And the Nobel winner is ...

09.10.15 11:05 am


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Hunting Hawks

Paula Xiberras
09.10.15 6:23 am


Wikipedia tells us that hawks have been known for ‘their sharp vision, able hunting abilities’ and that they ‘take birds as their primary prey’ and over the weekend the hunting hawks did indeed take some birds, in the form of eagles as their prey and showed their sharp vision that could stay focused to complete three consecutive premiership wins.

Several weeks before the final series I spoke to Martin Blake, author of the book ‘Mighty Fighting Hawks’.

Martin has been a frequent visitor to Tasmania both covering cricket at Bellerive oval and the footy at Launceston.  As a golfer he’s a big fan of Barnbougle Dunes in Bridport which he believes is one of a handful of the best courses in Australia.

Barnbougle may be one of the best dunes in the country but when it comes to top clubs in any sport and one of the handful of the best ever Aussie rules teams Martin believes Hawthorn can claim the mantle.

The Tassie Hawks have put their talon print and their talent into the history books as the most successful AFL team with 13 flags between 1961 and 2015 compared to fan favourite Collingwood who has only claimed 2 in the last 50 years

One of the contributing factors to the team’s success is coach Alistair Clarkson who has brought to the team his background as an educator, knowledge gained in a course at Harvard as well as the ability to source strategies from other sports such as the ‘zoning defence system’ from basketball and his employment of ‘rolling zones’ from soccer.

Alistair has attempted to build ‘courage, resilience and mateship’ from putting his team through a diverse range of experiences such as walking Kokoda to a meditation on Buddha’s four pillars, which are, ‘teaching, practice, trust and realisation’.

Some of the now familiar tactics Alistair has employed as part of his game plan including the drawing of a shark to spurn the team on against Geelong, the floured white line and the empty trophy case, designed to needle and inspire.

Important to Alistair himself, and something that is instilled in the team are the values of ‘family, loyalty and humility’ and to quote one of the other catch phrases ‘to leave their ego on the hook’. The team, also says Martin, has embraced their Tassie Hawk connection with more than just the usual ‘lip service’ and proudly wear Tasmania above their hearts.

‘The Mighty Fighting Hawks’ by Martin Blake is out now published by Penguin.

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Newly discovered diaries from World War One soldier provide a true story about the legacy of war

Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
08.10.15 12:18 pm

Author Cate Davis first discovered her father’s diaries from World War One when the family home was being cleared out following the death of the last of his siblings. Although the entries were very terse, after reading them many times Cate felt that there was a story in them that should be told.     

The forthcoming book, From Gallipoli to Coopers Creek (15 November 2015) is a reminder of the devastation of war, and through diary entries tell the story of how Lieutenant Bruce Campbell, like many other men in this era, struggled with fitting back into a society where the civilians were still thinking in terms of their pre-war society.

Bruce records his first shot in his diary - far from the first time he had fired a gun, but it was the first time he had deliberately fired a shot with the intent of killing another human being. The evacuation of Gallipoli, then the inept defeat at Gaza and the realisation that he had to become a completely different person to be able to obey the orders he was given weighed heavily on his soul. And upon his return, being left by his fiancée who no longer recognises the man who left for War.

This biographical novel is about his struggles to overcome all these adversities. Bruce finally falls in love with a woman who has also been adversely affected by the war and has her own obstacles to overcome. Between them, they carve out a happy and meaningful life on the block of land Bruce has been granted under the Soldier Settlement Scheme. From Gallipoli to Coopers Creek is a heart-warming story about the legacy of the war and the healing power of love

Her first book was a children’s book, Polly Platypus, which was made available to charities and has raised over $15,000.  Her second book, Great Granny B was a biography of her husband’s aunt who was the first Welfare Officer to be appointed for migrants after the Second World War.

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Tamar Valley Writers Festival paves way for more regional events

Will Hodgman, Premier, Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
08.10.15 10:36 am

The Tamar Valley Writers Festival has a new name, but the same great attractions which drew 5,000 people to the inaugural Festival of Golden Words in 2014.

The Tamar Valley Writers Festival will be held at locations across the region and will no doubt prove inspirational to writers and visitors alike.

It’s great that this year’s Festival theme aligns with the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to improving literacy, particularly for young Tasmanians.

The Tasmanian Government is proud to support this event and is providing $20,000 in funding through Events Tasmania, and an additional $10,000 through the Premier’s Discretionary Fund.

Each year events supported by our Government return around $100 million to the economy, and they create jobs. Events are also a critical part of bringing more visitors to Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government is supporting more events which draw people out of our major centres to enjoy our regional areas to make sure our regions share in the industry’s billion dollar boom.

The Regional Events Start-Up Program, which I am launching today, makes $610,000 available to kick-start exciting new events, and support existing events to go to the next level, while ensuring they can be financially self-sustaining into the future.

This will help to fill gaps in Tasmania’s events calendar and ensure our quieter seasons are action packed.

I encourage all of those who have a great idea for an event to lodge an Expression of Interest before Stage 1 closes on November 20. Successful applicants will be announced early next year.

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Black Inc and Nero: Australian leader eats raw onion whole

Black Inc. and Nero Books
08.10.15 10:24 am




The Farewell Edition! Compiled by Evan Williams.

Hits shelves Monday 12 October 2015.

Inspired by the Onion, Evan Williams searched high and low for the real news headlines that capture the hilarious hypocrisy and absurdity of the Abbott years.

What he found poses the question: was this Australia’s maddest ever government?







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I want the truth ...

Debbie Lee
08.10.15 7:23 am

Inspired by Tell All The Truth by Emily Dickinson

I want the truth;
not slanted speaking,
not crooked dealing.

