Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Memoir Club Special Night of Readings

Next meeting: Tuesday, 28 October 2014, 6.00 - 9.00 PM
The Randwick Literary Institute,   
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031
A Special Night of Readings 

by Members and Guests

Image: journals by Barry Silver ex Flickr Creative Commons
Adam Aitken
Lizzie Cahill
Nola Farman
Josephine Grieve
Hilary Hewitt
Siobhan Moylan
Julie Rado
Bronwyn Rennex
Tan Truong
Nicola Walker

This month we celebrate works-in-progress by ten of our Memoir Club members and guests in a series of short showcase readings. Come share in the wealth of “spaced flashes”—the stories, experiences and perspectives that speak of “the bright blocks of perception” that result from an examined life.

As Vladimir Nabokov describes it in Speak, Memory: “I see the awakening of consciousness as a series of spaced flashes, with the intervals between them gradually diminishing until bright blocks of perception are formed, affording memory and a slippery hold.”

Come share in a constellation of these "bright blocks of perception” at our next meeting! From Saigon to Sydney, via Maputo, the ‘Elderly Express' and Bob Marley, our readers invite us to enter into their remembered and imagined worlds.

From seasoned performers to readers who have never read in public before, our readers offer us their unique views. Please come and support this night of sharing and celebration!

Adam Aitken used to teach Creative Writing at UTS. His published work includes four books of poetry, a few smaller chapbooks, a thesis on representation of Asians in Australian fiction and non-fiction, and narrative pieces in Picador New Writing, Life Writing, HEAT and Griffith Review.
Lizzie Cahill was a model in the 1960's, when she developed a fascination for the rag trade. She started designing and selling her own line at the Paddington Markets in the 70's and opened her first Lizzie Collins store in Double bay in 1980. For the last decade she been acting in TV commercials, TV series and movies. This is her first attempt at writing short stories. 
Nola Farman is an interdisciplinary artist and writer - trained as a sculptor, making large and small public artworks and installations in a variety of situations using various materials and technologies. PhD title: Fugitive Practices: the contemporary artists book.

Josephine Grieve has written for publications including Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Rolling Stone, The Australian and ABC Radio National. Her chapter, 'Renaissance of the Imagination' was published in Germany in 1999. She is doing a Master's in creative writing at UTS and writing a memoir of her pilgrimage across Spain with her young daughters, Luna and Rosa.

Hilary Hewitt lives and works in Sydney’s inner west. She was runner up in the 2013 joanne burns microlit award and shortlisted in the 2012 Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers and the Margaret River Short Story Competition 2013.
Siobhan Moylan is a health journalist—formerly at the ABC, and now work at a neuroscience institute. She has produced radio both at the ABC and in commercial land for 15 years. Her love of radio and sound is now practiced at Eastside radio in Paddington where she hosts Monday Drive. Siobhan is a storyteller who would like to write more.

Julie Rado was born in Australia in 1963. Her love of music has given her a freedom of expression: in poetry, dance, and songs. She has written songs & poetry & has recently self published her memoir- Breath to Consciousness. She held an executive position in a worldwide Rastafarian organization. Julie also worked for an online website for five years, where she interviewed many of the great reggae artists.
Bronwyn Rennex is Director of Stills Gallery in Paddington. Her art practice involves words and photos. She is working (very slowly) on a collection of short essays/creative non-fiction pieces about memory and family and getting to know your parents long after they are gone.
Nicola Walker worked for the Times Literary Supplement for a decade, ten years ago. She has spent the past decade struggling to write a book about visiting her sister in Mozambique, discovering during this struggle that she needed to discard much of what she'd learned during her decade at the TLS. 

Tan Truong is a single parent with two teenage children. She was a social worker but now runs a homestay business catering for international and local students. Tan, her parents, and seven other siblings came to Australia in 1979 as Vietnamese refugees.  She was ten then.  Tan is currently working on stories from her childhood memories both from Vietnam and in Sydney.

When: last Tuesday of every month (25 November; then the Memoir Club goes into recess over the summer, and resumes in March 2015)

Time: 6.00 - 9.00 PM (come for a cuppa and help us set up at 5.30 PM - please remember to bring your own cup!)

Where: The Randwick Literary Institute, 60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031. Tel: 02-9398 5203 (for directions and venue info). Street parking available. Clovelly bus 339 on the doorstep. For how to get there, see:

What: A communal space to meet other writers and readers and converse about all things to do with reading and writing memoir. We are interested in all kinds of life stories and in different ways of telling them. The genre of life writing and the possibilities of expanding and reworking the genre is exciting to us. Therefore we have a somewhat open and inclusive approach to what makes a memoir, and we hope you do too! Here is a space to connect with others and share ideas, questions and just hang out. Each meeting will start off with a talk, conversation or discussion about a particular topic or book, sometimes with a guest speaker or facilitator, then we move to an informal gathering and catch up.

Donation: $10 at the door for hall hire, refreshments and to pay our speakers.

Food: $15 for a plate of delicious vegetarian finger food (different each meeting). Ring or text to book a plate: 0450 907 422.

Future Speakers: Fiona McGregor (November)

Look forward to seeing you there! Please do pass information on to anyone who might be interested in this community gathering.

mem·oir /ˈmemˌwär/
Noun. A historical account or biography written from personal knowledge. An autobiography or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people.

"I felt as if I was being bundled through the turnstiles to board the ‘ELDERLY EXPRESS’. I was inwardly kicking and screaming. ‘NO…! I'm not ready yet.' I knew that once I boarded that train, disembarking would be out of the question."

                                    —Lizzie Cahill
"When I was about eight years old, I fell into a fish pond at our farm in Lai Thieu. I swear I swallowed a fish. I was wearing a beautiful bright orange crocheted top with a skirt. It turned orange-brown after this incident and I couldn’t ever wear it again."

                                       —Tan Truong

"She pointed at the grey of my shirt with her bent arthritic finger and said, tapping slowly on it, ‘That’s exactly the colour of your father’s face when I went to see him after he died.’ Great, I thought. I’m wearing a corpse coloured shirt. Or more to the point, it was now wearing me."

                                —Bronwyn Rennex

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