Saturday, December 30, 2017

Paige Turner, January

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 –
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

Peace and Love.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Review - Lost Rocks

Basalt by Ross Gibson
Conglomerate by Ben Walter
Crystal Bone by Greg Lehman
Marble by Ally Bishop
Lost Rocks

Review – Rachel Edwards

“Suddenly a gray rock becomes ashen or clouded with dream. A ring around a rock is luck. To find a red rock is to discover earthblood”, writes Lidia Yuknavitch in her eviscerating memoir The Chronology of Water. Yuknavitch seeks to wade through her grief by surrounding herself with rocks.
Rocks, despite their profound variety are often used as a symbol of heaviness and lack of movement and, outside of geology and childlike wonder, their poetry can be lost or ignored.

Rocks, despite their profound variety are often used as a symbol of heaviness and lack of movement and, outside of geology and childlike wonder, their poetry can be lost or ignored.

Lost Rocks, created by A Published Event (Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward) ignites a creative fascination with a series of rocks and minerals and, in their own words “is an accumulative event of mineralogical, metaphysical and metallurgical telling.”

Lost Rocks is also a collection of forty books that are being published, slowly, over four years. The project was conceptually inspired when Phillips and Woodward found a discarded rock board at the Tip Shop in Glenorchy. They have commissioned forty books in response to these rocks. The latest four books (of eight released so far) are Crystal Bone by Greg Lehman, Marble by Ally Bisshop, Conglomerate by Ben Walter, and Basalt by Ross Gibson. The books share a clean and simple design; white paperbacks with red silhouettes of the rock on the cover. They are small in stature, have delicate newsprint pages and they wear the process of publishing almost literally on their sleeves, bringing the formal structure of a book to the fore, including a page titled ‘colophon’. The colophon is a publisher’s device to either provide a decorative reference to the publisher, or simply the information legally required when publishing a book.

Prominent Tasmanian writer and thinker Greg Lehman’s Crystal Bone is both a deeply personal story as well as a devastating austere account of this rock and the almost centrifugal importance of it for this island’s first people. It includes diverse writing styles and a poetic recounting of a story of a tyrelore, an island wife. The images that accompany the ‘Crystal’ chapter - simple line drawings of flints, sculpted for blade and palms and annotated with the name of the place from where they have been removed is quietly devastating. The illustrations provide a desolate contrast to the lost stories of these rocks.

Ross Gibson’s Basalt describes the motion and movement of lava which then becomes basalt. In the text he returns to the paradoxical movement of this rock; the pulses of a lava flow still evident where it is found in nature. Gibson is an academic and a poet and while Basalt is a fascinating read, it has a didactic tone and there is something about the melding of poetry and geological process that did not mesh well for this reader.

Ben Walter, whose continuously transcendental writing tackles the rock conglomerate. He uses his element elegantly, as a literary device. A walker falls and hits his head on a “fist of conglomerate”. It is a raw story of a death in the Tasmanian wilderness, an inadvertent tragedy that occurs during a walk with mates. Walter writes the bush like few others down here, his words lithe and with little sentimentality, poetically descriptive.

Ally Bisshop has sculpted a tale from marble – its history, magic and the the numinous space it inhabits for gods and men. She talks about its mining and like Lehman utilises a range of stories of styles to capture this heavy rock.

These books are part of a beautiful publishing work of art, one that travels through geological and human time – a slow burn, drip feed of small, versatile publications. There is something about the Lost Rocks collection seems to inspire writers to enter new territory; cross genres and enter exciting literary spaces. It is a brilliant concept and I anticipate the forthcoming books with a sense of exhilaration

Versions of this review have been published in The Mercury and Warp.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Paige Turner - December

Holden Caulfield, is mild and banal next to Maria del Carmen Huerta, the narrator of Liveforever, a book that is both murky and luminous, and has been cited as a Colombian version of The Catcher in the Rye. Liveforever tracks a counterculture of 1970s Colombia with an intensity fuelled by rumba, dancing and salsa. The Catcher in the Rye’s Caulfield pales into wishy-washy adolescence up next to Maria, popping as she salsas across sweltering Cali. I’ve a sneaky copy of Catcher, on my little secondhand bookshop, On Her Selection and I’ll be posting my copy of Liveforever to someone I thought about a lot as I read it.*

The Story Island Project is launching a book that showcases the stories collected from, and created by, communities across Hobart's northern suburbs, reimagining the life of the Brooker Highway. The book features writing and illustrations from young people as well as a contribution from Tasmanian author Danielle Wood. Stories of the Brooker Highway celebrates the northern suburbs as a place rich in stories, and a community filled with strong, creative voices. The book will be launched at 1pm, 7 December at Glenorchy LINC. All welcome.

