Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bernard Caleo and Michael Camilleri: What It Is?

Readings Bookshop in Carlton has a fabulous events calendar. Like a box of chocolates it's hard to know what to choose.

I chose to go and see Bernard Caleo and Michael Camilleri. Bernard is passionate about Kamishbai storytelling so with lights flashing and sirens sounding, I raced to Carlton with the kamishibai in time for What it is?

I can do no better that quote the website:

The ‘What It Is?’ shows feature comic book makers and

raconteurs live on stage, performances of kamishibai (the

Japanese art of paper theatre), and drawings drawn before your very eyes - to titillate and amaze. A vaudeville of ink on paper, talking heads, outrageous action. Your host: the Svengali of Melbourne comics, Bernard Caleo.

Michael Camilleri (author/artist of 'Itinerant Fighting Monk', the

graphic novella in Going Down Swinging #30, 2010) and Bernard Caleo (editor of The Tango Collection, 2009) wrestle

with Eisenstein's 'montage' theory and argue about it being more

useful for comics than film. Also, the classic kamishibai tale 'Sergei's pram' (2011). Also, a 'collective comic', drawn live.

The next What It Is? : Readings May 30

Lean more about Michael Camilleri

Learn more about Bernard Calleo and Cardigan Comics

Rotary Club of Point Gellibrand Williamstown

pic: right to left: President Andrew Oakley and Sergeant Jim Grouios
It was my pleasure to take on the role of 'after dinner speaker' at the meeting of the Point Gellibrand Rotary Club this week.

This was a new experience for me. Although aware of Rotary from the outside, I had never been on the inside before. A more lively and hospitable crowd would be hard to find.

To bring you up to speed ... and quoting from the website ...
'Members of a Rotary Club are part of a diverse group of professional leaders working to address community and international service needs and to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.'

It's evident within minutes of meeting this group that they hold close the values of peace, understanding, compassion and wine. I like them a lot!

There being some enthusiastic punters in the group, I was asked specifically to talk about writing Phar Lap the wonder horse. Not usually asked this early in the season to talk about Big Red, it was a joy to share my story with such an attentive audience.

Thankyou for including me in a night of food, wine and excellent company.

Learn more about: Point Gellibrand Rotary Williamtown and become involved.

click to listen to a reading of Phar Lap on the the Museum Victoria and website.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Australian Bush Dance: Newport Fiddle and Folk Club

Autumn is a wonderful time of year in Melbourne. The wind drops out and the heat fades. Festivals spring up in the regional towns and in the city.

At this time every year, in Newport, only 12 kilometres from the CBD, the local Fiddle and Folk Club host a classic event - the Aussie Bush Dance. The setting is an old blue stone quarry that has been carefully revegetated with indigenous plants. Now full of wildlife, wild flowers and tall eucalypts, Newport Lakes Park is loved and enjoyed.

This year over 300 people turned up for the dancing, singing, storytelling and bush ballads.

My Kamishibai, made by folk club friend Ted Smith, was mounted onto the back of my bike and so like the Kamishibai storytellers of old, I was able to ride to the park and work from my portable elevated stage.

Enjoy the pics of mate Dave Davies, a reciter of bush verse and the Newport Bush Orchestra or the BO or the Bush Orcs - they answer to several names!

And of course the dancing!

Learn more about the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club

I'm enjoying planning my festival and other public appearances for 2011 where I'lll be performing and speaking about the art of traditional oral storytelling and my work as a writer for children.

So much of my work is in schools and kindergartens but the following events are open to the general public.

Caroline Springs Library: Imagination Magic April 7
Melton Community Hall: Imagination Magic April 28
Education Week: 15 -21 May
Eastern Regional Libraries: May 17 (Ferntree Gully, Ringwood) May 18 (Yarra Junction, Healesville)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Williamstown Literary Festival 2011: Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May

The Williamstown Literary Festival ... is the biggest literary festival in Melbourne's western suburbs. Held at the Williamstown Town Hall over the weekend of Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May, 2011, the festival includes a series of pre-festival events from Tuesday 26 April. Our popular People's Choice will be at the Pirates Tavern on the evening of Thursday 28 April.

Events include panels, interviews, workshops for children, teenagers and adults, films, readings, storytelling and games. Writers of all genres including poetry, novels, non fiction, blogging, science fiction, romance, drama, television and sports.

Converge on the Willy Lit Fest for a weekend of entertainment, information, controversy and fun. The festival hub provides spaces to relax, food outlets to re-energise and the festival bookshop to browse and buy - plus author signings.