I seek the truth;
uncommon exploring,
prejudice imploding.

I want the truth;
words beguiling,
thoughts inspiring.

I seek the truth;
falseness repulsing,
deceit disgusting.

This is my truth;
forsaking lightening,
heavy burdens shared.

I prefer that such care
and kindness be embraced -
not feared, gladly bared.

Debbie Lee is passionate about wordplay, music and stories. One of her sisters is abbreviated to B, which perhaps explains being drawn to places like Ballarat, Brunswick and Brisbane. Publications include fourW, page seventeen, Paradise Anthology, Pink Panther Magazine, Sacred/Profane and Stereo Stories. Please visit for more writing.

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Tasmanian Writers’ Centre: This month writing ...

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
07.10.15 9:39 am


Book your spot!
Big 5 Story Workshop
Saturday October 17, 10am-3pm
5 hours, 5 topics, all you need to know in one big writing-for-children workshop!

Lots of people have a dream of writing for children but not everyone succeeds. In this practical, fun and interactive workshop, Jane Godwin (author and publisher at Penguin Books) and Davina Bell (author and former senior editor at Penguin Books) will share with you all they know about writing and publishing books for children.

Learn more about the industry, explore different ways to build a strong story and become aware of common pitfalls. With a combination of information sharing, practical exercises and helpful advice, this workshop will assist you in taking your writing for young people to the next level.

The day will be broken down into five sections:

5 things you should know about the children’s publishing industry today – facts and figures, insider knowledge, stats and surprises.
5 ways to approach your story – voice, character, language, plot and format.
5 common mistakes that people make when writing for children – we’ve seen them all! (And we’ve made some, too.)
5 children’s books that teach you more than we ever could – what we recommend and why.
5 ways to make it happen – where to from here.
Workshop cost is $150 TWC members, $170 non-members. Includes lunch. Bookings via Eventbrite here.

Moonah Arts Centre, 23-27 Albert Road, Moonah  
Writing Your Memoir with Anita Heiss
Sunday November 1, 10pm-4pm
Dr Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women’s fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a regular guest at writers’ festivals and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Indigenous literature. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. Anita is a role model for the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and an Advocate for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. She is an Adjunct Professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS and currently divides her time between writing, public speaking, MCing, and being a ‘creative disruptor’. Anita was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards. She lives in Sydney.

Anita’s memoir “Am I Black Enough For You?” was released through Random House Australia and was in Readings’ 50 Great Books by Australian Women in 2012. To read more about why Anita wrote this memoir, click here.

The workshop costs $130 for TWC members, $150 for non-members. Lunch included.

Buy your tickets through Eventbrite HERE, or call the Tasmanian Writers Centre: (03) 6224 0029  
An Evening with Anita Heiss
Saturday October 31, 7pm
To make the most of Dr Anita Heiss’ visit, come on down to the Moonah Arts Centre the day before her workshop.

She has performed her works nationally and internationally, and is now coming down to Hobart for a night of readings, questions, and thought-provoking discussion. Not one to miss!

The session costs $10 for TWC members, $15 for non-members.

Buy your tickets through Eventbrite HERE, or call the Tasmanian Writers Centre: (03) 6224 0029  
Book Launches at Fullers Bookshop
Thursday October 15, 5.30pm

Plain-speaking Jane with Jane Caro
Written with panache and wit, Plain-speaking Jane is an unflinchingly honest celebration of a perfectly imperfect life.

Thursday October 28, 5.30pm

Living With Jezebel with author Marlene Levings.
From the age of kerosene lamps to solar power, a rollicking good yarn of one family’s life of adventure, love, heartbreak and endurance in, on and around Tasmanian and Bass Strait Island lighthouses.

Fullers Bookshop, 131 Collins Street, Hobart    
Silver Words
Thursday October 29, 7.30pm

Held on the last Thursday of each month, Silver Words is a night of spoken word with a smorgasbord of poets, rappers, rhymesters, readers, writers and reciters.

The event is hosted by Max Bladel, a vocalist and DJ from Hobart who began rapping at the age of 14.

To add your name to the line-up, contact Silver Words on Facebook here.

Entry is $5.

Tasman Quartermasters, 132-134 Elizabeth Street, Hobart  
Women’s Poetry Oasis
Thursday October 15, 1.30pm-3.30pm

The Women’s Poetry Oasis is a forum for women with an interest in writing and appreciating poetry. It meets at Mathers House on the third Thursday of each month.

Jan Colville will lead this session, focussing on small poems that are not haiku, and what to do with them.

Bring some samples with you to share!

The venue for this Oasis of poetry is the basement at Mathers House (50s and Better Centre), 108 Bathurst St, Hobart.

This venture is supported by the 50s and Better Centre and the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre.
Enquiries to Jan Colville at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Participants are asked to contribute $5 on the day towards the cost of the sessions.

Mathers House, 108 Bathurst Street, Hobart  
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Wednesday October 28 - Sunday November 1
Michael Chabon, Christina Lamb, Mpho Tutu, and Mohsin Hamid are a few of the names in a rich program of panel sessions, literary lunches, poetry slams, cocktail soirées and walking tours.

Follow: @ubudwritersfest and #uwrf15 - and find out more by heading to    
Tasmanian Poetry Festival - Open Mic
Sunday October 11, 2-5pm
We hope you had a chance to get down to some of the great events at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival this year.
There is still one more chance to get involved, at the Empire Hotel in Deloraine. Bring a poem to share, or just enjoy the ambience in of this quiet country pub.
Details HERE

Empire Hotel, Deloraine  
Check the Facebook events page for date and time of events
Slamduggery! is a word slam in Launceston and it wants you, YOU! to slam down your original spoken words. Phwoar! Held monthly. To put your name down for events, contact the organisers via Facebook here. $5 entry.

