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Compulsive Reader talks

Compulsive Reader talks

By Magdalena Ball
Compulsive Reader's author interviews, book chat, literary discussions, readings and more. It's an audio haven for book lovers! Recent and upcoming guests include Terry Denton, Marion Halligan, Sir Ken Robinson, Emily Ballou, Sofie Laguna, Matthew Riley, John Banville, Felicity Plunkett, Mark Coker, Peter Bowerman, Eric Maisel, Ramona Koval, Tim Flannery, Carl Zimmer, Gail Jones, Jane Smiley, Frank Delaney, Ben Okri, and many more.
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Gillian Swain book launch My skin its own sky

Compulsive Reader talks

Sara Kidd on The Vegan Cake Bible
Sara Kidd joins me to talk about her new cookbook The Vegan Cake Bible. We cover such things as how Sara became the vegan cake queen, why she's drawn to cake, the extensive process she went through to create a cookbook including doing all of her own photography, how she chose which cakes to include, her favourite cake (hint - see links below), her 'holy grail' cake she wants to veganise, on collaboration, her feelings about the future of veganism and the planet, on coming to terms with sugar, her vintage style, on living sustainably, and lots more.  Sara's website: Sara's cooking class Patreon which we discuss: Sara's favourite cake (Swedish Princess Cake):
August 11, 2022
Bastian Fox Phelan on How to Be Between
Bastian Fox Phelan reads from and talks about their new memoir How to Be Between. We talk about such things as speaking about the self with all of its multitudes, finding a voice, gender norms, facial hair, their nature writing, motherhood, what's next and much more.  Find out more at Bastian's website:
August 02, 2022
Beth Spencer on The Age of Fibs
Beth Spencer talks about and reads from her new book The Age of Fibs.  Beth talks about how the book came come together, about the transformation of her work through proximity, on the incorporation of popular culture, the relationship between artefact, memory, memoir and fiction, the way identity is a construct, on trauma and hope, and lots more.    Visit Beth at her website: Watch the video interview: Age of Fibs page:
June 16, 2022
Michelle Cahill on Daisy & Woolf
Michelle Cahill, author of Daisy & Woolf, joins me at Woollahra Gallery to read from and talk about her new book, writing through Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, the burden of the canon, giving a voice to marginalised characters, literary decolonisation, the complex relationship between real life and fiction, intertextuality, the conjunction of place against time, and lots more.  Visit Michelle's website: 2016 Interview with Michelle on Letter to Pessoa:
June 03, 2022
Talking poetry with Yilinhi/Lorna Munro
Lorna Munro or Yilinhi is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, multidisciplinary artist, poet, performer, radio and podcast host. She joins me today in the lead-up to the Sydney Writers' Festival to read some of her poems and talk about her work, her collaborations with Ancestress and Eric Avery as Poetribe, the power of spoken word, speaking language, decolonialisation in art, Yala Gari, the poet-in-residence program she created with Red Room for students, pushing boundaries, her new Red Room collaboration Fair Trade with January Rogers, and lots more.  The Sydney Writers Festival session is on May 21st from 2-3pm at Carriageworks Track 8 - details here: You can hear tracks from Poetribe here: At the same Soundcloud link first song on the Sovereign Trax March is Yilinhi's collaboration with Ancestress "Speak the Truth" More about Eric Avery: More about Red Room's Fair Trade: More about January Rogers at Twitter: Video version of this session:
April 13, 2022
Nick Courtright on The Proofs, the Figures: Walt Whitman and the Meaning of Poems.
Kristina Darling interviews Nick Courtright about his new book The Proofs, the Figures: Walt Whitman and the Meaning of Poems. In “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman wryly remarks about one’s being “proud to get at the meaning of poems,” a comment highlighting the long-fraught problem of poetic interpretation and the pride-worthy intellectual labor required to elucidate the meaning of a text. Using Whitman’s own “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” an eight-line poem published in 1865, as its case study, The Proofs, the Figures: Walt Whitman and the Meaning of Poems  investigates the chief methods available to readers when they embark on literary meaning-making, while also highlighting the challenges innate to such a task. With examples ranging from the critical and scholarly to the popular-cultural and survey-based, investigating interpretive prospects for “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” confirms that “to get at the meaning of poems” is a project of infinite opportunity both rewarded by and afflicted with the impossibility of absolute comprehension. By employing an array of formal, historical, mediational, and psychological techniques, Dr. Courtright confronts the lasting question of “what counts” or is relevant as evidence for an interpretation, while casting a wide net for the resources and methodologies that can be brought to bear not just on this single text or author, but on all texts and for all authors. Dr. Courtright’s book has already earned strong praise for its engaging prose and thought-provoking analysis.  Dr. Matt Cohen, Co-Director of the Walt Whitman Archive and author of The New Walt Whitman Studies (Cambridge UP), says, "The Proofs, the Figures has all of Nick Courtright's usual hallmarks: humor, trenchant readings, sustained skepticism, and a tactical leveraging of critical voices both old and new."   Similarly, Dr. Chad Bennett, author of Word of Mouth: Gossip and American Poetry  (Johns Hopkins UP) and Your New Feeling is the Artifact of a Bygone Era  (Sarabande), praises Courtright as a critic and thinker: "I appreciate, as always, Nick Courtright's lively and accessible writing, engagement with audience, and the ambition of this project. I'm impressed by how much ground he covers." A scholar-practitioner, Dr Courtright is also the author of The Forgotten World, Let There Be Light, and Punchline, a National Poetry Series finalist.  He is the Executive Editor of Atmosphere Press. His poetry has appeared in The Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Boston Review, The Iowa Review, AGNI, Gulf Coast, and The Southern Review, among dozens of others, and essays and other prose have been published by such places as The Huffington Post, The Best American Poetry, Gothamist, and SPIN Magazine. With a Doctorate in Literature from the University of Texas, he lives in Austin with the poet Lisa Mottolo and their children, William and Samuel.  Find out more about Nick Courtright at: Kristina Marie Darling is a poet, essayist, and critic. She holds a doctorate from the Poetics Program at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo, as well as an M.F.A. from New York University.  Find out more about Kristina Marie Darling at:
March 19, 2022
Jessica Au on Cold Enough For Snow
Jessica Au’s first novel, Cargo, was published by Picador in 2011 and was highly commended in the Kathleen Mitchell Award for a writer under 30. She is the former deputy editor of Meanjin, and is currently an associate editor at Aeon. Her new book Cold Enough for Snow won the inaugural Novel Prize and was published by Giramondo, New Directions and Fitzcarraldo Editions in February 2022, and translated into fifteen languages. She joined us today to read from and talk about Cold Enough for Snow. During the interview we talked about such things as the way she conveys interiority, about the mother-daughter relationship in her book and the philosophic tension between the way they see the world combined with the tenderness that exists between them, on elegy, perception, ekphrasis, memory, migration and many other key themes that this beautiful book encompasses.   Cold Enough for Snow (and more information about the book) can be found here: Jessica's website: Compulsive Reader's review of Cold Enough for Snow: Video link:
February 23, 2022
Charles Freyberg on The Crumbling Mansion
Charles Freyberg reads from and talks about his latest book of poetry The Crumbling Mansion and chats with me about performance and the power of memorisation, bringing characters to life, Kings Cross and its importance in his work, on nostalgia and ecological loss, on breaking binaries, his new work-in-progress and much more.  You can find some excerpts from Charles' latest show in the links below: Trickster Spirits: Vanessa Up the rickety darkened stairs:
December 15, 2021
KA Rees on Come the Bones
KA Rees is a writer of poetry and short fiction. She has been published by Margaret River Press, Cordite, Australian Poetry, Overland, Review of Australian Fiction, Spineless Wonders and Yalobusha Review, among others. She received a Varuna fellowship for her manuscript of short stories, she was shortlisted for the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Award, was the recipient of the 2017 Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction and runner-up in the 2018 Peter Cowan Short Story Award, and the national winner of the 2019 joanne burns Microlit Award. Her debut poetry collection, Come the Bones was published late last year as a Flying Island Pocket Book, and is the subject of today’s conversation.  KA reads a number of poems in the collection and talks about how the book came together as a collection, the relationship between the individual poems and the book, her current Sydney Observatory residency and much more.   Find out more about KA Rees and connect with her (and message her to get an autographed copy of Come the Bones!) at Twitter: and Instagram:
October 13, 2021
James Bradley | Author of Clade - on climate fiction
On its one-year anniversary, we've re-aired, with permission, James Bradley's wonderful conversation with Beth Spencer from Climactic's ArtBreaker.  James and Beth Spencer spoke about James' new book Clade, about climate fiction, and about the imperative for art and the conversation is even more relevant today and deserves a replay.  Original publication is here: And do please check out the Climactic network - they do terrific work. Artbreaker's main page is here: James Bradley's website is: Beth Spencer's website is:
September 30, 2021
Beth Spencer in conversation with Kit Kelen
Beth Spencer in conversation with Kit Kelen about his creative practice as poet, artist, publisher, collaborator, academic, mentor, musician and blogger. Kit reads selections from some of his many books intercut with original guitar tracks. They discuss Holden cars, bushfires, coal-addiction, and the role of place in his work -- as a writer who uses a lot of Australian idiom, colloquialisms and reference to landscape in his poetry, and who has also been widely translated. The process and benefits of translation, the role of habits and doodling, the disruptive power of humour in creative and political practice, and the importance of community and friendship. Links: The Daily Kit blog - - art and writing Originally premiered on Climactic's Artbreaker: (republished with permission)
August 05, 2021
Lillian Avedian on Journey to Tatev
Lillian Avedian is an Armenian American journalist and poet from Los Angeles. In this episode she reads from and talks about her debut book of poetry, Journey to Tatev.  We talk about many of the key themes in the book - the many journeys: physical, metaphorical, about the uneasy alliance between grandmother, mother, daughter, on coming out, the rejection of shame and the acceptance of the richness of desire, on the sensual evocativeness of food (especially Nazouk), on writing a duel language book and the power of the mother-tongue, and lots more.  Find more about Lillian on Twitter: Lillian's work at The Armenian Weekly: To buy a copy of Journey to Tatev visit:
June 30, 2021
Adam Aitken on One Hundred Letters Home
Adam Aitken reads from and talks about his memoir One Hundred Letters Home.  We talk about the book's multi-genres structure, the limits of memory, artefacts and perception, "fluid subject positions" and the shifting nature of identity, his poetry book Archipelago and the ongoing appeal of France, his new book due out later in the year, and lots more.  Find out more about Adam and his books at his blog:
June 16, 2021
Michael J Leach on Chronicity
Australian academic, writer, and poet, Michael J. Leach reads from and talks about his latest poetry book Chronicity.  We talk about such things as the relationship between the visual/concrete poems on the page and their sonic qualities in live readings, the sensual, visceral nature of the work, how he chooses and works with constraints, his use of humour and the way he plays scientific precision against emotion, the way poetry enables him, as a scientist, to work better with the complexities of the real world, and lots more.  You can find out more about Michael and Chronicity at his website: Chronicity was published by Melbourne Poets Union (ISBN: 9780648967910) and a copy can be purchased by emailing Hamish Danks Brown cc:
May 23, 2021
Emily Maguire on Love Objects
Australian writer Emily Maguire's new novel is a clear-eyed and compassionate novel about love and family, betrayal and forgiveness, and the things we do to fill our empty spaces. In this interview, created for The Newcastle Writers' Festival's Stories to You series, Emily reads from and talks about Love Objects.  Find out more about Emily here:
April 14, 2021
Alison Treat interviews Leslie K Barry about Newark Minutemen
In this guest episode, author and podcaster Alison Treat interviews Leslie K Barry about her book Newark Minutemen. Note that this is a re-pod from Alison's excellent podcast Historical Fiction: Unpacked. In this interview, author Leslie K. Barry talks Newark Minutemen, and its historical 1938 setting, including the little known history behind the book around a shadow Nazi party called the German-American Bund led by an American Fuhrer and inspired by Leslie's own uncle's role in fighting this party.  More on Newark Minutemen can be found at the book's website and Facebook page. Leslie K Barry's Goodreads page: Find out more about Alison Treat at her website: Watch another interview with Leslie about the book conducted by her sister here:
April 10, 2021
Chris Mansell on Foxline
Chris Mansell is one of Australia’s notable powerhouses in the poetry world.  Chris was one of the founders of Five Islands Press and now runs PressPress, an independent publishing house she founded in 2002.  Chris has had over a dozen of her own books of poetry published as well as artist books, CDs, a collection of short fiction and even a children’s book. Her extensive body of work has been translated into many languages, and won many prizes including the Queensland Premier's Literary Award (poetry) the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize. Chris joins us to read from and talk about her poetry book Foxline, published in 2020 by Flying Island Books.  Find out more about Chris at her website:
March 24, 2021
Zacchary Bird on Vegan Junk Food
Does being vegan mean having to miss out on burgers, jalapeno peppers and deep-fried banana fritters? No way, according to Melbourne writer and vegan recipe developer Zacchary Bird. In this episode that aired for the Newcastle Writers Festival's Stories to You series, Zacchary spills the tea on his first book Vegan Junk Food.
