holdings in esoteric, science fiction and fantasy, history, philosophy, technology, and farming books. I’m looking forward to checking it out this summer.
Events are slow off the ground this year in bookshops, though Fullers in Hobart have a few coming up including the launch of Sally Wise (Queen of Preserves) and playwright and ABC producer and content maker, Paul McIntyre’s Little Book of Slow, a lovely book of recipes and suggestions of things you can do to slow down and take time to truly engage with the world around you. This is happening at 5.30 on Thursday February 2.
On Friday 3, editor of New Philosopher magazine, Zan Boag will be in conversation with writer and scientist Nicole Gill about climate change, aliens and the likelihood of human beings becoming obsolete.
Fullers are also hosting the launch of Rebe Taylor’s new book Into the Heart of Tasmania, a search for human antiquity. This will take place at 5.30 on February 10 . On February 24, also at 5.30 Forgetfulness Feelings and Farnarkling, Reflections on aged care and how you can make a difference will be launched. This book is by Anne Kelly and is a must read for anyone who is connected personally and professionally to dementia care.
I am, as writer in residence working with younger onset clients at Alzheimer’s Tasmania, and this is a disease (or really many different diseases under one umbrella) that we should all learn how to be around wisely and supportively.
All these events are free, for more details and to RSVP click here.
The Tasmanian Writers Centre have morphed their events program (last year, A Novel Journey) into a series of workshops touching on many aspects of writing including essays with James Dryburgh, features with Maria Tumarkin and memoir with Benjamin Law. Kylie Dunn, author of an excellent guide book that will take you through the vicissitudes of self publishing, Write to Launch, is first off the rank, with a workshop on February 19.
The Shape of Water is a new novel by Anne Blythe-Cooper that tells the story of Sophia DeGraves, best known as the wife of the man who started Cascade Brewery and built the Theatre Royal, It is also performed as a play at the Cascade Visitor Cente every Friday, Saturday and Monday at 2pm.
And there's a new mag on the streets -Tasmanian Living, a magazine, (in their words) for 'Tasmanians.... and those who wish they were.' Two headed beasts. My words, Watch out Freycinet is already sinking (my words). I digress, It looks like a gorgeous lifestyle mag - food, wine, people.
Speaking of health, I’m embarking on one of the many excellent free online university courses, this one Literature and Mental Health offered through Warwick University in the UK and am delighted to be speaking at an Arts and Mental Health Forum at Kickstart Arts on February 21. I’ll be talking about the power of books and stories, and about bibliotheraphy more generally. For more details and for information about the other speakers, contact Jacquie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know if you have any book or word related events – racheledwards488 at gmail.com