Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ten Tellable Australian Tales

I have been locked in the study trying to cobble together a presentation for the OWOVM Conference next week. How to squeeze all I want to share into 15 minutes is proving problematical. As well as sharing information about the storytelling networks I'm plugged into around Australia and abroad, I want to share the work I have been doing on the Ten Tellable Australian Tales. I've chosen these three: Edith's Lyrebird which you can see on the video clip, Split Dog and Phar Lap.

1. Edith's Lyerbird is the story of James and Edith Wilkinson. James was one of the first male lyrebirds to be filmed and recorded in display. Edith was a flower farmer in the 1930s living on the slope of Mt Dandenong. Soon this story will be available as a book but it will be called Lyrebird! a true story. This version will be more detailed with loads of information about these birds and other songbirds that live on the mountain. Illustrator: Peter Gouldthorpe. Publisher: Museum Victoria. Yes .. the spoken story is connected to the book like blossom to fruit!

2. Split Dog comes from my fascination with tall stories. He apparently appears in Nth American folk tale, sometimes as Davey Crocket's dog but his adventures have also made it into Australian folklore.

3. Phar Lap the wonder horse. This tellable is written in ballad form. Reciting traditional verse and contemporary original poetry is still popular. In my city of Melbourne, any night of the week. you will find poets, declaiming, rapping and rhyming in pubs across town. Only last week I had the fun of reciting Phar Lap in the Carbine Bar during the Cocktail Hour! You can hear more about this one on the Museum Victoria website, and you can hear me tell it to you ... website here.

Writing this post has been a diversion from the task at hand - now its back to work!

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