This slam is open to everyone and anyone who wants to perform, but remember to add your name to the lineup early to book your spot!

Joyce Chinese Cuisine Function Room, 63 Brisbane Street, Launceston  
Poetry Pedlars
Monday October 19, 7.30pm

Keen to join a society of poets and wordsmiths for a regular monthly evening of verse and rhyme? Join a group of fellow Launceston lyricists every third Monday of the month.

Note that the Pedlars have moved from the Royal Oak Hotel to the Pioneer Lobby at Albert Hall! They will have a microphone ready and waiting. An entrance fee will be charged, but organisers will no longer be asking for donations for the competition prize.

Come and join in as a reader or audience member.

Entry fee $5.

Albert Hall, 47 Tamar Street, Launceston  
It’s a Democracy…Vote!
The People’s Choice Awards

Reading is one of the most important things we can do in life and books can take us on adventures we can’t begin to imagine.

The shortlisted books in the 2015 Premier’s Literary Prizes offer a fascinating and diverse collection of very high calibre writing. They provide a great starting point to read Tasmanian stories or work written by Tasmanian authors.

You can read extracts of all the shortlisted works and vote in the People’s Choice Awards for your chance to win all the shortlisted books and score an invitation to the gala announcement of the prize winners at Government House on Wednesday, 2 December 2015.

Visit: for more information and to vote.   
At the Awgies 2015
A big congratulations to Finegan Kruckemeyer who went home with the award for Children’s Theatre with his play “The Boy at the Edge of Everything”.
He also won the Australian Writers’ Guild 2015 David Williamson Prize in “Celebration and Recognition of Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre”.
Coming Up…
Sunday November 15th, 1pm
The Comic Art Workshop is going to be held on Maria Island between the 1st and 14th of November for 14 participants who are working on major graphic novels. Tom Hart and Leela Corman, a power couple in the world of comics, are coming all the way from Florida to run the event.

On November 15 they will be presenting at a Tasmanian Writers Centre event at Salamanca Arts Centre to discuss the Maria Island workshop and comics in general.

More information to come. Stay tuned!

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Petrarch’s, Dymocks: Fiona McIntosh

Paula Xiberras
07.10.15 6:38 am


Author Fiona McIntosh will be visiting Tasmania this weekend promoting her new book ‘The Perfumer’s Secret’

You can see Fiona on the following dates and times:

Saturday 10 October
In store signing
At: Petrarch’s Bookshop, 89 Brisbane St, Launceston TAS 7250
Tickets: Free Event
RSVP: None necessary

Sunday 11 October
Afternoon Tea Event, Author talk, Q&A and book signing
At: George Cartwright Room, Hadley’s Hobart Hotel, 34 Murray St, Hobart TAS 7000
Tickets: $25 includes afternoon tea, cash bar available
RSVP: Call Dymocks on 03 6231 6656 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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The Lift Home

Bronwen Manger
05.10.15 7:38 am

You had me at that glance -
chasms clear of words,
speaking the holy language
with your salivating eyes
across the stick-shift.

Those ristretto shots
smouldering in your sockets
told me
hope-at-all-costs costs,
in some equal & opposite way
(as we are not), and
pondered the expiry
of unspent forgiveness.

Before their brambles
blinked back into berries
your tattletale eyes
even staged a skit: “I’ll shout,”
said the billionaire to the beggar
in the bar,
then the alley.

I’ve got enough friends.
But baby, there’s still room
in my dessert stomach.

*Bronwen Manger is a poet and spoken word artist from Melbourne, and a regular at local poetry readings. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including Best Australian Poems 2012, The Age, Going Down Swinging, page seventeen and Offset. In 2011, twenty of Bronwen’s poems were published in Triptych Poets 2 (Blemish Books). Bronwen has also performed her poetry on TV (Channel 31’s Red Lobster program) and radio (Triple J, 3CR and Phoenix FM).

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Bronwen Manger*
05.10.15 7:35 am

He’ll step out from wreckage
in tap shoes, turn the valley’ to Vegas
and call me President. He’ll be
cats for the spilt milk, night sky
for the broken glass,
a hand to halt the finger
on the button. He’ll bind death
to a banana lounge
with streamers; sandcastles
will spring from his footprints.
He’ll throw open the curtains -
plagues will cower; graves
will cease licking their lips.
He’ll be electric guitars for the eulogies,
laughter for the queues, and questions
for all these years of answers
that need tearing down.

*Bronwen Manger is a poet and spoken word artist from Melbourne, and a regular at local poetry readings. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including Best Australian Poems 2012, The Age, Going Down Swinging, page seventeen and Offset. In 2011, twenty of Bronwen’s poems were published in Triptych Poets 2 (Blemish Books). Bronwen has also performed her poetry on TV (Channel 31’s Red Lobster program) and radio (Triple J, 3CR and Phoenix FM).

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Emily Polites*
05.10.15 7:30 am

(after Emily Dickinson’s poem by the same name)

What’s a girl to do
If a burr invades her shoe?
She’s the one to blame
For the path by which she came

There’s no use for stress
If some mud should spoil her dress
Puddles can’t be asked
To step aside and let her past
Without an ear to hear them, curses are just sounds
Best put by to spend upon the guy who keeps the grounds.

*Emily Polites has achieved a smattering of publications, including Best Australian Poems 2012. Her performance poetry has appeared on TV, radio and online, and she won the audience choice award and runner-up in Melbourne Poetry Idol 2010. Emily and her identical twin Bronwen can be found regularly and joyously listening and performing around Melbourne’s lively spoken word scene.