Steph Parkyn’s linocut that was inspired by (in an ekphratic process) Gina Mercer’s poem, Handfeeding the Crocodile is perched boldly, and yellowly on my wall, a suitable backdrop to my current reading of Into the World, her first novel and one which covers subject matter that had me entranced from the outset. It is the fictionalised account of Marie-Louise Giradin who, disguised as a man joined the French explorers whose names are intertwined in our Tasmanian history, D’entrecastreaux, Kermandec, and Laballadiere amongst them, as they sailed on the vessels Recherche and Esperance in a bid to find their missing country man, La Perouse.
Into the World, which is a ripper read will be launching in Launceston at Petrarchs Bookshop on Friday 1st Dec at 6pm  and in Hobart at Fullers Bookshop on Friday 8th Dec at 5.30 pm. I’m fortunate to be in conversation with Steph for that event, North West – you don’t miss out, Steph will be delivering an author talk at Devonport LINC on Wed 13th December 2.30pm.
Island, hot off of the back of their fabulous 150th celebrations, will launch issue 151 on Sunday 3 December  at midday. They are riffing off the fabulous photo of esteemed Tasmanian author, Heather Rose who features both inside the mag, and on the cover, replete with a magnificent red apple, at Willie Smith’s Organic Cider Apple Shed down the Huon. For more details check out the Island magazine Facebook page.

 State Cinema Bookstore is holding their VIP shopper evening on December 7th in store between 5-9pm. 20% off compadres – and to join you simply have to be subscribed to their e-newsletter and/or be part of their loyalty program. You can even subscribe on the night.
The following paragraph is redundant, click on the link below to reveal the winners -
This column will go to print before the Tasmanian Premier’s Lit Prizes are announced late inNovember. I’m reluctant to share my picks but of each prize I’d recommend sinking your peepers into many of the books on the list, especially Heather Rose’s The Museum of Modern Love, The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas andPete Hay’s masterful collection, Physick.These alongside James Boyce’s LosingStreak. I’m tantalised and looking forward to the announcements.

The Tamar Valley Writers Festival is happening again next year and the dates are locked in for 14-16 of September. This is a lovely festival, similar vibe to the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival actually – and one that I will definitely be heading to again. The festival is also hosting Fiona McIntosh at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, in conjunction with Penguin Books and Petrarchs Bookshop. This will take place on Monday 4 December from 5.45pm until 7pm. Tickets are available from Petrarchs, ph: 63318088. Fiona McIntosh is a wonderfully diverse writer whose recent fiction work has spanned continents and tells the story of the lavender farm in Northern Tasmanian and its French antecedents.

Kristyn Harman, author of the award winning Aboriginal Convicts returns with Cleansing the Colony, Transporting Convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen’s Land,  a story about a little known cohort of 110 [people who were transported from New Zealand to serve as convict labourers in Van Diemen’s Land.
The stories of these people reflect the way the British sought to purge the colony of, as they saw it, a burgeoning criminal underclass. This is happening at 5.30pm on Thursday 7 of December at Fullers.

Finally, I wish you all a smooth Christmas and a joyous entry to the new year. I wish all those working in bookshops kia kaha, strong heart – for these trying times.
Peace xx.

If you have any book related news, drop me a line –

*It has been such a deep pleasure to hand this book over in person.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paige Turner - November

I have recently had the good fortune to experience the wonders of reading and writing in our broader region. I travelled to Bali for the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators’ gathering at Ganesha University, which dovetailed perfectly into the Ubud Writers Festival. These two events, experienced in true tropical grandeur were replete with conversations and readings and the most delightful international cross pollination. I hope to bring some of the crumpled frangipani and deep thinking back to our island – and I will definitely be bringing Indonesians who rumble censorship and Iranians who purr Persian poetry with the most dramatic flair. Watch this space.

