Just back from the Byron Bay Writers Festival on the northern coast of NSW where i hosted two panels of writers and was interviewed by Meanjin journal editor Sophie Cunningham (click here to read Sophie’s Byron Bay blog). Delightful weather (cf. last year when apparently Noah’s Floodes sent everyone packing) and an eclectic mix of writers (from former undercover cops to sexagenarian rock stars to controversial bio-ethicists) combined to create an entirely enjoyable three days of words words words can’t get enough of those words.
My next essay for Meanjin is on the topic of the Balibo Five, the five newsmen murdered in East Timor in 1975 whilst reporting on the Indonesian invasion for Australian television. If you haven’t been to see the new Australian feature film ‘Balibo’ yet (directed by Rob Connolly), get onto it. One of the best films made in this country for years.
Looking forward to catching the fabulous King Curly on Sunday afternoon (16th August) at the Oakleigh Bowling Club before they head off on a tour of the US of A. If they don’t play ‘Sometimes i wish i was a girl’, this girl will weep.
And next week i’ll be getting my regular fix of Handel opera with the Victorian Opera’s new production of ‘Xerxes‘, being performed at the benighted new Melbourne Recital Hall.
If you’re interested in hearing a musical line-up including Paul Kelly, Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Katie Noonan and the Cat Empire (and who wouldn’t be), come along to the Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday 25th August for a concert to raise funds for an Indigenous Literacy Project.
I’ll be co-hosting The Conversation Hour on 774 ABC Melbourne with Jon Faine at 11:00 am on Thursday September 10th – guests include journalists Jack Marx and Paul Kelly (the other PK).
On the same day i’ll be running the third of five non-fiction writing workshops for the Victorian Writers Centre in the Nicholas Building on Swanston St, Melbourne.
And on September 18th i’ll be singing in a concert in the Melba Hall at the University of Melbourne, Parkville. Called ‘Songs for a Changing Planet’, it features musical settings of poetry by Michael Leunig, David Howard and Graeme Ellis by local composers Natalya Wagner and Johanna Selleck, and is a fund-raiser for the Australian Conservation Foundation. For bookings phone (03) 9758 2641.