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Draw-ing on Memories

Paula Xiberras
30.09.15 6:31 am


Ilustrator Kayleen West loves Tasmania and recalls a visit 7 years ago and previous to that visiting Tasmania with her family when she was 13 years of age. Her memories of that time were doing ‘lots of drawing’ including of the beautiful scenic countryside. Kayleen says of a visit to Tasmania it’s a small area that packs in a lot’.

The drawing has never really stopped for Kayleen. It started early when as a young child she created a home-made book with pen and ink and made her way down to a publishing office near her home to sell her book. Her ingenuity saw her granted an interview but she was politely told that the style of the book was no longer what the publishers were looking for. Kayleen still has that famous book.

That passion for illustrating has seen Kayleen illustrating children’s books that aim to inspire children. One such book is ‘Celia and Nonna’ by Victoria Lane.

‘Celia and Nonna’ is a story that explores what happens when someone is affected by Alzheimers and aims to demonstrate that the severity of the condition can be lessened by the love and care of someone close who can help revisit memories.

In the book Celia is very close to her Nonna, often staying over, cooking and reading stories together.

The changes become clear when they appear in Nonna’s everyday activities, such as when Nonna leaves a pot boiling on the stove and gets locked out of her house when she goes to collect the mail but to balance Nonna’s forgetfulness we see a corresponding forgetfulness in Celia as she omits an ear and an eye on the face decorations on the cakes she makes’.

Not only does Celia’s omission demonstrate that anyone can be forgetful but that also how dementia can remove the precious memories that our eyes and ears create for us.

There are some lovely secrets hidden in Kayleen’s illustrations such as when Nonna is reading Celia a story about penguins and fairies. Celia is confusing the characters as her mind muddles into sleep. The two images of penguins and fairies are combined by Kayleen into an illustration of fairy penguins!

There are some lovely illustrations in the book right from the opening page that emphasises the close relationship between Celia and her Nonna. There is a drawing of Nonna and Celia embracing at the doorway as Celia arrives for her sleepover. This embrace is mirrored in that of a drawing of two birds in a overhanging tree and in the positioning of Celia’s sandals as entwined they fall from her feet near the door. This trio of entwinements perhaps gives strength to the idea that nothing can break Nonna and Celia’s strong bond, even when Nonna realises she needs to enter a place where she will gain support in her daily activities.

Kayleen says many children feel intimidated by homes for dementia patients and so in the story Celia begins to make her Nonna’s new home more familiar with what she does best, her drawings and in doing so helps Nonna regain some of her precious memories.

An excellent feature of the book that Kayleen points out to me is that the font is dyslexic friendly so children who are dyslexic will find the book less challenging to read. Kayleen believes more books should use this font to make reading more accessible for all children.

Another feature of the book is that the character of Celia is modelled on a real little girl who had her own health issues but who Kayleen tells me is on the road to recovery now.  A lovely interactive feature of the book was the invitation of real children to provide illustrations for the book to represent the pictures Celia draws for her Nonna.

‘Celia and Nonna’ by Victoria Lane and illustrated by Kayleen West is out now published by Ford Street Publishing.

September is Alzheimers awareness month.

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Guardian Live: Richard Flanagan on love, life and writing

Marta Bausells, Guardian
29.09.15 10:07 am

Pic: Matt Newton,

Why a novel without structure is ‘a jellyfish pretending to be a shark’, and other secrets of the trade revealed by the Booker-winning author at a Guardian Live event on The Narrow Road to the Deep North

As extreme research goes, Richard Flanagan’s encounter with a former Japanese guard from the prison of war camp in which his father had been interned takes some beating. The encounter happened as he was working on his Man Booker prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the Tasmanian author revealed at a Guardian book club event in London this week.

“For no clear reason, I asked him to slap me, which was the principal form of punishment in the imperial Japanese army,” he said. On receiving the third blow, the whole room started to twist up and down and roll widely, and he thought he’d lost his mind. In fact, a 7.3 Richter-scale earthquake had hit Tokyo.

In conversation with John Mullan, as part of the Guardian Live programme, the Tasmanian author promised it would be the last time he’d discuss his novel, featuring an Australian surgeon who unwittingly becomes a national hero for his courage in standing up to his Japanese captors. “I feel finally free,” he said, adding that writing about the “huge cosmos” that was left unsaid by his father, who had been held captive in Burma, had been enormously cathartic.

Here, Flanagan reflects on some of the things he has learned in a 30-year career that has produced six novels and five works of nonfiction as well as two films.

Story is everything

“To me, story is a rhythm that takes you along, and narrative is like a water sprinkler throwing things up everywhere – cliffhangers, unresolved loves, endless twists and turns,” he said. “But story is something more fundamental and oddly abstract,” he said.

“Story is everything. But it is is not dependent on proceeding in that chronological way.” Flanagan believes that’s not really how we understand ourselves, or the world around us. “We always have some understanding of an ending, but it’s trying to understand how we came to that point that consumes us.”

All the great love stories are death stories

“In the end, the only answer we have to politics, to power, to horror, is the love we might know for each other. It’s not a full answer, it’s not the basis for anything, but it is all we have. Perhaps it is in that spirit that I wrote the book,” said Flanagan.

“Love stories demand death,” he added. “Love doesn’t have rules, but love stories do, and one is that there has to be death, because we understand instinctively the great psychological and spiritual truth of love, which is that we discover eternity in a moment that dies immediately after; love’s always transitory and also transcendent. In story terms that means you have to have a death. All the great love stories are death stories.”