Down home we have a varied platter of reading and writing events coming up in November, including the launch of The People’s Library at Salamanca Arts Centre. It is a participatory artwork by Tasmanian artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, presented in partnership with SAC. The People’s Library will commission, publish and digest a unique living library of new and original book-length works by Tasmanian writers. Part performance library, part contemporary artwork, up to one hundred books in any genre will be published, culminating in a month-long event in September 2018, in which visitors will be invited to use the library – digesting its holdings of one hundred books into a single ‘digest’. The People’s Digest will then be performed by memory for a public audience. They are seeking unpublished works of fiction, memoir, science fiction, biography, non-fiction, history, crime, thriller, poetry, plays and experimental other and if you would like to find out more please click here.

The Society for Children's Writers and Editors is hosting their end of year lunch on November 26th at the Hope and Anchor in Hobart. New Zealand's Maria Gill, author of over fifty books will be speaking. Maria's latest book is Abel Tasman, Mapping the Southern Lands. For more information, please contact Anne Morgan.Loud Mouth Theatre Company will stage their final play this November, in the form of Jessica Davis' contemporary adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde. More information here.
Forty South Publishing has been running the Tasmanian Writers' Prize since 2010 and entries are now open to residents of Australia and New Zealand for the 2018 competition. The prize is for short stories up to 3,000 words having an island, or island-resonant, theme.   The winner will receive a cash prize of $500 and publication in Tasmania 40°South. A selection of the best entries will be published in Forty South Short Story Anthology 2018. Entries close on February 18 next year. Entry forms and terms can be downloaded here.  

I recently finished working with a ripper group of people living with memory loss, the Monday mob from Dementia Australia. The only common factor in this group of diverse people is that they live with younger onset dementia. We published a beautiful book called Badgers and Porcupines, working with young writer Lily Stojevscki. Lily translated some of their stories for the page and the book, which tells of love and loss and rock concerts and ducks and tennis and family is available from Dementia Australia. I mention this because another book being launched in November touches on memory loss, in this case in the form of Alzheimer’s (one of many forms of dementia). Written by Clodagh and Roy Jones and designed by the wonderful Julie Hawkins, Roy and Clodagh, Living with Dementia, will be launched at Fullers on November 2. The book provides an insight into what it’s like to live with memory loss, when many people in this situation are not able to articulate their feelings.
Also at Fullers Bookshop in November, on the 9th is the launch of Christine Milne’s book An Activist Life and, on November 11, Gareth Evans will be in conversation with Lisa Singh about his book Incorrigible Optimist. More information can be found here.
At the Hobart Bookshop in Salamanca on November 9 is the launch of LF McDermott’s book Perseverance and November 15 will see the launch of Ray Glickman’s book Frenzship. Here's the link for details.

Poet Ivy Alvarez is visiting the state in November and will be reading at the Republic, on November 5 at 3pm. Ivy is one of my favourite contemporary poets, she challenges and soothes and reads so beautifully. Seek her out. 

The National Book Council, Tasmania is hosting Nic Haygarth discussing his new book On the Ossie on Novmber 15 at the Launceston LINC. By all means join them for lunch at 12.45, the talk will begin at 1.15.

Island’s 151st issue will feature the winners of the Utas/Island comp, with an essay from Erin Hortle, art from Dexter Rosengrave and a short story from Gabrielle Lis, I am excited by all these fellas’ works and look forward to getting my hands on the issue. It will also include the winner of the Gwen Harwood poetry prize and a major feature on Tasmania's future as considered by Tasmanian women (people can join the conversation using the hashtag #tasfutures). 
I’m off to prison. Yep. Actually I will be working with the LINC program and 26Ten as a writer in residence at Risdon, working specifically with lower literacy inmates. Tasmania has a paltry 50% functional literacy and I believe that the ability to read and write can make a positive difference to individuals and communities. I am looking so very forward (wrangling language) to this project!
The People’s Choice Awards for the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Awards are up and running – have your say, get amongst it, up there Cazaly. All the winners of this year’s awards will be announced on November 27.

