Art & Design


Literature Events This March

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The book selling industry is funked. It’s International Woman’s Day during March. With a roster of lectures and launches focusing on death and babes this month’s literary events reads like a Tarantino script.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on the 8th, Carlton Readings (309 Lygon St, Carlton) with Kill Your Darlings, will discuss the current standing of women in publishing, writing and the media. Chaired by KYD editor Rebecca Starford, the panel will include Monica Dux (The Great Feminist Denial), Sleepers editor Louise Swinn and former Meanjin editor, Sophie Cunningham.

Over at the Wheeler Centre (176 Lt. Lonsdale St, Melbourne) Scottish novelist (and Julian Assange’s ghostwriter-to-be) Andrew O’Hagan discusses love, religion, class and the clash of generations with Michael McGirr on the 9th. Moving to the theatre scene, on the 24th the centre will host Drama Queens, examining the role of female playwrights in contemporary Australia. Moderated by Chris Mead from Playwriting Australia and featuring playwrights Patricia Cornelius and Van Badham with Artistic Directors Marion Potts and Ralph Myers, this discussion will consider the apparent sexism within the industry.

The Thornbury Theatre (859 High St, Thornbury) will host one of the newer literary events, Women of Letters on the 27th. Co-founded by Age writers Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire, WoL is a monthly gathering of prominent Melbourne women from the arts and politics focusing on the lost art of letter writing. This month? A letter of complaint from musician Renee Geyer, comedian Felicity Ward, broadcaster, journalist and writer, Tracee Hutchison, SLAM rally organiser Helen Marcou, and filmmaker and writer, Sofia Stefanovic, with proceeds raised from the afternoon donated to Victorian animal rescue shelter, Edgar’s Mission.

For a little positivity on the standing of women in literature, Meg Mundell launches her debut novel, Black Glass at the Bella Union Bar at Trades Hall (cnr Victoria and Lygon St, Carlton South) on the 10th at 6.00pm.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is not just a very good book by Ernest Hemingway. It’s probably the primary phrase being murmured in the thinning checkout line at Borders. Just how loudly that bell tolls is being questioned at the Wheeler Centre on the 30th. In partnership with Meanjin and Overland, the Meanland event The Evolution of the Bookshop will bring together a panel of retailers, e-traders and industry insiders to appraise the changing role of book selling in the digital age and what that means for readers, writers and literature.

If the death of the book industry isn’t enough to satisfy your morbid fascinations join Susan Shore for the launch of Death, Our Last Illusion. Held at Carlton Readings at 6.30pm on the 25th, Shore’s book deals with the latest science on near-death experiences and the passages through physical death to the states of consciousness beyond.

Proving things aren’t all bad, prolific author and former British politician Jeffrey Archer will be in conversation with Jennifer Byrne at Collins St Baptist Church (174 Collins St, Melbourne) on the 22nd at 7.30pm. And at 6.15pm on Monday the 21st, four first-time authors (three of them women!) will read from their work at the Wheeler.

Tastier than a five-dollar shake, I’d say.


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