Thursday, June 25, 2015

what we're reading

I'm reading Griffith Review's 'great reads' emails, and the latest put me onto Chart Collective.

Chart Collective is a not-for-profit publishing venture from Melbourne, started under the auspices of The Lifted Brow. Chart Collective looks beyond the idea that people are separate to nature, to explore the ways our stories are woven into the Australian environment. Our publishing model incorporates online and printed publication of text, image and sound, as well as in situ events, affording us the freedom to explore ideas in whichever format best suits a concept, a community or a contributor.

Within our malleable model we invite people from across disciplines and Australian communities to consider and respond to the ways their own and others’ experiences are mapped in place and time; the ways these places inform our belief systems and sense of self; the ways we influence ecological systems, and the ways they influence us. In doing this, we want to uncover and strengthen the connections we have to our places, in order to better understand, respect and nourish the ecosystems that we, as people, are embedded in.

It's just past the winter solstice, so I'm including the link to the 'Longer Light" series.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Our Memoir Club's next meeting is Tuesday 30 June, 6.00pm, at Randwick Literary Institute. Do join us to hear Anne Gorman in conversation with Julie Bail about Anne's memoir, The Country Wife, which Prof. Edmund Campion described as 'a triumph'.

RSVP to Betty O'Neill:

Book your plate of yummy vegetarian food ($15, payable on the night). Text or phone our wonderful caterer Rosada by Sun. 28 June: 0450 907 422. Specify if you want gluten-free.

Help needed to set up and pack away: Set up is from 5.30pm. We're usually packed up by 9pm. Please email Bindu Narula if you can volunteer:  Much appreciated!

Entry donation: $15 / $10. Extra gifts welcomed too for a much needed PA system!

Please broadcast the invitation to all who might be interested.


Barbara Brooks, Emily Chantiri, Josephine Grieve, Jessica Kirkness, Alison Lyssa, Nasrin Mahoutchi
, Bindu Narula, Betty O'Neill and Beth Yahp (Memoir Club Committee).

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Invitation to our next Memoir Club meeting:
Tuesday 30 June 2015        6.00—9.00pm
Randwick Literary Institute
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031

RSVP by 28 May:

Anne Gorman
in conversation
with Julie Bail

'Anne’s book is a triumph…. I kept admiring the way she did not attempt to jerk the readers’ emotions but told the story straight and honest and left readers to add their own emotions. Again and again I noticed how swiftly she delivered her narrative and admired the spare prose style that made this possible. It’s a big book but not a lengthy one.'
- Professor Edmund Campion.

Join us and Anne Gorman, as she discusses her memoir The Country Wife, and the challenges of re-creating for the reader the intimate often grief-stricken and always deeply moving experiences of her girlhood, student life and marriage, while at the same time crafting an insightful wider context for her personal story.  

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Anne Gorman was born in Mudgee NSW, into a house of grief following the loss of her seventeen year old sister. Anne’s birth would be her mother’s eleventh but not the last.  When she was five, her mother’s nervous breakdown and her father’s death, events which coincided with the beginning of  World War 11, made for an unstable childhood.  Anne grew up in Sydney, and was educated at Kincoppal-Rose Bay, and for five glorious years at Sydney University, gaining degrees in Arts and Social Work.

At  23 Anne found herself living in the Riverina on a sheep and wheat property, married and  pregnant, living a life she could never have imagined. When her husband became gravely ill, an illness lasting over 10 years, Anne found the courage to keep the farm and her family of five children afloat. Later as a widow and single mother, she grew into a woman of substance, taking an active part in the big issues of the day, within a much wider landscape.

The Japanese had bombed the US fleet in Hawaii and then gone on to invade the Philippines, Northern Malaya and Hong Kong. Although I had no idea where those places were, everyone said this was a calamity and would have big consequences……
In Sydney there was a movement to arm the population. People trained as guerrillas, air–raid shelters were built and mass evacuations to the mountains took place. Children, especially, were being sent away from the coast to protect them from the unthinkable.
Would we be among those to be shipped out? Please God make my mother look the other way!

- Anne Gorman, The Country Wife.

About the Memoir Club: a meeting place for readers and writers

When: last Tuesday of the month (30 June, 28 July, etc., through to 24 Nov.)
Time: 6.00 - 9.00pm. Come for a cuppa and chat from 5.45pm before the program starts at 6.00pm sharp.
Help setting & clearing up: If you can help set up at 5.30pm, and/or stay at the end to help clear up, please email Bindu Narula who is co-ordinating volunteers:  Much appreciated!!
Where: The Randwick Literary Institute (RLI), 60 Clovelly Road, Randwick NSW 2031.
Street parking available. Clovelly bus 339 on the doorstep. For info on the venue and directions, see:
What: A communal space to meet other writers and readers and converse about all things to do with reading and writing memoir. We are interested in all kinds of life stories and in different ways of telling them. The genre of life writing and the possibilities of expanding and reworking the genre is exciting to us. Therefore we have a somewhat open and inclusive approach to what makes a memoir, and we hope you do too! Here is a space to connect with others and share ideas, questions and just hang out. Each meeting will start off with a talk, conversation or discussion about a particular topic or book, sometimes with a guest speaker or facilitator, then we move to an informal gathering and catch up.
Donation: $15/$10 at the door for hall hire, refreshments and guest speakers.
Food: $15 for a plate of delicious vegan food from Rosada's Kitchen. Please text or phone your order to Rosada on 0450 907 422 by Saturday 27 June, if possible, or by Sunday 28 June at the latest, to give Rosada time to prepare. Specify if you'd like the gluten-free option.

Forthcoming Meetings:

30 June: Anne Gorman in conversation with Julie Bail.
28 July: Rosie Scott in conversation with Beth Yahp.
25 August: Writing Family History - Betty O'Neill.

RSVP: to Betty O'Neill at

We look forward to seeing you there!
Please do pass the invitation on to anyone who might be interested.