On November 9 my old principal, Mr Rodwell (I'm allowed to call him Grant these days) is launching his new book Moral Panics and School Education Programs, David Bartlett will do the honours at this event which begins at 4.30 on November 9 at the Law Building, Utas, room 132. 

Drop me a line –

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Paige Turner October

In 2016 singer and songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, which ruffled a few proverbials but was a fine reminder of the encompassing reach of the term ‘literature’. This is a word that unfortunately evokes an elitism which I’d love you to help me smash open, so we can to re-imbue this word with its truly inclusive essence.
To that end, in this loquacious column I’m making mention of the Song Writing Spring School. It sounds just wonderful and runs between October 9-13 - filled with ideas to trigger creativity, workshops, themed group discussions and host to a bonfire night. Seasoned and skilful songwriters from around the country are there to guide you, it looks creatively rich.
And in perfect juxtaposition, Music Tasmania is hosting a one-day course as an introduction and guide to music journalism. This is not until November, though I’d counsel getting in quickly. More details here.

Seasonal Poets is back and this spring are featuring
Uncle Jim Everett, Anne Kellas and Jane Williams. At lovely old Hadleys, 6pm on October 23rd. There is an entry fee of some sort, and an opportunity to hear three of Tasmania’s most significant poets.

Twitch, the youth arm of the Tasmanian Writers Centre is calling for expressions of interest for Young Writers in the Huon Valley, specifically seeking eight writers aged between 16-30 to engage in writing residencies down the Huon between 31st-30th November. Great gig for young writers! Get on it! EoIs close on October 13.
The Hobart Bookshop is hosting some delights in October. On the 7th, at 11am, Les Winspear is launching Lian Tanner’s latest book. I loved her Keepers trilogy, which is compelling children’s fiction, and this event will celebrate the first in the Rogues trilogy, Accidental Heroes.  They are also hosting Sir Guy Green as he launches Transported: Tales of Misfortune & Roguery by Brian Harrison-Lever on Thursday, 5 October at 5.30pm and on October 25th, 5.30pm, Pete Hay will launch Ross Brownscombe's In Search of Space: Journeys in Wild Places.
On October 14th, Stella Kinsella is hosting the launch of Wild Orphans, a book for young readers about orphaned kids raising orphaned animals. You can find more information about that event here.
These are all free events and open to the public.

The Tamar Valley Writers Festival has a new website, check it out for information about the next festival, and pre fezzie events. On December 4 they are hosting Fiona McIntosh discussing her latest novel. This is at Launceston’s Grand Chancellor and tickets are available through PetrarchsBookshop. Check out the new website here.
The Tasmanian Poetry Festival is back with aplomb, with poets such as Pete Hay, Mala Anthony, Izzy Roberts-Orr and Samuel Wagan Watchorn on the program. The Launceston Poetry Cup returns for the 33rd time! Heaps of other delights on the weekend long program, 6-8 of October.

Launceston is also host to a National Book Council Tasmania event with h
istorian Peter Cox discussing his book Lefroy, Tasmania’s Forgotten Gold Town. This is a free event that will take place at the Launceston LINC on October 18, at 12.45 for lunch, or 1.15 for the talk.

 And don’t forget Undisciplined, a 2-day extravaganza, thought frenzy, symposium, minglefest, networking, idea inspiring event that is happening in Hobart 19-21 October. Thinkers and creatives from all around, near and far, sharing insights (of course) and ideally some effulgence to our delightful surrounds. This is the work of Creative Island and Pippa Dickson.

Fullers’ event calendar is as busy as ever, hosting among others foreign correspondent Peter Greste discussing his book The First Casualty on the 17th and the launch of poet Graeme Hetherington’s collection A Post-Colonial Boy on the 13th. I’m also excited to check out Eat Wild Tasmania, by Rees Campbell and John Gibson with Sally Wise, which is launching there on October 19. This book is about bringing Tasmanian bush foods into the kitchen. It has information about what to grow, where to grow it and what to do when its grown. I hope your interest is piqued as much as mine.
These are all free events, but make sure you rsvp.