March 10, 2021
Paul Rabinowitz on The Clay Urn
Paul Rabinowitz talks to Tinfoil Crowns author Erin Jones about his novella The Clay Urn. They talk about the inspiration for his story, on working with a real situation--the Arab/Isreali conflict--in a fictional context, his evocative setting, his own experiences in the Isreali army, the complexity of war and the impact of that on young people, on seeing both sides of any conflict, key themes and takeaways from The Clay Urn, and much more.  Find out more about Paul Rabinowitz at his website here: Find out more about Erin Jones at her website:
February 16, 2021
Angus Gaunt on Black Rabbit
The author of Black Rabbit and co-owner of Sappho Books reads from and talks about his latest novel and its quirky characters, about the impact of 2020, about themes and his writing style, the inherent beauty of writing for oneself, the value of small publishers, his work-in-progress, the book he's reading and loving (Janet Frame's An Autobiography), and lots more.   Angus' website: Facebook: Sappho Books:
October 06, 2020
Denise O'Hagan on The Beating Heart
Denise O'Hagan reads from and talks about her new poetry book The Beating Heart.  We cover such things as how the book came about, the relationship between memoir, poetry, and meaning making, on the use of sensual stimulus and poetry is everywhere, on time, and the way our pasts are ever present, on the 'heart' of and in the book, on editing for The Blue Nib, and lots more.  Connect with Denise O'Hagan at her website here: and on Twitter here: Visit The Blue Nib:
September 21, 2020
Lee Kofman on Imperfect
Author, mentor, writing teacher and speaker Lee Kofman reads from about talks about her memoir Imperfect.  In this brief but far-reaching conversation, we talk about some of Lee's key themes such as body surface and how it shapes us, the power of creative nonfiction, combining memoir and research and the connection for her, how she chose the people who were profiled in the book, the anthology she edited, Split, and lots more.  Find out more about Lee at her website:
August 27, 2020
Nicola Redhouse on Unlike the Heart
Nicola Redhouse reads from her book Unlike the Heart and talks about the way her research grew from her own postnatal anxiety to something much bigger, about the relevance of the literary perspective on scientific inquiry, her readership, the genetic links that drive us, on the way in which her book helped her family, her works in progress and lots more. You can watch this in full video at the Newcastle Writers’ Festival YouTube site: Find out more about Nicola at her website:
May 21, 2020
Maria Tumarkin on Axiomatic
Maria Tumarkin reads from her award-winning book Axiomatic and talks about language and accents,  the many different representations of time in Axiomatic: horizontal, vertical, chronological, cyclical, and 'real' and how she represents these multiple temporalities, about her characters and their complexities, about memory and the limitations of narrative, on axioms and the way they are true and not true, on productivity and caretaking, and much more.  You can find out more about Maria's work at her website: The video version of this conversation can be found here:
May 08, 2020
Sophie Hardcastle on Below Deck
Sophie Hardcastle reads from her latest and much lauded novel Below Deck. We also talked about many things including her Provost scholarship at Oxford, on being an artist-in-resident with Chimu Adventures in Antarctica, the big themes of Below Deck, including ecology, respect, compassion, and the interconnectedness of all things, the link between visual art and written art, the current pandemic, and much more. Full Video version here: Find out more about Sophie's writing, art, and her screenplay work at her website:
April 17, 2020
Gillian Swain book launch My skin its own sky
Following the cancelled Newcastle Writers Festival, Gillian Swain and I decided to launch her new poetry book, My skin its own sky,  online.  The launch was featured in this year's online Newcastle Writers Festival #NWFSTORIESTOYOU (see video link below). My skin its own sky was published in Dec 2019 by Flying Island Books, and is Gillian's second published work following Sang Up (Picaro Press, 2001). Gillian lives in East Maitland with her husband and their four children, where they run their successful coffee roasting business, River Roast Video version of launch: Facebook: River Roast Coffee:
April 10, 2020
Virtual launch of Morgan Bell's Idiomatic, for the people
As the Newcastle Writers Festival had to be cancelled this year due to Coronavirus, we did a virtual launch for Morgan Bell's  poetry chapbook Idiomatic, for the people.  The session, which we conducted with Zoom, was a lot of fun and after my launch Morgan read and spoke about several of the poems in the collection, as well as how the book came together. The full video version can be found here:  You can buy copies of Idiomatic, for the people from the Girls on Key Poetry Portal ( or Amazon (
March 21, 2020
Jim Reese on Bone Chalk
In this guest episode, Daniel Flahie of the Die Healther podcast shares a recent interview with Dr Jim Reese on his new book Bone Chalk.   Jim talks about how he became a writer, his transition from narrative poetry to prose (and the inspiration for that), the relationship between his personal experience with crime, working in prisons (especially San Quentin) and some of the surprising facts he learned doing so, and on writing crime, on the value of education, the relationship between writing, exercise and mental health, some of the key themes in his book, what gets him up in the morning, his inspirations, his upcoming project, and lots more.  Jim Reese is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Great Plains Writing Tour at Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota. He has also worked for over a decade in the United States prison systems as an educator. Dr. Reese has published three books of poetry, and his most recent work Bone Chalk is his first work of published prose. He has many awards including first place in the 2018 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Find out more about Jim Reese at his website: Find out more about Daniel Flahie at:
February 13, 2020
Roslyn McFarland on All the Lives We've Lived
Roslyn McFarland reads from and talks about her new novel All the Lives We've Lived, and discusses such things as her transition from English teacher and author of English HSC text books to fiction writer, the Salt Pan Creek setting of her book, the unique narrative structure and multiple stories within the narrative, her work in progress, and lots more.  Find more about Roslyn at: Find All the Lives We've Live here:
February 04, 2020
Jessica Mehta talks with novelist and poet Nina Murray
In this wide-reaching and warm conversation, novelist and poet Jessica Mehta talks with novelist and poet Nina Murray, who reads some of her poems and talks about her latest poetry book Alcestis in the Underworld, the writing year in review, book titles, their relationship with Shakespeare, the appeal of the list poem and variety packs, on poetic themes, poetic sequencing and the critical importance of editing, on making sense of data, patterns and needs and how that relates to the poetic process, wishes for the new year/decade, writerly relationships, and lots more. Nina Murray’s website: Jessica Mehta’s website:
January 03, 2020
Jenny Blackford on The Girl in the Mirror
Multi-talented polymath Jenny Blackford reads from her new middle-grade novel The Girl in the Mirror and talks about her attraction to different genres, how the book came about, her attraction to sci-fi (and why she chose to entangle her protagonists), the book’s lovely illustrations (especially those redbacks), on her different fan streams, her large garden, her work-in-progress (and the name of the cat who will be in the book), and lots more!   Find more of Jenny at her website: Twitter: Facebook: Macleans booksellers is carrying The Girl in the Mirror. You can find them online here:
December 20, 2019
Interview with Sarah Myles
The author of The Wolf Hour reads from and talks about her latest novel, its origins and her research, her characters, writing about Uganda, the micro world of her family and the macro world of global politics, on sibling tension and bonds, her work in progress, and lots more.   Find out more about Sarah and The Wolf Hour at
October 28, 2019
Peter Valentine on World heritage Sites of Australia
Peter Valentine reads from and talks about his new book World Heritage Sites of Australia.  In this wide-ranging discussion, we talk about the book and how it came about, why he’s pleased it took the more popular and less academic form of a coffee table book, the critical importance of protecting and celebrating our most important ecological areas, his plans for a second part, the need for community engagement, and lots more.   You can find out more about World Heritage Sites of Australia at the National Library of Australia book site.  You can also read or listen to the excellent conversation held with former Greens leader and noted environmentalist Bob Brown at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in August 2019 here:
September 18, 2019
Eliana Gray on Eager to Break
Eliana Gray reads from and talks about their new poetry book Eager to Break.  In this candid interview we talk about such things as writing about, through, and after trauma, on finding new forms of language, on writing about the body, on blurring and allowing for multitudes in pronouns, on self-acceptance, love, and healing, on eggs, and lots more.   Eager to Break can be purchased here: Find them on Instagram:
July 02, 2019
Interview with Richard James Allen
Richard James Allen reads from and talks about his new poetry book, The Short Story of You and I, exploring topics such as his book's themes and unique dialectical structure, the relationship between the poems and the reader, writing about love, the delicate motion between the metaphysical and the concrete, the relationship between poetry and quantum physics, complexity, the links between his many creativity practices, the relationship between the constructed self and character, and lots more.  Find out more about Richard's many projects at:
June 24, 2019
