Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Memoir Club: a night of readings by members & guests

Randwick Literary Institute

60 Clovelly Road Randwick 2031

Tuesday 29 September 6-9pm

$15/$10 – RSVP memoirclubsydney@gmail.com

This month the Memoir Club celebrates work-in-progress by members and guests in a special night of short showcase readings. We celebrate the imaginative act of writing as well as the pleasure of reading. …it is in the simple act of reading that the living and the dead, the real and the imagined, meet, Junot Diaz writes. It is in the simple act of reading where we exercise those two most sacred of human vocations: compassion and creativity. And we experience the great pleasure of being read to by the writers.  This listening to the voice, the rhythm, the cadences, is at the heart of the writing life.  As poet Seamus Heaney says, voice helps to carry words further and deeper than the eye.


Louisa Callinan is a postgraduate writing student at Sydney University.
Sue Emery is a former high school English teacher. Her memoir concerns the fun and strangeness of growing up in a close knit family in what was once working class Summer Hill in the 1950's. She writes about the elasticity of time in a child’s memory, of …moments when time drew out like a long bow searching for a target.
Sophie Guest has taught languages and literature, lectured on architecture and place, and practised psychotherapy. Twenty years ago, she wrote a long essay called "What is it to be Authentic?" which might be the first half of a book, if she could just get on with it.  She writes the odd poem, short pieces of memoir relating to place, and her early life, and writes and performs standup comedy at spiritual retreats. 
Diana King is returning to writing after a career as an architect. In 1975 she received a Fellowship from the Australia Council. She wrote a play that had a season in Melbourne with the Women's Theatre Group and a season in Sydney. In 2015 she received second prize in the OutStanding Stories competition, and is writing a crime novella.  
Kira Legaan has a background in professional theatre and dance, and is currently undertaking a D/Arts at Sydney University. She has also published in The University of Sydney Anthology 2014, Hodder and Stoughton’s Breaking The Silence, and Dance Aus magazine.
Catherine McGrath is a textile artist and an independent researcher in applied research projects in health policy, particularly the social impact of illness. In a past life she was a lawyer. We lived the DINK, the double-income-no-kids life; but beneath the surface another life we thought we had put behind us lay in wait, like lava, warming up, heading for the cracks in the seams….
Bastian Fox Phelan is a queer and gender diverse writer, zine maker and musician from Sydney. Bastian is the creator of the highly popular zine 'Ladybeard', held in the permanent collection of the NGA. The success of 'Ladybeard', a personal story about growing a beard as a woman, inspired Bastian to continue telling the story of their unconventional gender journey. Bastian is currently working on a memoir about their experiences on both sides of the binary and in the spaces between.
Mark Roberts is a Sydney based writer and critic. He currently runs Rochford Street Review (http://rochfordstreetreview.com/) and edits poetry for Social Alternatives journal. He also edits the occasional literary journal P76. Six Months will shortly be published as a chapbook; a collection of poetry, Concrete Flamingos, is due in 2016.
Rikki Stubbs  was packing up treasures from her mother’s old Queensland homestead on the Darling Downs after her death, when she began a memoir about her mother, ‘home’  and  growing up in Queensland in the 60’s and 70’s.  This piece about her first career choice to be a nun introduces her wonderful great aunts Beatrix and Myrtle. ‘… known by everyone as “the girls”, [they] watched the cricket for hours in identical leather recliners, feet up, smoking and eating chocolate.
Don Yates grew up on a farm in the Central Highlands of Victoria. He is writing the story of his mother's life in a small community and has at his disposal forty years of her diaries and a desire to do justice to her creative life.

The memoirist … must engage with the world, because engagement makes experience, experience makes wisdom, and finally it's the wisdom--or rather the movement towards it--that counts. Vivian Gornick

Randwick Literary Institute, 60 Clovelly Rd Randwick. Street parking available. Clovelly bus 339 on the doorstep. For directions: http://randwickliteraryinstitute.com.au/faqs/. For more information see http://bethyahpwritingworks.blogspot.com.au, http://bbwritinglife.blogspot.com.au/ or the Memoir Club Sydney on fb.