Tansy Rayner Roberts is a busy woman. She’s a prolific writer and she is running more of her wonderful school holiday workshops, and soon, her first workshop for adults.
The school hols one, Creative Writing Magic, witches and wizards, is for 7-11 year olds and will establish a space where they can create wicked characters and write and illustrate them. At $38 per workshop or $70 for two kids/2 workshops it is reasonable priced holiday activity that will hopefully have some inspirational writing legs for the rest of the holiday.

Do you have something you’d like to contribute? Letters - racheledwards48*

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy 150th Island Magazine

Sesquicentenary roll your tongues around that fine word for a moment Sesquicentenary.

It is Island magazine’s sesquicentenarial edition this season, it’s 150th. A significant issue to mark a magazine that began its life as The Tasmanian Review in June 1979. It includes the work of Andrew Sant, one of the magazine’s first editors as well as work from Cassandra Pybus who was editor in the early 1990s, her tenure not without controversy and one that still has tendrils in our literary community today.
Island has seen the first published works of many of the country’s most respected writers, indeed many who have graced the contents have been recognised internationally.
It has been an early publication outlet for figures in our broader literary community, including Amanda Lohrey, James Boyce and Richard Flanagan. Recent publications have seen work from Susie Greenhill, winner of the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and Robbie Arnott, who has recently signed a contract for a novel with Text.
The first issue states that the two criteria which determine the selection of material are “excellence and variety” and these factors remain the same after nearly forty years of publishing. Issue one includes an essay about ‘Creativity and the Australian Media’ by Michael Denholm, one of the founders, whose work today on Tasmanian literary history will become an important resource for us all in future.
In contrast to the purely black and white first edition, and though the magazine has existed in many forms, for decades under the wise design eye of Lynda Warner, the magazine now sits comfortably alongside stylish design magazines, and it wears its arts on its sleeve.
150 features the endlessly fascinating and arcane work of Tricky Walsh and I’m so glad that we, the reader can experience her Tiefenzeit in a form different than on the gallery walls. There is fiction from Amanda Lohrey, who has been involved with the publication to varying degrees from day one. As also from day one, there are topical essays, 150 featuring work from Behrouz Boochani, ‘Chanting of Crickets, Ceremonies of Cruelty’. Berhrouz is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist and he is detained on Manus Island.
My favourite edition is issue 63. Mainly because of the perfect incongruity of the cover image, It is a photo of Michael Mansell, Tasmanian Aboriginal Activist, meeting the Queen. Inside Henry Reynolds interviews Mansell, alongside an essay by Richard Flanagan ‘The Stars and the Mountain’ and poetry from Tony Birch ‘Ladies’ Lounge’.
The other edition I adore is 125, featuring the painting ‘The Collector’ by Geoff Dyer of David Walsh, standing bloody and indignant, flanked by slabs of meat from one of the works in his collection. This edition was produced under the astute eye of Sarah Kanowski, who suffered the indignity, new in her tenure, to have lost funding from Arts Tasmania, though a keen and aware rallying from literary community around Australia afforded the magazine continued life. It was beautiful to see that support rising loudly, from day one.
A recent initiative of the magazine has been a wise partnership with Chatter Matters, opening, acknowledging and working with our state of illiteracy, to celebrate reading and writing in all its forms. Island is a beautiful, relevant and crucial publication and while I’ll toast the
sesquicentenary, I’d also like to toast the tercentenary:quinquennial and the quatercentenary. Oh such lovely words.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Paige Turner September

Let’s pay some homage to our most trusted reading friends, those who are able to suggest the perfect book for our own unique reading requirements, those who intimately understand what we like to read and even more importantly, why you like to read. And let’s be honest, there are not many of those kind of friends around. There are other ways in to good books of course, a mention on the cover by a trusted writer, a review from someone who reviews with integrity – but recently there have been a spate of endorsements on covers by writers I have a lot of time for, but they are endorsing vapid crap. I wonder if they get paid for an endorsement and whether or not they do I call on them to have more integrity.

September in Tasmania is full of excellent ways to celebrate the written word. To begin with, it is the sesquicentennial of Island magazine (this means they are publishing their 150th edition this month). In a state with such low literacy, that there has been such a sustained celebration of the written word is to be celebrated loudly.

Cassandra Pybus, a former editor of Island, who is also featured in the latest edition of the magazine, and indeed who edited it for a rather controversial time has recently been included in the Griffith Review Novella Project V, which also includes Krissy Kneen, Chris Somerville and Frank Moorhouse.

