Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Canterbury Tales Book Club Project 2012

I haven't had this much fun in ages. When the Williamstown Literary Festival agreed to support The Canterbury Tales Book Club Project - they unleashed a monster!
Beginning with little to no knowledge of the Tales or Chaucer, we have learned much. I now know the source of the joke 'Three men walked into the bar ...', Catherine knows how to make a wimple and Danny has taught us that there is a product called Nicotine Tooth Enamel - to make your teeth look rotten.
Oh .. we have also learned lots about Middle English, Chaucer and the Tales. Enjoy the pic of Danny O'Connell and Catherine Ryan in my garden - they make an interesting couple I think. They were dressed up for a publicity shot. Definitely front page material.
Pilgrims absent fro the photo: Simon Leverton, Bernard Caleo and Claire Saxby

BOOKINGS: Williamstown Literary Festival

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

PAVE Festival Emerald. 2012

Thankyou to JJ Sheills, the PAVE Festival and Cafe Redbox for your 
friendship and hospitality. 

I had been looking forward to this festival for months. Friends Matteo, JJ Sheills and I had prepared a set of stories under the title of A Grimm Reminder - celebrating 200 years since Grimm's publication of Children's and Household Tales. Having tested the water at the Belgrave Library a few weeks ago, we finally presented our work at the PAVE Festival in the Cafe Redbox. There is no doubt that the tales can draw a crowd - so many have memories of their first brush with the Grimm's and none of those memories are neutral!

I spent the night in Emerald so I could attend the poet's breakfast in the morning and here I am presenting Phar Lap the wonderhorse. I also had a chance to tell the story: Lyrebird! a true story and was rewarded with a lovely bottle of red wine.

Enjoy the pic of my mate: Stephen Whiteside at the breakfast on  a chair way too small! 

And Matteo preparing to step up onto the stage at Cafe Redbox.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Canterbury Tales Book Club Project: Williamstown Literary Festival 6 May 2012

The Canterbury Tales Book Club Project met for the last time this weekend to swap notes and progress on our assigned tasks. At the Williamstown Literary Festival, Sunday May 6, 2012 we will present our findings on Chaucer and the Tales.

None of the participants knew anything much about the subject and the journey has been a hoot. Catherine Ryan, who is delivering a mini lecture for us, speaks for me when she says 'fear' kept her away from Chaucer. Will it be hard to understand?

Well ... its not. Its a revelation and a joy.

Our musical director, Simon Leverton, was so over come with delight at our gathering, he started dancing in my living room. Morris Dancing!!! Don't tell anyone - he is officially retired from the art, this was a relapse.

I have to say - I can't stop looking at these pictures. For years I have been thinking of writing a story for children with the title 'I saw a Man Dancing'. For me - there is something absolutely heartwarming and
uplifting to see the male of our species give over to dance. The male of any species for that matter. Perhaps that's why I love lyrebirds so much.

Thankyou Simon.

Please come and join the Canterbury Tales Book Club Project.

Check out the rest of the fabulous program and book online

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Canterbury Tales Book Club Project: Williamstown Literary Festival 6 May 2012

click once to enlarge

WARNING: Coarse language, violence, sexual references and blasphemy

My local literary festival is spectacular in the way it showcases literature. There is something for everyone: w/shops, lectures, performances ... The organisers always make room for local contribution, spoken word and storytelling.

This year my mates and I formed a Canterbury Tales Book Club. We have each taken on a task of either responding to a tale or researching the background and history behind the work.

The result promises to entertain, provoke and offend with lectures, songs and re-tellings to whet your appetite for Chaucer. This is Chaucer 101 for enjoyment.

Daniel O’Connell (actor/singer Newport Fiddle and Folk Club) The Miller’s Tale. Very rude!
Bernard Caleo (storyteller/artist/comic book maker) The Nun’s Priest’s Tale – told as a Japanese Kamishibai… and why not?
Simon Leverton (Eco warrior/Newport Fiddle and Folk/musician) Please ride your bike, clap along and join in the chorus! Yes, Simon is bringing Morris Dancers.
Catherine Ryan (teacher/writer/resaurateur) Power Chaucer 101 so sit up and take notes or no dessert!
Claire Saxby (award winning writer) MC extraordinaire – so don’t try and interrupt when others are having their say.
Jackie Kerin (actress/storyteller/writer/ Newport Folk Club/Storytelling Australia Vic). The Pardoner’s Tale. ‘Radix malorum est cupiditas’. She likes to throw in a bit of Latin.

Special Middle English speaking guest: Adrian Francis K. Clarke

WHERE: Williamstown Town Hall Council Chambers
WHEN: Sunday 6 May 2.15 – 5.00
Anticipate going over time and spilling into the local Tavern for further merriment

Bookings: Williamstown Literary Festival



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