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Paralympian Don Elgin releases inspiring, funny biography ‘One Foot On The Podium’

Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
29.09.15 9:28 am

Born without the lower half of his left leg, Don Elgin never considered himself disabled until he was in high school - and even then, he had to be convinced. In his candid biography, One Foot On The Podium ($29.95), Don shares his story, of a boy from the bush who battled the odds and finally stepped onto the podium as a medallist at the Sydney Paralympics. Driven by an inherited sense of grit, determination and pure guts, Don overcomes an abundance of obstacles to rise to the top of the sporting heap. His life’s philosophy tells us that success is not a birthright - it’s earned.

One Foot On The Podium is not just the rags-to-riches story of a poor disabled boy who becomes an elite athlete. It’s a tell-all tale laced with his natural humour and just enough larrikinism to make him loveable. The way Don tells his story is the reason he’s one of the most entertaining and engaging speakers on the Australian circuit today.

More information available at


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Christmas gift ideas from Black Inc. and Nero

Black Inc. and Nero Books
28.09.15 3:10 pm


Merry Christmas from Black Inc. and Nero! We’re excited to introduce our Christmas titles for 2015, featuring perfect gifts for everyone in your life. Click on each image for more information.

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Fullers Bookshop, 5.30pm, Sept 24: Only The Empty Sky

Russell Kelly. Image: Tim Squires, First published July 22
24.09.15 10:06 am



A new novel by


Fullers Bookshop, 131 Collins Street, Hobart,
on Thursday, September 24 at 5.30pm.

Precis for Only The Empty Sky ...

1918: Lord Howe Island, off Australia’s eastern coast. An ­American, Paul De Martinet, arrives to paint the sub-tropical outpost’s ­vanishing birds. Home to an insular community, jealousy and suspicion lurk not far below the surface of what appears to be an otherwise carefree community. On expeditions into the island’s mysterious and beautiful kentia palm forests he is accompanied by Margaret Sleap, a gifted local gardener. Re-animating vanished birds in paint, they find each specimen resonates with its own deeper story of loss and belonging. Together they map out the aching territory of love until one day, as tensions surface, they are the victims of a savage attack that sets in motion their own choices of survival.

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New Book, “The Intervention – an Anthology”, is Very Timely

Georgina Gartland for Jeff McMullen, Alastair Nicholson, Nicole Watson, Arnold Zable
24.09.15 7:37 am


Consultation, Consultation, Consultation!!!

In the second half of 2015 it is becoming clearer that many Aboriginal people and their communities “are now so fed up with Government orchestration of the so called policy consultation process that they are asserting their right to discuss the issues on their own and where necessary challenge or resist the oppression,”  Jeff McMullen AO.

This is leading to growing calls and meetings across the country for the right of Aboriginal people to determine their own futures and for recognition of their sovereignty through treaty or treaties.

Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the Northern Territory where Aboriginal people have now lived under the Intervention for eight years with its consequent disempowerment of Aboriginal communities. In 2012 the Intervention was rebadged and extended for ten years (Stronger Futures and other related package of three laws). This imposed further punitive controls over Aboriginal peoples of the N.T.

With this context the newly published book, “The Intervention – an Anthology”, is very timely.

More than twenty award-winning and internationally recognised Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian authors have taken a stand by using the power of their words to generate much needed discussion and debate. Importantly, as well, the Anthology includes statements from a number of N.T. Elders about the Intervention. Indeed, this book chronicles a very shameful page of our nation’s history.

The book gives a broad-sweeping assessment from people who live under the destructive impacts of intervention controls, as well from writers and Aboriginal leaders who clearly see the damage the Intervention continues to do long after it has disappeared from the mainstream psyche.

Contributor, Nicole Watson writes, “In spite of the profound consequences for Aboriginal people, the public debate over the measures has been minimal.” Nicole, of the Birri-Gubba people, will join one of Melbourne’s contributors, Arnold Zable, and well known Australian author in speaking at the Melbourne launch.

Arnold Zable speaks of the importance of ‘listening’ and quotes, “Been too much intervention not enough listening…Side by side, on equal ground. Working it out. Sitting with the community, sitting with the elders…Where there is intervention, there will be resistance.”

The Honorable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, retired Chief Justice of the Family Court, who has passionately and frequently spoken out about the injustice of the Intervention will also speak and launch the book. He states,

‘The experience of so called “consultation” by successive Federal Governments has led to a complete loss of confidence in such a process on the part of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the point that it is questionable whether any agreements based on consultation can ever be legitimate.

Representatives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people appointed /elected by them must be permitted to negotiate as equals with Governments to arrive at binding agreements acceptable to both. Such agreements could take the form of a legally binding treaty perhaps enshrined in and given effect by the Constitution.”

This book, The Intervention – an Anthology, adds to the litany of actions that have oppressed and continue to oppress Australia’s First Nations People for over the last 237 years. The book should be widely read by Australians young and old.

      It is time to “listen” to the people and allow their rightful place and voice in their lands.

Contributors to the Anthology include: Debra Adelaide, Pat Anderson, Larissa Behrendt, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Eva Cox, Brenda L. Croft, Lionel Fogarty, Djiniyini Gondarra, Yingiya Mark Guyula, Rodney Hall, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Deni Langman, Melissa Lucashenko, Jeff McMullen, PM Newton, Christine Olsen, Bruce Pascoe, Nicole Watson, Samuel Wagan Watson, Rachel Willika, Alexis Wright, Yalmay Yunipingu and Arnold Zable.

Date:  This Thursday, September 24th
Time   11.30am -1pm,
Venue, Arena Publications 2 Kerr St. Fitzroy

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October titles from Black Inc. and Nero

Black Inc. and Nero Books
23.09.15 12:36 pm


We’re excited to announce the October titles from Black Inc. and Nero.