Kickstart Arts are running their diverse Creative Exchange and one particular event that has made me curious is the Celtic History Studies with Kristen Erskine. The first session is on September 24th and more information can be found here.

There are a wonderful array of book launches and events happening around the state, Fullers, as ever has a rich events program and I’m looking forward to being in conversation with Jock Serong about his new book On the Java Range on September 8. They will also be hosting Cazaly, the Legend by Robert Allen on September 21st and that’s surelytime for us all to break out the song voce magna. 

On Saturday, September 2, Fullers will host the first of the Chatter Matters Children’s Reading Series, with speech pathologist, ‘courage facilitator’ and 2017 Tasmanian Australian of the year, Rosie Martin. Storytelling sessions with the aim of helping kids develop language and communication skills. For more information about the above events click here.

The Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival is running between 14-17 of September and features some interesting looking panels and workshops. Guests include Omar Sakr, one of the most exciting poets on the ground in Australia, and writer and feminist Clementine Ford,– eloquent, considered and smart. Alongside the program of speakers, the festival is also offering a series of workshops including one with Maria Tumarkin, whose collection of essays, Courage, I adore.

The festival has some gems on the menu, though it is very safe programming, especially when you look at the diversity at recent mainland festivals. The Writers Centre did not receive any funding during Arts Tasmania’s latest round. I hope this challenge offers the centre an opportunity for introspection and to revivify and diversify. I would love to see the Centre as a hub that truly celebrates literature and literacy across the board, and to advocate for the burgeoning and exciting literary communities in Tasmania. I must state I was a peer assessor though had no part in the final funding decision and the above information is in the public domain. 

Hobart Bookshop is also hosting some good looking events in September, including the launch of Margaret Lea Wallace’s Bruny Island Bounty on Thursday 21st at 5.30. This will be launched by Pete Hay and is a book that will take you on a journey around the island to experience dynamic land, sea and skyscapes, and abundant wildlife with every species of bird endemic to Tasmania. 

Hobart Bookshop is hosting the double launch of Jane William’s new poetry collection Parts of the Main, along with Ian Kennedy William’s short story collection Leaving the Comfort Zone, on September 7.

On September 2, 3pm at the Moonah Arts Centre, a new book called Badgers and Porcupines is being launched. This is a collection of stories and art from people living with younger onset dementia - and it is gorgeous. I may be biased as I've been working as a Writer in Residence with Alzheimer's Tasmania. This is an event open to the public, there will be readings, wine and cheese and the official launch done by the Honorable Elise Archer, speaker in the House of Assembly. 


Up North at Haus Creative there is a Q&A for Jo Green's S^ORD on September 9th at 2pm. For further information check out Haus Creative on Facebook.

Christine Matheson Green is launching her book Theatre Of War. With 10 restaurants and 2 cooking schools behind her, Christine shares the trials and despair of being a female boss in a man’s world. She fed celebrities and crime lords, and it was a risky, busy life. Check out

Forty South, as well as being the biggest publisher in Tasmania also publish Tasmania 40° South magazine and are generous to the literary community, running and auspicing various writers awards. They have recently announced the winner and finalists for the Tasmanian Writers' Prize 2017. The anthology will be launched by James Dryburgh at the Writers and Readers Festival at 4pm on Saturday 16th September at Hadleys. This is a free event and open to the public.

And, on September 1 the beautiful Wild IslandGallery will host the launch of the book pictured here, Magic Land, featuring images remastered, and many unseen for a long while, of one of the maestros of Tasmanian wilderness photographer, Peter Dombrovskis.

The wonderful 'All That We Are' crew are hosting a workshop for parents, teachers, and anyone interested in giving children a voice in their world, to a range of simple strategies for creating artwork, supporting storytelling and straightforward ways of publishing the work of children. I love this for a lot of reasons - that it is about getting children publishing, that it celebrates reading and writing, and that it is a direct engagement with the community and getting people skilled up. More information can be found here.

Got some news for me? Drop me a line

A version of this column also appeared in September Warp

Paige Turner, January

May this gentle summer wrap you in some sweet tendrils, afford you relaxation and also some dedicated reading time. And a hammock and som...