Commentary

Apr 25, 2009

Peace, EWF & ‘Helloooo, my name is Number One…’

dove-of-peaceFirst of all, happy ANZAC Day. It’s great to take some time to think about the young soldiers who have been sacrificed for our country, and the sadness of war – conflict, power, greed. I know that books and films have been beneficial to my knowledge and understanding of war, and of nationalism, patriotism (the genuine, the forced and the mythical) etc. These favourites are all films, but stories nonetheless: Gallipoli, Schindler’s List (I’m yet to read Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark), Good Morning Vietnam, Full Metal Jacket, and more. What texts have shaped your perception of war?

* The Emerging Writers’ Festival programme has been launched! Check it out here. If you’re in Melbourne or feel like travelling to Melbourne in May, do come along. As I was on the Programme Advisory Committee I was very happy to see that they used quite a few of the authors I suggested, and the programme is really strong overall – something for everyone.

Where will you see me?

15 Minutes of Fame:
On the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (May 25-28) from 5:30pm at the City Library in Flinders Lane, yours truly will be interviewing hot new writers (from novelists, to playwrights, poets, picture book writers etc.) about their publications, and how they got there, for 15 minutes at a time. I must also mention the exciting fact that there is wine tasting, and it is FREE. I will also try to wear a different outfit every day, though the tights might be a staple as I’ll be rushing from work on my bike each evening. Writers, wine, readings, mingling, what more could you ask for?

The Revolution Will be Downloaded:
Yeah baby. Come and hear me talk about the love of my life – this blog! On Saturday May 30 at 3pm I’ll be blabbering alongside Rachel Hills (uber-cool writer/blogger), and James Stuart (poet/new media dude). The panel will be hosted by Karen Andrews.

And in the spirit of the festival I’ll continue to feature the ‘Literary Space’ of participating writers up until it’s on. If you’re also appearing at the festival, feel free to spruik in the comments below!

number_one* You may remember recently that I talked about being on a list of Australian blogs on writing? Well after quite a few comments and prompts, Jonathan Crossfield of Copywrite actually rejigged the list. And I was surprised and honoured to come out at number one! Now, there are two things to note – these are blogs which are at least in part ‘about writing’, not ‘literary blogs’ in general, so omitted are blogs like Matilda, which is legendary. Also, it is based on statistics, not Crossfield’s opinion – you’ll see he has used things like the blog’s Technorati rating etc. These kind of stats show that a lot of folks link to me, and I get a goodly amount of visitors. So all in all, I’m just stoked. It makes me even more pumped to talk about cultural blogging on the aforementioned panel at EWF. Cheers for reading and linking! (Pictured: the original ‘Number One’).

* The May/June Bookseller+Publisher is on its way to subscribers. Just came in the office this week. I’ll tell you a bit more about it next weekend (forgot to bring a copy home – doh!).

* Overland and Meanjin are offering a subscription deal, explained in this inspired and lol-worthy video. Spend your KRudd money on some culture.

* The Short Review April is now up.

* Some of my favourite writers are recommending books for us over at Poets & Writers. Check out Joe Meno, Sarah Manguso, and the rest. By the way – like Sarah Manguso? Watch this space…

* And here’s a really interesting article from Publisher’s Weekly (thanks Tim), directed at publishers. What can they do better? The author makes some good (but not necessarily easily-applicable) points.

* Haiku comp winners will be announced tomorrow. You’ve got until midnight to enter!

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