St Kilda Writers Festival


St Kilda Writers Festival

By Bronwen Beechey

MELBOURNE — The beachside suburb of St Kilda is well known for its bohemian, slightly seedy atmosphere and associated in the popular mind with the artistic and eccentric. It seems a logical choice for a 10-day festival described as "a multi-media celebration of the written/spoken word and the art of text".

This year the festival, reflecting last year's controversial changes to local government, embraces the former cities of Port and South Melbourne. Appropriately, the theme is "Tribes", an exploration of the dynamics of human groups.

The festival runs February 3-12, at various venues. As well as an extensive agenda of readings, the program includes writing workshops and explores new vehicles for text through cross-media projects.

Readings from Wild Women features Sandra Shotlander and Sue Ingleton presenting Readings from the Sun Tavern, a show that stunned and amazed US audiences.

Sisters in Crime indulge in murder and mayhem as they present their inaugural Scarlet Stiletto Award.

In the Shortworks at Theatreworks program, Geoffrey Williams thumbs his nose at political correctness in Dead Cert, a tale in which voyeurism and necrophilia frolic to the tunes of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Shirly Billings returns with her widely acclaimed account of a country girlhood in Vivent Les Vaches (Long Live the Cows) and Born in a Taxi take an eclectic look at life in a spinal ward.

Koori Writers Read features Lisa Bellear, Richard Franklin and Andrea James, among others, with music by Ochre.

International PEN presents Race and Writing, a forum on the Race Vilification Bill with speakers including Jocelyn Scutt, John McLaren and John Harding.

For programs or information, contact Kathryn Ross on (03) 527 8565 or Judy Buckrich on (03) 509 7257.