Art & Design


Literature Events Aplenty In November

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There’s never been a lack of events in Melbourne for the literary minded amongst us. From boutique book launches in clandestine cafes to poetry slams and spoken word in smoky bars, authors local and international have been drawn to our streets like aging cyclists to lattes and lycra. And since Melbourne was designated the world’s second UNESCO City of Literature, the coming weeks are as stuffed with things to do as a novice at an orgy.

If there’s one thing Melbourne may do better than the book business, it’s music. After last month’s series on Life and Death saw award-winning author Helen Garner admit she was shocked by a latex penis and crime-novelist Shane Maloney heckled on stage by a crazed bald dude, this November the folks at the Wheeler Centre are marrying our two favourite past-times with their lecture series, Words and Music.

On November 11 come celebrate the process, inspiration and craft of writing that goes on behind the songs we love at Musically Speaking, a free event that features Claire Bodwitch and Stephen Cummings. For those who’d rather see this sublime coupling of words and music in action, head to Federation Square on Saturday the 13th for Ezra Bix’s Art Fix to be hooked on hip-hop and poetry. Presenting two award-winning spoken-word artists, Omar Musa and Luka Haralampou, this event will have you writhing and rhyming in no time. Towards the end of the month you can catch Reading on Vocation: Musicians. In partnership with Radio National’s The Book Show, which explores the reading habits of Melbourne professions, join Richard Gill and Spicks and Specks regular Ali McGregor on the literary influences of Melbourne’s musicians.

But if you’re more likely to be found finger-dancing your way through an eBook on your iPad than trying to stand straight at the Tote, there’s Reading Without Privacy on November 16. Delving into our socially networked world of Twitter and Facebook, this event questions the way our online lives have dissolved the distinction between what’s private and public.

And it’s not just the Wheeler Centre stuffing your stocking this month. On November 23 the Victorian Writer’s Centre is hosting a workshop on Working as Freelance Writer with Alison Aprhys and Louise Connor. At Readings Carlton, Addition author Toni Jordan will be discussing her second novel, Fall Girl on November 10. Chick-lit not your thing? Then Readings St Kilda will have you riding shotgun with the bad boys and babes of Melbourne crime writing, including Susanna Lobez (Gangland Australia) and Stephen Sewell (Animal Kingdom) on the 11th.

So get off your ass and become as cultured as you pretend you are.