Bram Presser on The Book of Dirt
Bram Presser drops by to read from The Book of Dirt and we chat about many things including the Holocaust, the origins of his novel, the research he’s done, on the interplay between fact and fiction, the motif of dirt and his many golems, Czech folklore, his works in progress, and lots more.  Find out more about Bram at: We ran out of time before I could ask Bram whether his Jewish punk rock band Yidcore would be getting back together, but it turns out that they are, at The Festival of Jewish Arts & Music on the 8th of Sept. Find out more here:
May 06, 2019
Anne Casey on Where the Lost Things Go
Anne Casey drops by to read from and talk about her debut poetry collection Where the Lost Things Go, including the poem that started it all (fifth most read item in The Irish Times “In memoriam II: The draper” which actually made both of us cry, some of the many themes in the book: loss, anger, compassion, the migrant's guilt, poetry as activism, transcendence, and lots more.  Find more about Anne at her website:
February 11, 2019
Ali Whitelock on And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can
Ali Whitelock reads from and talks about her latest poetry book And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can.  We cover such topics as Ali's particular take-no-prisoners style, on being candid, how the book came together, on being a permanent migrant, her work-in-progress, and lots more.  You can find Ali at her website:
January 10, 2019
Steve Armstrong on Broken Ground
Poet Steve Armstrong joins us to read a number of poems from his new poetry book Broken Ground. We also talk about the healing power of poetry and the magic of nature, about his poetry practice, on writing the 'walking poem', themes, rhythms, on the subtle droll humour running through the book, the difference between writing poetry and using poetry as therapy, on the editing and structuring process of pulling the book together, and much more. Find Steve's book here:
August 06, 2018
Jill Jones on Brink
Jill Jones joins us to read several poems from and talk about her latest poetry book Brink.  We discuss some of the key themes in the book (what does it mean to be on the 'brink'), the changing face of eco-poetry (and why trees remain fertile subjects for poets), the way the book came together, its editing process, the relationship between fierceness, tenderness, and politics, on appropriation, collaboration, on ways of making meaning, and lots more.  Jones' photo by Annette Willis 2007 Jill's website is:
June 28, 2018
Kathryn Fry on Green Point Bearings
Poet Kathryn Fry reads a number of poems from her latest poetry collection Green Point Bearings and talks about the book's inspiration, how many of the poems came about and how the collection came together, her interest in the natural world, on mindfulness and the power of paying attention, on Ekphrasis and the paintings of Margaret Olly, the notion of 'grace from loss' and Wendy Whiteley's secret garden, on her mentorship with Brook Emery, what she's currently reading and inspired by, and much more.  Here are links to a few of the things we spoke about: Green Point Bearings Wendy Whiteley's Garden Jean Kent's Paris in my pocket John Foulcher's A Casual Penance
June 18, 2018
Holly Ringland on The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
Holly Ringland, author ofThe Lost Flowers of Alice Hart joins us to read a little from the book and talk about the wonderful language of flowers she invents for the book and how that came about, writing and trauma, her recently completed book tour, the impact of leaving Australia, Alice in Wonderland, Sturt's Desert Peas and Alice Springs, on the visceral nature of her book and its promotion, and lots more. Find more about Holly at her website:, Instagram:, Twitter:, and Facebook:
May 18, 2018
Tracy Sorensen on The Lucky Galah
Tracy Sorensen drops by Compulsive Reader Talks to read from and chat about her new book The Lucky Galah. The conversation is wide ranging but we talk about such things as her fabulous main character Lucky, about anthropomorphism and the relationship between the human and natural worlds, about 'hooking up' with author Charlotte Wood, about the Varuna writer retreat and retreats in general, about the Canarvon dish, magic realism, space travel, and lots more.  Tracy Sorensen's website is:
March 27, 2018
Jennifer Maiden launches her poetry book Appalachian Fall
The wonderful Jennifer Maiden joins me at Macleans Booksellers in Hamilton NSW for a launch of her new book Appalachian Fall, including a Q&A, 3 poems, and audience questions.  The talk, which is opened by a reading from the introduction by Quemar Press publisher Katharine Margot Toohey, is wide ranging and explores such things as how the book came about, its inspiration, the relationship between poetry and political rhetoric, the bisection between the personal and the political, on the use of personae and humour in poetry, and lots more.  The sound is quiet but the conversation was too good to let go, so turn up your speakers and enjoy.  You can also grab the full transcript on Quemar's Commentary page here: Find out more about Jennifer's books at: Quemar Press.
February 14, 2018
Interview with Jessica Townsend
Jessica Townsend, the author of Nevermoor: the Trials of Morrigan Crow drops by to read from and chat about her book, which has been had the biggest children’s debut in the Australian market since records began.  We talk about the book's outrageous success, about target markets and how it's impossible to work to them, about magic, about the broader series (including some hints about what's coming in future books), about the upcoming 20th Century Fox film (and a first time reveal of the director!), about some of the key themes in the book, including the notion of a “cursed child”, the nature of wunder, on sentience and the Hotel Deucalion, on Fenestra, the fabulous feline, and lots more.  Find out more about Jessica at: Twitter: Instagram:
October 24, 2017
Gerry Orz talks about Lucky or Not Here I Come
Gerry Orz is an award winning actor, director, producer, youth activist, and author of the book Lucky or Not, Here I come, released this month.  He drops by to read from Lucky or Not Here I Come and to discuss his inspiration for the book, some of the key themes, why he decided to broaden his already extensive list of accomplishments to include 'novelist', his characters and their relationships, the concept of lucky, about his writing process, the critical support of his family and school, about the changing landscape for young people, about bullying and why schools need to do more, his wish list, and lots more.   You can find out more about Gerry's work at his website: His production company: and his YouTube Channel World According to G:
August 16, 2017
Patti Miller on Writing True Stories
Award-winning author Patti Miller reads from and talks about her new nonfiction book Writing True Stories. Patti reads from chapter one, and we discuss such things as how Patti became the "memoir whisperer", the rise and rise of the memoir in all of its multi-genred formats, on how we are all creating narrative as we make meaning of our lives (how everyone has a story), on the encouragement of exploration in her writing workshops, the excerpts and structure of the book, and much more.  For more on Patti's upcoming workshops and her many books, visit:
July 24, 2017
Interview with Melinda Smith
The award-winning author of Goodbye, Cruel, reads from her new book and talks about how it came together, the structure, her linked suites, the influence of Dante, her attraction to Rabi'a Balkhi and Persian poetry in general, on writing about sensitive subjects like suicide, and much more.  Find more about Melinda at her publisher's page:  or on Facebook or Twitter.
June 19, 2017
Jennifer Maiden on Play With Knives
Poet and novelist Jennifer Maiden drops by to read from her latest novel Play With Knives: Three: George and Clare and the Grey Hat Hacker, and to talk about all three novels in the Play With Knives series, about the joy of working her poetic and complex words and ideas through a thriller styled plot, about her characters George Jeffreys and Clare Collins, and the way they continue to appear through her poetry and fiction, about writing through current affairs like the Trump presidency and the first America Gulf War, about writing literary sex scenes, and lots more.  All three novels can be obtained as free downloads from Quemar Press:
February 12, 2017
Dr Joanna McMillan talks about Get Lean, Stay Lean
Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan talks about her new book Get Lean, Stay Lean, including how the book came together, why people are still struggling with nutritional and weightloss, outlines the Dr Joanna plate, her six steps to success and which one is the most unusual, about the importance of joy, her recipes, about how to sort through the fads (and which is the most dangerous), about eating sustainably - for oneself and for the planet, about the importance of "Hara Hachi Bu",  and lots more. Find out more about Dr Joanna and Get Lean, Stay Lean at
January 08, 2017
Interview with Michele Seminara
Michele Seminara drops by to read from and talk about her poetry book Engraft and how it came together, the variety of forms and how she uses the page, about writing through Shakespeare, Kafka and other authors, about the tension between tradition and post-modernism, about the use of humour and play amidst dark themes, about Verity La which Michele is Managing Editor of, about her new book Scar to Scar, written with Robbie Coburn, and lots more.   Michele's website: Verity La: Robbie Coburn's website:
November 29, 2016
Interview with Michelle Cahill on Letter to Pessoa
Michelle Cahill reads "Aubade for Larkin" and talks about her new book Letter to Pessoa, including the book's genesis, its shifting genres (and genders), about literary connection and disconnection, about writing meta-fiction, and the intersections between writing practice and philosophical discourse, about Derrida, about “ambulatory praxis” or the simultaneity of multiple place and the migrant experience, her choice of authors to write letters to, about intertextuality and the canon, power structures and language,and lots more.
