The Hearth: Of The Night

Last week I went to a wonderful new reading night at The Jade called The Hearth, a kind of literary salon similar to the Quart Short series where writers perform new work (this time their own) in a club sort of atmosphere. I mainly went to hear the poetry of my friend J V (Julie) Birch but I was also introduced to the work of:

Lisandra Linde who read a non-fiction piece about her intimate experiences with cadavres as a forensic scientist,
Andy Lee, who read from his work about earth, environmental crisis and interplanetary travel,
Marina Deller who read a very honest and beautiful personal essay on the death of her mum Kate, grief and healing and
Melanie Pryor who performed beautiful Australian landscape work accompanied by the music which inspired it.
J V Birch  read a selection of her poems from her two collections on the themes of darkness and the moon.
These were interspersed with music by local folk artist Dee Trewartha who played excellent acoustic guitar & ukulele to her own (and others’) compositions.

A brief Q & A at the end allowed the talented writers to give the audience a bit of insight into the motivation and thinking behind the works.

What an amazing night for $5!!

(All photos courtesy of The Hearth.)

Andy Lee

Dee Trewartha

Emma Maguire

JV Birch

Marina Deller

Melanie Prior

In a subjunctive mood


It was my great pleasure to launch David Harris’ first full poetry collection In a Subjunctive Mood (Ginninderra Press) on Friday night at Coventry Library, Stirling. David has done so many interesting things in his life; an engineer, entrepreneur, pilot, speaker of five languages, musician – and now , at eighty – a witty and intelligent poet.

David’s partner Valerie Volk filled us in on his remarkable background since most of us only knew only one or two aspects of his very full life. David gave us context and read a few of his poems. Nigel Ford did an excellent job as MC. After reading a few more verses and launching the book I sang If I Were a Subjunctive Clause.

A great night to celebrate the publication of a great book!

spring shorts and your life

Bad health and mobility problems have forced us to put our Cherry Gardens property on the market so it was a welcome opportunity to get along to the Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange in Adelaide for the Spring Shorts instalment of the Quart Short Literary Reading Nights, to sip on a Yamazaki whisky and forget about the stresses of real estate for a while. Veteran actor Patrick Frost read my short story My Life © brilliantly. It’s an interesting experience disassociatedly hearing your own work coming from someone else’s mouth. Actors Michael Allen, Nikki Fort, Robbie Greenwell, Holly Meyers and Lucy Slattery read a range of new work by Ben Brooker, Bernadette Eden, Ashley Kalagian Blunt, Gemma Parker, Sally Ryhanen and Deb Wain.

Thanks once again to the actors and the Quart Short Collective (Janet Thomas, Ben Brooker & Patrick Frost) for promoting Australian writing!