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Archive for October, 2011

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“Hi I’m Megan Jennaway and I’m reading from my novel The Water Jar.

Long before their arrival in our village I knew that strangers were approaching. There had been portents all week, with eels jumping out of streams to lie dehydrating on the banks, and stormclouds building up in September, the month of flawless skies. My father was expecting the visitors, because he was an educated man, a country administrator for the Portuguese, and his superiors in the government had tipped him off.
They came in boats at a time of year when the male sea that lies to the south is relatively placid. There was little outward sign of commotion, just a quiet absorption into various houses around the hamlet, a flicker of lamps within as tea and rice were prepared for the hungry strangers.

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“Hi I’m Marele Day and I’m reading from The Sea Bed which is a novel set in a community of abalone diving women.

Lilli climbed the pyramid of rock, sat on the peak, knees to her chest, feet poised. The reef was out there somewhere, in a straight line left of the dragon’s claw. Reef, seaweed, fish, tides, currents. This was the language Cedar had taught her. The sea’s distant humming, its bubbly shore chatter.

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“Hi, I’m Glenda Guest. I’m going to read to you from my novel Siddon Rock.

Macha Connor arrived home from war as naked as the day she was born, except for well-worn boots and a dusty slouch hat, and the .303 rifle she held across her waist.

Alistair Meakins watched her from the shadows of his shop doorway.

Alistair saw the world as intersecting lines and spaces. His window display often had a background of ribbon lattice in suitable seasonal colours but he rarely used summer colours, saying to his customers, Summer is a blast from hell without red blaring into the street, to make us feel worse.

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Hello this is Tim Thorne. My poem is called Scratched in Stone.

On the wall of a cell in Richmond Castle:
“The only war worth fighting is the class war.”
1916: A few men brave enough to be called cowards
knew there would be no war
if no-one obeyed.  The first step
led to a stone wall.  What was scratched on that wall
is there still.  Refusal
is the only weapon they can’t take from you.
When a kid in the firing squad
(They always picked the youngest.)
chose not to shoot, he was next.

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Hi I’m David Brooks and I’m going to read a poem that’s called Spiders about the House – a secret of the Blue Mountains that not too many people talk about.

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“Hello, I’m Charlotte Clutterbuck and I’m going to read Tricky Arithmetic (a poem published in Meanjin about difficult choices and their consequences):

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“Hi, it’s Deb Westbury here. I’m going to read two poems from my most recent collection. The collection is called The View From Here and was published in 2008. It features my new and selected work. Both poems are dedicated to refugees everywhere.

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“Hi, my name’s Ross Donlon. I’m going to read you a couple of poems from my latest book, The Blue Dressing Gown and Other Poems.  The first one’s called The Blue Dressing Gown and the second is called In Praise of Washing … for all those people out there who like washing.

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“I’m Vicki Hastrich and this is from my novel The Great Arch which is about an Anglican clergyman, the Reverend Ralph Anderson Cage, who is obsessed with the Sydney Harbour Bridge which he can see being built from his rectory verandah.

6 March 1930
Stella pauses by the bedroom window with the folding. Since they came this morning with the news of Nipper Addison’s fall she finds herself stopping in the middle of her work, sometimes with an arm across her stomach as if she’s falling too and is trying to stop the air being forced from her. Ralph is over there, probably on the barge waiting to see if the diver finds the body. She knows Ralph in his thoroughness will sometime go and stand at the spot where the worker slipped from the bridge. (more…)

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“I’m Eileen Naseby and I’m reading from my novel, Don’t Go Near the Water.

The bedroom is stifling but he refuses to let her turn on the air-conditioning. The noise drives him crazy. She crosses the room and peers through the blinds. Yellow smoke is piling up angrily over the distant northern beaches. In some places the smoke has turned an ugly shade of gray, and she wonders if this means more houses are burning. The air in the bedroom reeks with the brackish menthol of burnt eucalypts. Her shirt is sticking to her skin. She takes it off and hangs it over the chair and she hears him thwack the paper on the bed.
‘Did you go out like that?’ he asks.
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