October 27, 2016
Tim Elliott on Farewell to the Father
Tim Elliott joins us to read from and talk about his memoir Farewell to the Father.  He discusses how the initial article and book came about, the reasons for its powerful impact on readers, the themes that underlie the book including notions of failure, toxic masculinity, and the keeping of secrets, mental illness and the changing perception of it, about the difficulties (and joy) of writing memoir and rediscovering his father that way, the literary nature of the book (and some of the books that inspired him), some of his upcoming appearances, and lots more.
August 25, 2016
Joel Deane on Year of the Wasp
Joel Deane reads from and talks about his new poetry book Year of the Wasp.  Joel discusses a number of the themes and motifs throughout the book and in individual poems, the way the book came together, the power of poetry in getting to the heart of who we are, metapoetics and the artistic process, about the intersection of poetry and trauma, about the way his work connects wtih visual art, the interaction of the personal and the political in his work, and much more.
August 01, 2016
Hazel Smith on Word Migrants
Poet, performer, professor and new media artist Hazel Smith drops by to read from and talk about her latest book of poetry Word Migrants. Hazel is an incredible reader and her readings alone are worth listening to, but she also talks with me about the genesis of the book as a whole, and about each of the poems she reads, about the sonic/musical quality of her work, her key themes, particularly migration in all its many variants, and disappearances, about "uncreative" or conceptual poetry, and about her new book on the relations
June 28, 2016
Jane Caro talks about Plain-Speaking Jane
Author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator Jane Caro, chats about her memoir Plain-Speaking Jane, about the power of plain speaking - not just in terms of being candid, but in terms of breaking silence and comunicating with different audiences (with a bit of Australian politics thrown in there too...), about the power of connections, about her anxiety and how she was able to move beyond it, why advertising is such an incubator for great writers, about the dangers of focusing on the great over the good, about the power of connection, her many works in progress, and lots more.
June 06, 2016
Vivian Gornick reads from and talks about The Odd Woman and the City
In this special "on location" Sydney Writers Festival show, Vivian Gornick reads from and talks about the writing of her latest book The Odd Woman and the City, about the nature (and freedom) of “oddness”, about the joy and vitality of New York City, about the literary self vs the living self, the conversation between life and literature, about the nature of factual truth and memory, about self-doubt and the stretch into discomfort that is a writer's work, about sitzfleish and speilkas, about the way in which she's a minimalist, about understanding the past, about her work in progress and the joy of re-reading, and lots more.
May 23, 2016
Dimitrios Ikonomou reads from and chats about The Diary of Norman K
Author and scultor Dimitrios Ikonomou reads from his new novel The Diary of Norman K, and chats with Justin Goodman about his book and its origins, his characters, on having an unreliable narrator on an unreliable journey, on meta-fiction, on the relationship between his sculptures and his writing, on the quantum nature of memory, on role models, on being an outsider, the line between reality and perception, the signified and the signifier, and lots more.
May 18, 2016
Rebecca Starford on Bad Behaviour
In this special Newcastle Writers Festival episode, Rebecca Starford, the author of Bad Behaviour, reads from and talks about her memoir and how it came about, her "characters" and why she needed to revisit them, about the complex and fuzzy lines between bullying and being bullied, about the importance of being honest about her own character in the story, on the way writing about her experiences has open doors for others to talk more openly about their own, on coming of age and coming out, the latest news on the television option for the book, about her work in progress, and lots more.
March 15, 2016
Mark Flanagan on David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Infinite Winter
Mark Flanagan is the founder and editor of Run Spot Run, and the instigator behind Infinite Winter, an online book club of hundreds of readers who have banded together to jointly read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in celebration of the book’s 20th anniversary.  In this episode of The Compulsive Reader Talks, we discuss Infinite Jest's timeless and ongoing appeal, what its like to group read it for the second time, the value of slow, attentive reading, about the guides and resources provided at Infinite Winter, about some of the more interesting things that have come out of his group reading, about what he's looking forward to, and lots more.
March 03, 2016
Christine Evans on Cloudless
The author of Cloudless reads from and talks about her new verse novel Cloudless, her unique characters, the way the book came together, why she used verse, about the interlinking lives, about Perth in the 1980s, about the magic in her book (and her taste for Magic Realism), about the way time distorts, her work-in-progress, and lots more.
December 10, 2015
Martin Langford on his new book Ground
Martin Langford reads from his new poetry book Ground, and talks about his overarching principle of spaces places and the evolution of the book as a collection, about time and timelessness, about Australian history and how it plays out in Ground, about settlement and displacement, about Sydney and its layers, about eco-poetry and why his writing, though nature-rich, isn't, about  meta-poetry and the Kingfisher's, his next project, and lots more.
October 27, 2015
Jean Kent talks about The Hour of Silvered Mullet
In this episode held live (complete with rich sound effects) from Lake Macquarie Pub, acclaimed poet Jean Kent reads from her new book The Hour of Silvered Mullet, and talks about the importance of scent, her settings, eco-poetics, the way in which the book came together, the conjunction between the ordinary (say, a mullet jumping out of the water) and the extraordinary, the inspiration for her poetic characters (especially Morag), on nostalgia or the way the past pulls us from the present, and lots more.
September 13, 2015
Carolyn Martinez talks about Finding Love
Carolyn Martinez, author of Inspiring IVF Stories and Finding Love: 7 Things you Need to Know Before You Date Again  reads from and talks about her new book, about her path to becoming an author, about her writing process, the most surprising response from readers, about her publishing house Hawkeye Publishing and the way it has grown beyond her two releases, the secret of her productivity, about the importance of communities and why she seems to create them around her, and lots more.
August 17, 2015
Ali Cobby Eckermann on her book Inside my Mother
Ali Cobby Eckermann joins us to read from and talk about her latest poetry collection Inside my Mother, as well as the "My Mother's Heart" sesion at the Sydney Writers Festival, the many meanings of "mother", both personal, universal, and metaphoric, about language and its multiplicities, about the tension between the desire for independence and the hunger for the protection and love that mothers represent, about the abundant animals in her work, about sadness, anger, and healing, her work-in-progress, and lots more.
August 10, 2015
Lucy Dougan on The Guardians
The author of The Guardans reads a number of poems from her book and talks about how it has has come together, about the key themes in the book: masks, the roles and genetics we inherit, about poetry as archeology, on animals, parenting, the "wild estate", on poetry as craft and craft as poetry, her new current project, and lots more.
July 27, 2015
Beth Spencer on Vagabondage
Award winning novelist, poet and nonfiction writer Beth Spencer reads from and talks about her latest poetry book,Vagabondage.  In this candid conversation we discuss her own journey, the idea of "leaving no trace", about aging, displacement, homelessness, her writing processes, about giving up and then re-finding herself as a writer, verisimilitude and the poetic form, the value (and pain) of solitude and attention, about time's cyclical and mosaic quality and why poetry works so well to describe that, and much more.
June 15, 2015
Graham Stull on The Hydra
The author of The Hydra reads from and talks about his new novel and where his ideas for it came from, about his biologist turned Frankenstein protagonist Brian Matterosi, on viral engineering, genre fiction, indie publishing, distopias, population and ecology, the relationship between economics and fiction, on multi-nationality, the shifting sands of 'truth' (and how that makes good fodder for fiction, a preview of his next novel The Fortune Teller, and lots more.