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Former British diplomat releases Australian-based debut crime fiction book, ‘Deadly Diplomacy&

Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
23.09.15 12:34 pm

“A cracking read. Fast-paced with fascinating characters, and written with all the authority of a seasoned diplomat.”  -  Helen Lindell, former British High Commissioner to Australia

Former British Diplomat Jean Harrod’s debut crime fiction novel, Deadly Diplomacy ($21.95, November 2015), follows the story of Diplomat Jess Turner, the British Consul in Canberra. When a British businesswoman is brutally murdered in a Queensland resort, Jess travels to Brisbane to liaise with the police, and help the victims next of kin, her journalist sister, Susan.  Queensland DI Tom Sangster is assigned the case, but the Federal Government is very interested in it too. The murder victim was negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal to supply LNG to China, and soon rumours of corruption swirl around the intelligence community. Was she taking Chinese bribes?

Jess is taken aback by Susan’s deep suspicion of the police. When Susan snatches her sisters diary and disappears - and two more high profile murders follow in quick succession - the race is on to find Susan and the diary before the killer does. Jess and Sangster, each with their own pieces of the puzzle, must work together to solve this case. Deadly Diplomacy is the thrilling, debut crime novel from former British Diplomat Jean Harrod.

Author Jean Harrod is available for interview. Born and educated in the UK, Jean Harrod was employed as a British diplomat for many years, working in Embassies and High Commissions in Australia, Brussels, the Caribbean, China, East Berlin, Indonesia, Mauritius, and Switzerland.  She has travelled extensively around the world and writes about all the countries she has lived in, or visited. ‘Deadly Diplomacy’ is her debut diplomatic crime novel, and the first of a series featuring diplomat Jess Turner and DI Tom Sangster.  Jean now lives in North Yorkshire.  Jean’s official website is

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Thomas Kent
23.09.15 6:38 am

I know you now, old shoe
Know the way you glance out your corners
While I try to keep up with your long stride
The way your lips lift slightly when you are amused
The mischief that puts sunlit water in your glance
The various colours that the light makes your eyes
Into which I have so long gazed in deep converse
How your heart constantly melts in gentleness
The constant amusement your wry vision gives of the world
I mostly know the way you will respond to what I say
The expressions that I will see upon your brow
Though your personal vision gives unexpected reply
I love to give you things that will make you concentrate
There’s nothing so beautiful to me than thought on your face
I never believed my inconstant heart would find love that did not tire
But after -w hat - six years now, you’re still a constant wonder
To me, ever new and delightful
I could no more tire of you than of watching a river flow
A fire flicker, or stars in outer space.

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the night porter

Thomas Kent
23.09.15 6:37 am

this mundane man
who a combination
of received ambition
and blind chance
has placed at the head of a kingdom
is, because he is at that peak
a supernatural being
wrapped around with spells
the gods watch him

usually he is too bound up with endless activity
to feel them
but at times he sees the star dust
as he vainly grasps
slipping through his fingers
the destiny of twenty million
dropping into an abyss
the extent of which he cannot see
does not have the capacity to imagine

he is a follower only
and he goes to his followers
looking for answers
hoping they will save him
but he chose only in his own mould, but weaker
they can do little more than parrot him

sometimes he feels himself surrounded
by jabbering monkeys
and he feels that he is the king of all that aspires
the instrument of destiny
given the power to save all
or cast it to destruction
he does not realise that the gods give
no greatness, no capacity for making
to those who have no creation of their own

and so he hides from himself his own terror
slowly crushed by the world he believes he carries
and has stripped himself of the vision to know
that all the time
he is strapped to the front of an engine
pounding relentlessly down fixed tracks
and his iron will
is really just the metal of the rails
self-forged through obedience
that are carrying him helplessly
to his own destruction.

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Scoop Boy, Melbourne, 1890

Thomas Kent
23.09.15 6:36 am

Charlie’s me name, eleven years old this summer
I’m a horse shit clearer, that’s what I do
The crossing of Bourke and Elizabeth’s me beat
Darting between the fancy carriages and the ‘furious’ rider’s hooves
So the ladies in silk tents and gents in tall hats can keep clear -

Melbourne, the horse capital of the world
Five hundred thousand of horses and people each
Twenty thousand horses in these crowded city streets
A billion flies, and horse straw always flying through the air
No wonder veils are standard ladies’ wear -

You work it out. Every day
That’s 400 tons of manure
Eighty thousand gallons of urine, two hundred thousand of sweat
That’s a lot of shit mate.  Slippery streets
You can smell the Yarra three miles away
And in 1856 a horse drowned in a puddle right here

Mad horse!  You hear it yelled several times a week
Everyone dashes for doorways and stone
And there’s plenty of that - boom town buildings everywhere
And several hundred people killed by horses each year

Dog-carts, traps, gigs, jingles, sulkies, drays and hansoms,
Buggies, horse buses, broughams, phaetons, growlers, wagonettes
And in Bourke St, harness makers, haylofts, feed merchants
Blacksmiths, saddlers, coach repair and breaking rings

From their rooves you can see the jungle of sails
In Port Phillip Bay, that will take our breed all over the world
The whorehouses, the taverns, the constant creak of ships

I’ve no wish for foreign lands.  When I’m a man
I’ll escape the constant curses by becoming a farrier or groom
I guess in a hundred years there’ll be ten million horses here
But you who love them, remember who made this town.

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Day’s Duality

Paula Xiberras
23.09.15 5:39 am


An archipelago is the collective name for a group of islands and fittingly finds its word origin from the Greek for ‘sea.’

