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.
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: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20201224.Leslie_K_Barry
Find out more about Alison Treat at her website: http://alisontreat.com
Watch another interview with Leslie about the book conducted by her sister here: https://youtu.be/K96g5GXBNT4
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: http://www.chrismansell.com
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: https://www.paulrabinowitz.com
Find out more about Erin Jones at her website: http://www.betterpeaches.com/erin-jones
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: https://www.angusgaunt.com/
Sappho Books: https://www.sapphobooks.com.au/
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: https://denise-ohagan.com
and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/DeniseOHagan3
Visit The Blue Nib: https://thebluenib.com
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: https://leekofman.com.au/
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: https://youtu.be/q0NCgiqxvdw
Find out more about Nicola at her website: https://www.nicolaredhouse.com/
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: http://www.mariatumarkin.com
The video version of this conversation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVuhP6yyuwE
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: https://youtu.be/82COIj2UXbw
Find out more about Sophie's writing, art, and her screenplay work at her website: https://www.sophiehardcastle.com/
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: https://youtu.be/Z0ZxKQj2dkg
River Roast Coffee: https://riverroast.com
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: https://youtu.be/1G3kbb2wCfU. You can buy copies of Idiomatic, for the people from the Girls on Key Poetry Portal (https://www.girlsonkey.com/poetryportalshop/Poetry-book-Idiomatic-For-The-People-Morgan-Bell-p140419435) or Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Idiomatic-people-chapbook-Morgan-Bell/dp/024445776X)
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: http://jimreese.org
Find out more about Daniel Flahie at: https://twitter.com/danielflahie
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: https://www.facebook.com/RoslynMcFarland.Writer/
Find All the Lives We've Live here: https://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/store.php?product/page/2018/Roslyn+McFarland+%2F+All+the+Lives+We%27ve+Lived
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: https://houndart.wordpress.com
Jessica Mehta’s website: https://jessicamehta.com
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: http://www.jennyblackford.com
Macleans booksellers is carrying The Girl in the Mirror. You can find them online here: https://www.macleansbooks.com.au
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 https://sarahmyles.com.au/
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: https://www.nla.gov.au/stories/audio/fragile-inheritance-book-launch
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: https://www.girlsonkey.com/poetryportalshop/Eager-to-Break-Eliana-Gray-p127089532
Find them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foxfoxxfox/
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: https://physicaltv.com.au/
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: https://brampresser.com/the-book-of-dirt/
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: https://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2019/yidcore/
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: http://www.anne-casey.com/
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: http://www.aliwhitelock.com
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: https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/broken-ground
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: http://www.jilljones.com.au
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
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: http://www.hollyringland.com/, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hollygoeslightly/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/hollyringland, and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/holly.ringland
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: http://squawkingalah.com.au/
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: https://quemarpress.weebly.com/commentary.html
Find out more about Jennifer's books at: Quemar Press.
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:
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: https://www.gerryorz.com/
His production company: https://www.flyingeagleproductions.com
and his YouTube Channel World According to G: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQOJ3FO_6Lpfy6wXwpXA18g
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: http://www.lifestories.com.au/
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: https://pittstreetpoetry.com/melinda-smith/ or on Facebook or Twitter.
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: http://quemarpress.weebly.com/books.html
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 https://drjoanna.com.au/.
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: https://micheleseminara.wordpress.com/author/micheleseminara/
Verity La: http://verityla.com/
Robbie Coburn's website: http://robbiecoburn.com.au/
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/sydney-writers27-festival3a-ben-okri/6488934
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The founder of smashwords.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Mike French and Paul Burman, Editors of The View From Here magazine(http://www.viewfromheremagazine.com) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.