June 08, 2015
Ben Okri on The Age of Magic
Ben Okri joins us live from the Sydney Writers Festival to read from and talk about his latest novel The Age of Magic and what inspired it, its characters, on the true nature of magic, on the book's themes incuding what Goethe calls des Pudels Kern (the real nature or deeper meaning of things), on transcendent knowledge and why we truly are living in an age of magic, on the value of slow reading, why we need new forms of fiction, his new poetry book Wild, on the relationship between writing poetry and writing prose, upcoming work, and lots more.  Note: this interview took place following Ben's Age of Magic Talk which I referred to several times in my interview.  The talk can be listened to in full here:
May 23, 2015
Joan Schweighardt on The Accidental Art Thief
The author of The Accidental Art Thief reads from and talks about her new novel and the inspiration for it, her quirky "under-the-radar" characters, her gorgeous Albuquerque setting, some of her key themes, on keeping secrets, her new work in progress, and lots more.
May 17, 2015
Philip Salom on Alterworld
The author of Alterworld: Sky Poems, The Well Mouth, Alterworld reads from and talks about his new poetry collection and how it came together as a trio over 27 years, about his settings, the poetic afterlife, mythologies, the power of poetry, on black humour, his current work in progress, poetry and politics, and much more.
February 17, 2015
Masterchef Julie Goodwin on 20/20 Meals
Masterchef and author of 20/20 Meals Julie Goodwin talks about her new cookbook, about her journey from being a keen home cook to becoming a Masterchef and of making a business out of cooking, about the way in which food is a key to understanding other cultures, about the importance of ordinary, daily cooking, about how she chose and tested the meals in the book, tips for getting kids to participate in cooking, about her new cooking school Julie's Place, about her singing, and lots more.
November 07, 2014
Jeri Kroll on Workshopping the Heart
The author of Vanishing Point, and Workshopping the Heart reads from and talks about her latest books of poetry, about the transition from poetry to drama, the relationship between poetry and theatre, about her protagonist Diana, on writing about anorexia, about family damage and healing, on how the different books of poetry came together in Workshopping the Heart, about the relationship between the domestic and the universal, her new work and lots more.
October 27, 2014
Brooke Davis on Lost and Found
Australian Book Industy Award Winner Brooke Davis reads from and talks about her novel Lost & Found, about her lovely, quirky characters, about writing a novel as PhD project and its impact on her work, about the intersection of grief and art, about disenfranchisement and loud voices, about notions of goodness and badness, about how she's dealing with the massive and atypical success of her first novel, about the nature of grief, and lots more.
July 29, 2014
Andy Kissane on Radiance
The author of the poetry collection Radiance reads a selection of poems from his new book, talks about how the book came together as a collection, its structure and epitaphs, his themes, on being a "cricket poet", on hanging out with great, dead authors, about his character "The Moon", his current work-in-progressand lots more.
June 23, 2014
Interview with Carmel MacDonald Grahame
The author of Personal Effects reads from and talks about her novel and how the story came together, about the cyclical (and pieced together) nature of time in her book, about mosaic (pique assiette) and its role in the novel, about writing as craft, about her characters and the sacrifices they make, about the books themes, her new projects and lots more.
May 26, 2014
Vanessa Berry on Ninety 9
The author of Ninety 9 reads from and talks about her new book, about band t-shirts, growing up in the 1990s (and what has and hasn't changed), on the joy of 'zines, on the conjunction of the mythical and the domestic, on the power of capturing ephemera, her upcoming projects, and lots more.
February 23, 2014
Interview with Jaye Ford
The author of Blood Secret reads from and talks about her new book, about the incident that gave rise to it, her main characters, her local settings, her struggles with the writing, her work in progress, and lots more.
October 29, 2013
Interview with Paul W Newman
Author Paul Newman drops by to read from and talk about his novel Fin Rising, about writing the first novel, his quirky characters, the fine art of fly fishing, genre bending, the relationship between illustration and writing, and lots more.
September 19, 2013
Interview with Brian Castro
Author Brian Castro reads from and talks about his latest novel Street to Street, his three protagonists, the transformative power of the imagination, the notion of failure, melancholy, the relationship between fiction and non-fiction, the fuzziness of genre, and lots more.
September 12, 2013
Don’t Let the Wind Catch You with Aaron Paul Lazar
The author of Don't Let the Wind Catch You reads from and talks about his newest LeGarde mystery book, his protagonist Gus, his other mystery series and the lure of the genre for him, the secrets of his proflic output, the intersection of life and writing, the next books in the pipeline, how to catch LazarFever, and lots more.
August 28, 2013
The Bookman’s Tale with Charlie Lovett
The author of The Bookman's Tale talks about his new novel, about his multinational settings, the book's structure, the joy of libraries and bookstores, book restoration, his characters, the nature of fiction (versus nonfiction and plays), his upcoming work, and lots more.
July 16, 2013
Lisa Gorton on Hotel Hyperion
The author of Hotel Hyperion talks about and reads from her new book of poetry, the relationship between memory, dreams, appropriation and art, the book's origins including the nature of a storm glass, Titan, Keats, multiverses and rooms, art and imagination, and lots more.
July 04, 2013
Bread of the Lost with Philomena Van Rijswijk
The author of Bread of the Lost talks about and reads lots of poems from her new poetry collection, discusses the notion of the 'metaphorical feed', the genesis of the book, the natural world as character, the wild animal beneath the veneer of civilisation, the "Tardis of passion", Tasmania, her upcoming novel, and lots more.
June 06, 2013
Bob Rich's Ascending Spiral
The author of Ascending Spiral talks about his latest novel,about genre bending, the books themes, its characters, sustainability, about being a Renaissance man, on optimism and pessimism, and lots more.
May 06, 2013
Fred Watson on Star Craving Mad
The author of Star Craving Mad reads from and talks about his latest book, on the importance of a multi-disciplinary perspective in science, on future areas of interest for astronomy and other scientific areas, the relationship between music and science, Astronomy Tourism, his nonfiction work-in-progress, and lots more.
April 08, 2013
Interview with Kent MacCarter & Ali Lemer
The editors of Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home talk about the   book, about choosing the essays and working with the 27 authors, about their own migration experiences, about the relationship between writing and migration, and lots more.
February 18, 2013
Interview with Jennifer Maiden
The author of Liquid Nitrogen reads from and talks about her new poetry book, about her themes, about the combining of the personal and political, about writing topical poetry, about meta-poetics, mentorship and parenting as it plays out in her work, the relationship between poetry and prose, and lots more.
December 17, 2012
ModPo's Amaris Cuchanski, Max McKenna & Anna Strong
Three of the Teaching Assistants from the University of Pennsylvania's Modern and Contemporary American Poetry course (ModPo) drop by to chat about the course, how they got involved, contemporary poetics, the notion of uncreative writing and play in poetry, the wisdom of crowds, the future of ModPo, and lots more.
November 15, 2012
Interview with Jillian Schedneck
The author of Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights reads from and talks about her book, about the differences (and similarities) between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, about her current research project, about seeing a culture through the eyes of a foreigner, and lots more.
November 06, 2012
Interview with Lily Brett
The author of Lola Bensky talks about her new book, about rock journalism and the 1960s, about her character Lola, about the black humour in the book, the relationship between 'real life, her fictional detectives Harry and Schlomo, and lots more.
October 26, 2012
Interview with Joanne Harris
The author of Peaches for Father Francis talks about her new book, about revisiting Lansquenet, about the nature of serials, about food writing, about magical realism and how it works in her books, about her character Vianne Rocher, about what it's like to have Johnny Depp and Juliet Binoche play your characters, and lots more.