Gregory Day’s novel ‘Archipelago of Souls’ is about two islands, wartime Crete and peacetime King Island and the sea between. It’s also a novel about souls that reside in both of these islands and in the case of Wesley’s brother, a soul lost to the sea.

The sea separates siblings in the form of Wesley Cross and his brother during their time in Crete. Wesley has every right, as his name suggests to be cross as he was his brother’s keeper. The islands then are both literal and metaphorical, representative latterly of characters isolated for whatever reason.

The character of the postman provides the connection between the island and the mainland which could otherwise only be bridged, pardon the pun, by a boat. The postman is the intermediary who also bridges the islands the novel’s characters represent.

The author of this lyrical novel is Gregory Day who tells me when we chat that he wanted to be a writer from his teenage years. Gregory has a fascination for islands, most notably, King Island. He loves them because you can ‘find the edges’.

As the story moves between the islands of Crete and King Island we are introduced to a real historical character in the form of archaeologist and wartime British intelligence officer John Pendlebury who, in the novel discovers ‘a shard’ depicting the image of a dolphin ridden by a man with a child on his shoulders. The motif, says Gregory, represents freedom, perhaps something desired in those wartime years and achieved in the present day King Island.

Gregory comments on writing the quote that ‘a work of art is never finished; only abandoned.’ His idea about writing is ‘not to give too much away’ but let the reader be the archaeologist and make discoveries themselves.

As to the possibilities of making the book into a film Greg believes in author Morris Gleitzman’s idea of ‘the magic spaces’, the connection between reader and author unique to every individual. Gregory believes that film cannot recreate that very personal experience a reader has with a book or indeed the author’s personal vision that informs their writing, for example, the farm scenes Enid Blyton created in her novels were ‘her farm,’ her very own personal vision that her readers recreate from their own experience of reading the book.

The picture painted by the author will be embellished by the reader’s own experiences making everyone’s reading a completely unique experience. Archipelago of Souls is such an experience.

‘Archipelago of Souls’ is out now published by Macmillan.

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ASA: Call to Fifield: Restore arts funding to Australia Council

Australian Society of Authors
21.09.15 3:19 pm


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A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells, quirky new young-adult fiction novel

Leah Broadby
21.09.15 7:38 am




A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells, a quirky young adult fiction novel, was published August 4th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. It has now become available to all expanded distribution channels, including bookshops and libraries.

Bev’s fridge won’t stop complaining, her vase has a death wish, and she suspects her daughter has ADD.

Chloe knows she is “A Dreadful Daughter,” but the truth is more complicated than that. Chloe is magiken, meaning she can breathe life into objects…even if she can’t always control them. She will soon turn fourteen. Growing up means losing one’s powers. Even worse, she will lose all memories of those powers.

Meanwhile, a painting is born on the wall of a dance studio. Feeling lonely and literally flat, he hops down from the wall and ventures into the dizzying, confounding world. The painting is close to starvation when he meets Chloe. Using her magic, she draws a pizza from rock, saving his life. He adopts the name “Timmy” and becomes her sidekick, of sorts.

Events turn sinister when the Skizen, a creature of diabolical power, begins kidnapping young magiken. Chloe’s magic is already leaking. Before she is drained of magic, Chloe and Timmy must save the children.

Also… is it ethical to fall for a painting?

Just after Leah’s book was published, it reached the editor’s desk at Authonomy, where it received a glowing review from HarperCollins:

“This is a quirky and enjoyable children’s story with great lead characters and plenty of laughs. You have a wonderful imagination that will delight your young readers. It was a joy to read and I can imagine that I would have enjoyed it just as much, if not more, as a young reader. The story feels well-formed, as do your characters.”

With a touch of Douglas Adams’ humour and a pinch of Pendleton Ward’s wackiness, this book is an unanticipated trip into the unknown.

1514730421 (ISBN13: 9781514730423)

To place orders for this book, please find all relevant links at:
Book resellers may apply for a CreateSpace Direct wholesale account by visiting the following link:


Leah was born in Hobart, attended Cygnet Primary School and Huonville High School. When she moved from her home island, it was to a far-flung half-peninsula: South Korea. There, she held two solo art exhibitions and participated in numerous national and international group exhibitions. Most of her paintings are a blend patterns inspired by Aboriginal art and fantastical characters inspired by her own dreams. During her time in Korea, Leah also worked for universities, artists, writers, students and other clients in translating/editing poetry, creative pieces, newsletters and theses. She was involved in radio and television for a time, but found the spotlight to be a touch too blinding.

Leah has wanted to be an author since she was nine; the exact time she realised such a profession was available to her. At age thirty-four, now living back in Australia, this goal has finally been realised with the release of a quirky YA fantasy novel titled A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells. With a cast of wacky and head-strong characters, this roller-coaster of a story is likely to please the younger reader as well as older readers who enjoy a good innuendo.


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Cameron Hindrum
20.09.15 1:45 pm

Jonathan Bowden

Launceston is set to be immersed in verse again, with the 2015 Tasmanian Poetry Festival getting under way on the 29th September.

Celebrating its 30th year, the Festival again takes the pulse of contemporary poetry in Australia and finds it well and truly alive and kicking, according to Festival Director Cameron Hindrum.

“We’ve invited a broad range of exciting poets to Launceston this year and they will share their work over nine events between September 29 and October 11,” Hindrum said.

“This year the Festival includes a film premiere, a boat cruise, two poetry slam events and readings at the splendid Royal Park site of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery as well as some other iconic Launceston locations.” The QVMAG reading will be broadcast live on City Park Radio and the festival is also visiting Deloraine this year, with an open-mic reading there on Sunday October 11th.