This year I will be hosting the People's Choice Awards with Michael Reynolds. Mike is the regular host of Passionate Tongues a weekly gathering of some of Melbourne's finest poets at the Brunswick Hotel.

Check our the home page on Lit Fest website, find: Perform you work and win! and follow the link to the People's Choice to register.

Venue: Pirates Tavern, 82 Nelson Parade,
Time: Thursday 28 April, 2011, from 7pm.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kamishibai at Spotswood PS

My beautiful kamishibai, made from recycled Australian gum tree timber, is a source of delight for small, medium and big people.

Here I am telling stories at a picnic to welcome new parents and their children to Spotswood PS.

K and I are in for a busy week.

Watch this space!

Port Fairy Festival: Pat Glover and more ...

Jim Haynes continues to run a program of stories, recitations, songs and more for the Port Fairy Festival. Racing from The Aussie Morning Show where this year he entertained with Noel Stallard and Dennis O'Keefe, he once again did a stirling job hosting the Pat Glover Memorial Storytelling Award.

As a three time winner of the Award, Jim decided to elevate me to the judging panel where this year I sat alongside Noel Stallard and David Stewart.

This is the second time I've sat with the judges and having recovered from the disappointment of not participating, I've now discovered how wonderful it is to sit and listen to stories without the stress of performing. Having said that, I should say that Jim is most gracious and always invites me to tell a tale before the bounce!

I don't find the role of judge easy as the stories are always so different however this year the call was unanimous and Julie Perrin from Storytelling Guild Vic took home the trophy.

I look forward to this event every year as it is at the Pat Glover I first met Stephen Whiteside (poet and CJ Dennis enthusiast), Rob England from SA (articulate spokesperson for the Coorong) and David and Rosemary Stewart who run the venue.

Special thanks to Jamie McKew and the Port Fairy Festival and to David and Rosemary.

Jim has a new book for you to enjoy: Best Australian racing Stories
Learn more about Jim Haynes.

pics (top L to R): Noel Stallard, Margaret (Pat Glover's daughter), Jim Haynes, Julie Perrin, David Stewart, me

(bottom L to R): Stephen Whiteside and JIm Haynes

Port Fairy Festival: Percussion with Peter Vadiveloo

A storyteller is always in training!
Well...this one is.

The year began with a singing workshop with Richard Gill from the Victorian State Opera. But so much of storytelling is about rhythm.

This year Port Fairy offered a huge range of workshops but I couldn't go past Peter Vadiveloo's offering: Percussion Experience.

Peter is a natural born teacher. Ably assisted by his daughters Ruby and Bella, Peter's workshop included vocal, body and instrumental percussion.

After three sessions Peter had us up on Stage 2 performing before an appreciative audience.

The Festival finished on Monday and here it is
Wednesday and I've just returned from a job
telling stories to 4 year olds where already I used
some of my new knowledge gained from the workshop.

So much to learn and so little time!

Visit Peter on My Space: Peter Vadiveloo

pics: backstage Stage 2, enjoying the elevated view, satisfied participants

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Torquay Froth and Bubble Literary Festival June 18 - 19 2011

Story buddy Claire Saxby and I are looking forward to meeting the people of Torquay and breathing the ozone.

Claire and I met a decade ago when our kids were learning circus skills at the Footscray Community arts Centre. We love working together - its all talk about stories, writing and ideas...

Claire Saxby lives in Melbourne but spent much of her first 20 years moving throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea. She spent 20 years working as a podiatrist and community health professional before she began writing. She writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. Her poetry appears in magazines, anthologies, on train walls and in museum education resources.

Claire’s picture book publications include Ebi’s Boat (Windy Hollow Books), illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, which was a CBCA Notable Book in 2007. Her most recent picture book is There Was an Old Sailor (Walker Books Australia), a nautical take on an old rhyme, illustrated by Cassandra Allen. She has also written for education publishers and the immensely popular Go Girl! series. Several other projects are in production.

Claire’s newest book is Freaky Fact and Fiction: Human Body (Hinkler Books). It is the first project to combine her paramedical background with her writing for children. Freaky Fact and Fiction: Human Body is aimed at mid- to upper-primary readers. She is also researching a project on early Australian women.

Claire is actively involved with SCBWI Australia, an organization for children’s writers and illustrators. She coordinates a children’s books book group, organises social gatherings for writers and illustrators and volunteers at the State Library of Victoria.

Writing W/shop: Saturday 18th June at the Torquay College 45-55 Grossmans Road Torquay.

Followed by: Before there were books, there were stories: the art of oral storytelling.

Keep an eye on the website for details and updates :Torquay Froth and Bubble


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