Sunday, July 15, 2018

Celebrating Books

My goodness. It is late Sunday afternoon and I am wondering how soon I can head to bed!

We have just completed our 7th Celebration of Books Maleny and boy was it a winner!

It was the most fabulous time with workshops, poetry readings, conversations with authors and our Big Book Club.

We baked and catered for 100s of people, enjoyed the most brilliant weather and caught up with friends new and old. Wow.

On Friday night Kate Evans (Radio National The Bookshelf) was in conversations with Bri Lee about her challenging book Eggshell Skull. It was the most sensitive investigation of the issues and a generous and open conversation.  The room was wowed. Kate has become a true friend of the Festival - this is her third visit to us; sadly I was so engrossed I failed to take any photos.

On Saturday Poetry on the Precinct had its second outing and we were fortunate to have huge blue skies and little wind. About 80 people wandered up to the precinct to sit and enjoy readings by five local poets (MTC Cronin, Robyn Nugent and Sophie Nugent-Siegal, Brett Dyonissius, Viv Mohan and Angela Gardner).  It was a special place and a special day. Poetry is such an amazing form of writing - it can say so much with so little. On Saturday it most certainly made us feel.

Kate amongst the glorious green and blue.



A panorama of the crowd, the poet Angela, the space...

We returned to town for the Big Book Club where we discussed Sarah Krasnostein's book The Trauma Cleaner. This is an amazing book, touching on memory, empathy, trauma and re-building.  Every table has brilliant discussions and the plenary with Sue Collaro and Dr Clare Archer-Lean helped us all see things anew and differently.

Sue and Clare.

Sunday morning dawns on the mountain...

On Sunday morning Kate Evans once again hosted discussions with three authors about their books - Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe); Sally Piper (The Geography of Friendship) and Mirandi Riwoe (Fish Girl). Every person I spoke to afterwards pretty much described it as brilliant. Our numbers were up at every event and it was all just so rewarding.

The four musketeers - Kate, Sally, Trent, Mirandi.

I could honestly recommend every book that was discussed over the weekend - but we only realised on Sunday morning that all of them deal with childhood, and all of them deal with trauma - so don't try them all at once.

What an astonishing gift this event is - we work hard, but we get so much out of it.


  1. This was my third visit to Maleny for the Celebration of Books Maleny festival, but I was in the privileged (and somewhat more nerve-wracking) position of taking a seat on stage with fellow panelists genre-diverse Mirandi Riwoe and all round funny man Trent Dalton, with our conversation led by the incomparable Kate Evans. Thank you for the invite, but thank you even more for all the work your group do to take this festival to the next level year on year. All respect, Sally

    1. Thanks Sally - so glad you enjoyed it so much. The Sunday session was just fabulous and all of you brought so much to it; and of course Kate found ways to bring it all together; to dig deep; and to surprise us. We had a great time and now need to take a breath and think about what's next! 7 years! Go well.

  2. F - what a fabulous book festival; and what a gift to the community by the CoB team. Thanks. B

    1. It was indeed a fab festival B - and thank you so much for all that you do in the wings and the shadows...


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