There are many events on the Melbourne literary calendar and mostly I’ll track what looks interesting on Twitter, but there are a few coming up I’d like to devote a bit more space to…
On October 3 is Writers for Burma, at the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, Carlton, from 2:30pm. MC and organiser Paul Mitchell calls it a ‘Big Day Out for writers’ in support of a significant cause. ‘Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest – and that’s where she’ll be during Burma’s general election on 7 November this year,’ says Mitchell. ‘With the election little more than a power entrenching exercise for the military junta, Melbourne writers are keen to stand up and speak out for justice in Burma.’
Participating writers include Alice Pung, Toni Jordan, Alice Garner, Tony Birch, Joel Deane, Jennifer Harrison, Kevin Brophy, Josephine Rowe, Paul Mitchell, Chris Flynn, Andy Jackson; two Burmese Australian poet/activists, Myint Myint San and Minthura Wynne; Kyaw Soemoe from Burma Campaign Australia, and Martin West, a former photojournalist in Burma. What an amazing line up! Tickets are $15/$10 online or at the door.
Also beginning at the Trades Hall in October will be a new monthly ‘story slam’ competition, called Rocket Clock:
‘Like the spirited love child of a traditional poetry slam and a lively yarn at the pub, Rocket Clock is a monthly story slam competition. Ten people each have five minutes to tell a story around a particular theme. Judges in the audience rate each story on both content and performance. Everyone has a great time.
The inaugural Rocket Clock Story Slam will be held at Bella Union, Trades Hall, at 8pm on Wednesday October 6, 2010, and will, fittingly, be on the theme of FIRSTS.
We’re inviting all storytellers, narrators and raconteurs to share the tale of their ‘first’, at ours: stories about people’s first car or pet, about the time they broke new ground, about their earliest memory or unique talent. True stories. Personal narratives. Things that really happened.’
See Rocket Clock’s website for more details.
Speaking of storytelling events, don’t forget about the Dog’s Tails nights at Dog’s Bar St Kilda. The Spring season has just begun, and they have moved to Tuesday nights. Keep up with the news and find out who is reading on their Facebook page. I have previously written about the Dog’s Tails nights, here.
What is coming up at the Wheeler Centre? Well, a lot. In fact, their third program is out today. It features, among others, Nicholas Carr, David Suzuki, Ray Monihan, Paul Kelly, Anh Do, Monica McInerney, Kate Morton, Lloyd Jones, Sally Vickers, Nicki Greenberg and Shaun Micallef. Find it here.
Write Around the Murray is this weekend! Have a squiz at the program here. This is the last festival (for now) that I’m booked in for this year. No, I’m not going to the National Young Writers Festival or Ubud Writers and Readers Festival this year – by choice. It’s all about balance, folks. But NYWF and Ubud are coming up in October. They’re both fantastic and I encourage you to get along if you can.
And of course, the Melbourne Writers Festival has just wrapped up. If you missed out, you can read all my words on it over at the official MWF blog, along with great posts by Estelle Tang and Simon Keck.