Invited guest readers this year include Ivy Alvarez, Conrad, Billy Marshall Stoneking, Duncan Hose, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Caitlin Maling, Lyndon Walker, Anne Collins, Oliver Garden and Irish Joe Lynch.

“As always, the program is diverse and stimulating, incorporating a full range of poetic styles, voices and experiences, ranging from Lyndon Walker’s music-inspired confessions to Ali Cobby Eckermann’s beautiful evocations of indigenous stories and symbols,” Mr Hindrum said.

Two highlights of this year’s Festival include an masterclass with Ivy Alvarez, ‘Poems that Pack Punch’, on the afternoon of Friday October 2nd. “Ivy has a very strong international reputation and we are thrilled to offer the chance to learn from one of the best,” Mr Hindrum said.

The other ‘must attend’ event is the world premiere of guest poet Conrad’s film ‘Heretic’, at the Nuala O’Flaherty Auditorium on Thursday evening, October 1. “Conrad describes herself as an ‘obsessive outsider’ and this film portrays her unique and compelling journey into the heart of what it means to be an artist,” Mr Hindrum said.

“Afterwards Conrad will participate in Q&A with the audience to answer questions about the film and her work more generally.”

Weekend Passes for the Festival are available at Volume 2 Books in St John Street for $50 or $40 concession; individual events are $12 or $10 concession. For more information about the Festival, including information and sample poems from our Guest Poets, please visit or contact the Festival at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

Places for the Ivy Alvarez masterclass ($45, or $80 for the Masterclass and a Festival Weekend Pass) are strictly limited and only three remain. Email the Festival at the above address to book a place. Bookings are also required for Words on Water on Friday evening October 2—reserve a place by emailing the Festival.

The Festival thanks Arts Tasmania, the WD Booth Charitable Trust, Arts Regional Tasmania and the Launceston City Council for their support.

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Former Tasmanian Returns for Launceston’s Tasmanian Poetry Festival

Cameron Hindrum
17.09.15 12:32 pm


AUCKLAND, NZ – Former Tasmanian IVY ALVAREZ reads from her book Disturbance at Launceston’s Tasmanian Poetry Festival (2-4 October 2015).

Disturbance tells the story of a man who kills his wife, son, and then himself, leaving the daughter as a sole survivor of this crime.

“I’ve seen people in tears at these readings,” said Ms Alvarez.

“The subject matter can be very triggering.”

Ms Alvarez also delivers Poems that Pack Punch, a Poetry Masterclass, as part of the Festival.

Writer Meryl Stenhouse called the Masterclass “a delightful and stimulating three-hour workshop”.

Tasmanian Poetry Festival ...

Contact for the Festival and Masterclass: Cameron Hindrum .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Ms Ivy Alvarez: Born in the Philippines, Ms Alvarez grew up in Australia and has lived in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, before moving to NZ in 2014.

Ms Alvarez wrote Disturbance with support from Literature Wales (UK) and the Australia Council for the Arts.

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Hobart Bookshop: Warren Boyles launches Craig Godfrey’s new book, Shadow Hunter

The Hobart Bookshop
16.09.15 12:48 pm


Please join us as Warren Boyles launches Craig Godfrey’s new book, Shadow Hunter: Catching the Notorious Criminals of Van Diemen’s Land.

Set in Hobart Town in 1855, Shadow Hunter is a murder mystery featuring fledgling detective Caspian Hunter, recently arrived from Birmingham to assist in the running of Hobart Town’s new criminal agency.

An abandoned ship off the southern coast of Van Diemen’s Land leaves a trail of mystery and unanswered questions, not to mention several murders. This fast-paced novel documents Caspian’s efforts to solve the crimes whilst being seduced by the delights of mid-Victorian Hobart Town in the guise of innkeepers, convict constables, doxys and many larger-than-life characters: Aboubacar the Negro albino magician, Lynch Savage the obese tavern keeper, Nebena the blackfella gentleman, Bonnie Nettles the whore, and more…

When: Wednesday September 30th, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Fullers Bookshop: Launch of Domain House

Peter Freeman
15.09.15 9:00 pm

Download flyer for the Domain House. The Fullers Bookshop launch will be held on Thursday October 8 at 5.30pm ...

RSVP via the Flyer ....


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Hobart Bookshop: Made in India, a new poetry collection by Jen Gibson

The Hobart Bookshop
15.09.15 3:24 pm


Please join us at the launch of Made in India, a new poetry collection by Jen Gibson.

Chris Gallagher, director of the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, will launch the book, which reflects Gibson’s experiences in India in the 1990s.

‘Enjoy a rewarding trip to India with Jen Gibson. In poems exotic yet familiar, women sweep, peaks rise, spider webs quiver with a footfall, birds call and children chant. But in evoking the full sweep of her Indian experience, we hear of greedy cities, lethal childbirth and child brides. Jen Gibson’s eye is keen. Her voice is clear. The poems are beautifully rendered to offer a reading of India that draws us in. Well worth the journey.’ - Jan Colvill

‘Jen Gibson lived and travelled in various parts of India for four years in the 1990s. Her experiences there affect her life and work profoundly to this day. In Made in India: travels in poetry, Jen Gibson casts her wondering, humorous, compassionate gaze on all she meets and sees. These poems have the immediacy of vivid journal entries - some are snapshots, others reflective as well. All convey the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of India. Read these poems and Jen will take you there.’ - Robyn Mathison

‘These poems cover all that is extraordinary about India. From life’s minutiae to the grand vistas of the Himalayas, Jen’s words fill me with a longing to return. Sensuous and deeply personal, juxtaposed images breathe life into a magical subcontinent experience.’ - Chris Gallagher

When: Wednesday September 23, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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