October 10, 2012
Interview with Margaret Wertheim
The author of Physics on the Fringe talks about how her years of collecting the work of 'outsider physics' turned into a book, about the notion of some aspects of modern physics being more akin to art than science, about her star outsider Jim Carter, about the Institute of Figuring that she created, about the amazing Coral Reef Project she originated with her sister, about her next book, and lots more.
September 10, 2012
Interview with Danny Iny
The author of Engagement from Scratch talks about his company Firepole Marketing, about the power of blogging, about why creative people need to market, author promotion, his book and why he's giving it away, on philanthropy, mantaining the balance between professionalism and fun, and lots more.
September 04, 2012
Interview with Nigel Marsh
The author of Fit, Fifty and Fired Up talks about his new book, about self-actualisation, about why his book is not a self-help, the pressures on the modern male and why this is important beyond the personal, about his "characters", on living a purposeful life, and lots more.
August 13, 2012
Interview with Anna Solding
The author of The Hum of Concrete reads from and talks about her first novel, about the the relationship between the stories and a novel, about the title and its meaning, about her characters, about the setting in Malmö, Sweden, about Midnight Sun publishing, and lots more.
July 30, 2012
Interview with Kate Fagan
Poet, editor, musician, researcher, and lecturer Kate Fagan talks about and reads from her new poetry book First Light. We discuss the Cento form, the structuring of the book, poetics and meaning making, her collaborations, on music and poetry, style and rhythm, and lots more.
June 13, 2012
Interview with Ian Gibbins
The author of Urban Biology reads from and talks about his new poetry book and the poems in it, the relationship between poetry and science, anthropomorphism, on giving words to the wordless, his music, and lots more.
May 28, 2012
Interview with Stephen Scourfield
The author of Unaccountable Hours: Three Novellas reads from his latest book, and talks about his characters, mentorship, the novella form, wood and craftmanship, water and "the secret", ethics and environmentalism, and lots more.
April 30, 2012
Interview with Frank Delaney
The author of The Last Storyteller talks about his latest novel, about trilogies, about the art of storyteller and the Seanchai, about the communal nature of the story, his characters, about exile and art, his new Amazon short "The Druid", and lots more.
March 15, 2012
Interview with Amanda Curtin
The author of Inherited, talks about her new book of short stories, about the notion of inheritance in all its forms, about the short story form, about writing on obsession, loss and love, the origins of some of her stories, and much more.
February 16, 2012
Interview with Lesley Synge
The author of Mountains Belong to the People Who Love Them reads a variety of poems from her book, and talks about the parallels between the two sections of her book, about the importance of slowing down and learning to observe, about Buddhism and the modern world, about change and epiphany, and much more.
December 14, 2011
Interview with Mike French
The author of The Ascent of Issac Steward talks about his first novel, on being compared to James Joyce, on physics and cognative science, his symbolism and Biblical references, his literary magazine The View From Here, on the value of the slow read, his upcoming novel Blue Friday, and lots more.
October 21, 2011
Interview with George Ivanoff
The author of Gamer's Quest and Gamer's Challenge talks about his latest novel, some of the key themes, his favourite games (and Dr Who monster), the nature of reality, The Ultimate Gamer, his 50 books, and lots more.
October 19, 2011
Interview with Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley talks about her latest novel Private Life, about historical fiction and genres in general, about the relationship between fiction and memoir, about her characters, the notion of obsession, and the universe in the particular, and much more.
August 26, 2011
Interview with Mary E Martin
The author of The Drawing Lesson talks about her most recent novel in the Trilogy of Remembrance, the trilogy form, her characters, the notion of inspirational light, the muse, her research, her amazing book trailer and lots more.
July 19, 2011
Interview with Chad Hautmann
The author of Billie's Ghost and Magic and Grace talks about his latest book, his characters and key themes, his interesting route to publication, the injury that gave rise to the story, on the relationship between teaching and writing, and lots more.
May 17, 2011
Interview with Sue Collier
The co-author of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing talks about her book, about the paradigm shift in publishing over the past 5 years, the benefits and challenges of self-publishing, and lots more.
May 02, 2011
Interview with Terry Denton
Funnyman, writer, illustrator, cartoonist Terry Denton talks about his new television series Gasp, along with his latest collaborations, his future projects and lots more.
April 18, 2011
Interview with Gail Jones
The author of Five Bells talks about her latest novel, about the poem that inspired it, about Sydney, and lots more.
March 21, 2011
Interview with Carl Zimmer
The author of Brain Cuttings talks about his latest book, on how the brain works, on the limits of our understanding about the brain, the meaning of time, the nature of consciousness, and lots more.
February 16, 2011
Interview with David Follett
The author and illustrator of Uncle Silas: Genetis talks about his book, his themes, his other comics, about the graphic novel form in general, and lots more.
February 06, 2011
Interview with Tim Flannery
The author of Here on Earth talks about his latest book, about the human superorganism and the Gaia system, about game theory, the tipping point, and lots more.
December 15, 2010
Interview with Lyn Reeves
The author of Designs on the Body talks about her new book, about poetry in general and Australian poetry in particular, about her magazine Famous Reporter, and lots more.
December 13, 2010
Interview with Meredith Whitford
The author of Shakespeare's Will talks about her new book, about historical fiction in general, about her involvement in Bewrite Books new Australian wing and what that means, and lots more.
October 21, 2010
Interview with Craig Silvey
The author of Jasper Jones talks about his multi-award winning novel, his characters, his themes, music, and lots more.
September 28, 2010
Interview with Ramona Koval
ABC Radio's and The Book Show's Interviewer extraordinaire (and author of the newly released Speaking Volumes) sits on the other side of the chair for a meta-discussion on the art of the literary interview.
August 30, 2010
Interview with Bob Stahl
The author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbooks talks about his new book, about the connection between mindfulness and creativity, why mindfulness is so powerful, about the spiritual challenges of modern living, and lots more.
August 11, 2010
Interview with Justin D’Ath
Justin D’Ath is the author of 26 books for children and young adults, including the hugely popular Extreme Adventures series. He'll be joining us to talk about his latest book Phoebe Nash: Girl Warrior.
July 19, 2010
Interview with Linda Ruth Brooks
The author of I'm Not Broken: I'm Just Different talks about her latest book, about self-publishing, Asperger's Syndrome, and lots more.
July 01, 2010
Interview with Eric Maisel
The author of Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions talks about his latest book, about the nature of productive obsessions, the importance of creativity, creative anxiety, his upcoming work, and lots more.
June 16, 2010
Interview with Peter Bowerman
The Well-Fed Writer talks about the latest, updated edition of his book, about commercial writing, about the work-life balance, about the whole notion of the hungry artist, and lots more.
June 10, 2010
Interview with Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords
The founder of talks about the future of reading, publishing, the relationship between electronic and print books, why it has taken so long for ebooks to catch on and why it's happening now, DRM, and a whole lot more.
March 04, 2010
Interview with Felicity Plunkett
The author of Vanishing Point reads her poems, talks about poetry in general, and in particular, her own work's inspiration and implications, her next book, her university work, and much more.
February 16, 2010
Interview with Margaret Hawkins
The author of A Year of Cats and Dogs talks about her first novel, her innovative use of the I Ching and recipes, her main character's journey, and lots more.
February 01, 2010
Interview with John Banville
The author of The Infinities, The Sea and a number of other award winning novels talks about his latest novel, his sometimes unacknowledged playful side, his alter ego 'crowd pleaser' Benjamin Black, on creating reality through the mesh of language, and lots more.
December 14, 2009
Interview with Matthew Riley
The author of The Five Greatest Warriors talks about his latest novel, his unique 'storyteller' style of writing, the Jack West Jr. series (and on the nature of series' in general) his unusual promotional techniques, and lots more.
October 25, 2009
Interview with Sofie Laguna
The author of One Foot Wrong talks about her first adult novel, her child protagonist, themes, the transition from children's to adult literature, acting, and lots more.
October 19, 2009
Interview with Andrew Thelander
The author of Last Birds talks about his latest novel, his characters and narrative style, about birdwatching, the relationship between conservation, ethics, and literature, and lots more.
October 01, 2009
Interview with K J Fraser
The author of A Journey, a Reckoning and a Miracle talks about her novel, her characters and their relationship to the real life people they mirror, her thoughts about America's future, her literary themes, and lots more.
September 01, 2009
Interview with Emily Ballou
The author of The Darwin Poems talks about her latest book, about the relationship between fiction, biography and poetry, about her famous subject and his 200th birthday, and lots more.
August 28, 2009
Interview with Dale Beaumont
The author of How to Write and Publish Your Own Best-Selling Book, talks to us about his latest package, on being a young entrepreneur, about the relationship between writing and promoting, the "secret" of success (using the term in its broadest context), and a lot more.
August 04, 2009
Interview with Danny Gillan
The author of Will You Love Me Tomorrow talks about his novel, his upcoming anthology, his other writing work, about rock and roll and its many facets, including its representation in literature, about comedy writing, and lots more.
June 18, 2009
Interview with Sir Ken Robinson
The author of The Element talks about his book, about the notion of finding your 'passion', about his vision of human ability and creativity, about the role of mentors, and lots more.
June 16, 2009
Interview with Lorraine Mace
The author of The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World and The ABC Checklist for New Writers talks about her latest book, about being a "perennial nomad", about being a professional freelancer, about nonfiction in general, and lots more. This is a phone in show, so free free to call in or chat in with your own questions.
May 27, 2009
Interview with Gaynor McGrath
The author of Lemniscate talks about her novel, the relationship between fact and fiction, her characters, her own travels, her next project, and lots more.
May 21, 2009
Interview with Marion Halligan
Marion Halligan reads from and talks about her new novel Valley of Grace, about its French setting, it's themes, about being a reader as much as a writer and the connection between reader and writer, and lots more.
April 28, 2009
Interview with Paul Burman
The author of The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore returns to The Compulsive Reader on his own to talk about his novel, his characters, deja vu, about the relationship between teaching and writing, and lots more.
April 07, 2009
Interview with Terry Denton
Children's author (Storymaze, Wombat in the City), illustrator, and humourist Terry Denton talks about his work, his latest Wombat in the City, on literary humour in general and lots more.
February 16, 2009
Interview with Bel Schenk
The author of Ambulances & Dreamers talks about her new book, Express Media, poetry in Australia, poetry for young people, and lots more.
February 10, 2009
Interview with Geoff Nelder
The author of Exit, Pursued by a Bee talks about his book, science fiction, his SciFi mag Escape Velocity, and lots more.
December 08, 2008
Interview with Mark David Gerson
The author of The Voice of the Muse talks about his book, the ideas behind it, his "rules" for writing and living, the relationship between prose, and lots more.
November 06, 2008
Joel Deane and Karen Knight: an hour of poetry
In this exciting show, we bring two of Australia's leading poets together for an hour of poetry, discussion and debate. Joel Deane has won two national awards for his poetry and fiction. His novel, Another, and his first poetry book Subterranean Radio Songs both won the IP Picks award for best unpublished Australian manuscript. His latest collection is titled Magisterium, and was published last month by Australian Scholarly Publishing. He has also worked as a press secretary and speechwriter for the Australian Labor Party. Karen Knight has won the Alec Bolton Award, three writer's development grants from Arts Tasmania, and the Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship Award for Poetry. Postcards from the Asylum is her fifth collection and was published last month by Pardalote Press. Previous titles include Under the one granite roof - poems for Walt Whitman (Pardalote Press, 2004); Singing in the Grain (Walleah Press, 2001), My Mother has Become (Picaro Press, 2003) and Doctor Says (Picaro Press, 2006). With Sue Moss, she is co-editor of Interior Despots - Running the Border, an anthology of women poets (Pardalote Press, 2001). She is also one of the five writers represented in Republican Dreaming (Bumblebee Books, 1999).
September 25, 2008
The View From Here
Mike French and Paul Burman, Editors of The View From Here magazine( will be talking about their literary journal, their own novels The Dandelion Tree and The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore (respectively), and lots more.
September 10, 2008
Interview with Wendy James
The author of The Steele Diaries talks about her latest novel, on being a sophomore, on the Australian artworld, on her mother-daughter-absent father theme, and lots more.
August 19, 2008
Interview with Howard Waldman
The author of Good Americans Go to Paris When They Die talks about his latest novel, his unique premise, his settings, characters, themes, sales, next novel, and a whole lot more.
August 13, 2008
Interview with Aaron Paul Lazar
The author of Tremolo: Cry of the Loon talks about his new book, about literary mysteries, about serialising his character Gus LeGarde, and lots more.
August 06, 2008
Interview with Will Chaffey
The author of Swimming with Crocodiles talks about his book, his great adventure, about publishing across borders, his future work and plans for return, and lots more.
August 05, 2008
Interview with Nick Place
The author of The OK Team talks about his novel, the world of superheros, his key themes, the dullest member of the royal family, Harry Potter, how to hack into his character's website, and lots more.
June 30, 2008
Interview with Marion Roberts
The author of Sunny Side Up talks about her novel, the development of her protagonist, about the gender divide in young adult books, where the photographs came from, upcoming releases, and lots more.
June 10, 2008
Interview with Julie Mars
The author of Anybody Any Minute reads from her latest novel, talks about her heroine Ellen Kenny, the challenges of living an authentic life, the theme of sisterhood and empowerment which run through her books, the female at midlife, and a whole lot more.
May 06, 2008
Interview with Basil Eliades, author of 3rd i
Poet, painter, performer Basil Eliades ( performs from his CD 3rd i, and talks about poetry, painting, aesthetics, life, love, art, and the relationship between them.
March 11, 2008
Interview with Lorraine Mace, co-author of The ABC Checklist for New Writers
The author of The ABC Checklist for New Writers talks about her book, provides tips and tricks for authors, talks about international collaboration, her children's book, and lots more.
February 11, 2008
Interview with Roland Harvey
The award winning Australian children's author and illustrator talks about his new book In the City, his unique, heavily detailed style, his fascinating settings, the relationship between reality and fantasy in his latest "in the" series, and much more.
December 11, 2007
Interview with Emily Ballou, author of Aphelion
Emily Ballou talks about her new novel Aphelion, her old/new Adaminaby setting, on the cycles of life, death, love, longing and memory which form the motif of this novel, and lots more.
December 04, 2007
Interview with Graeme Kinross-Smith
The author of Long Afternoon of the World talks about his first novel, the book's strange cyclical time, on the creation of meaning, on the relationship between poetry, nonfiction, photography and teaching, his publisher, his next book, and lots more.
November 14, 2007
Interview with Justin Lowe
The author of The Great Big Show talks about his verse novel, about poetry, publishing, the literary world and much more.
October 17, 2007
Interview with Helen Townsend, author of Above the Starry Frame
The author of Above the Starry Frame talks about her new book, her character William Irwin, the Eureka Stockade, and lots more.
September 19, 2007
Ross Duncan on All Those Bright Crosses
Ross Duncan reads from his new novel All Those Bright Crosses, talks about the development of his book, his key themes - love, loss, grief, on the nature of morality, his historical setting, Fiji, the rise of poker machine addiction, the relationship between law and writing, and lots more.
August 14, 2007