I was needing some Patrick Wolf, so I skipped the three o’ clock sessions at the Emerging Writers’ Festival and headed down to Polyester Records. When I stepped out of the Melbourne Town Hall, there was a wave of Indians sweeping through Swanston Street. I didn’t know what they were protesting about, but later on, I found out that they were marching against recent Melbourne racial violence. (To read up on it, click here.) I took a couple of photos of it on my phone:
Swanston Street was uncrossable, so I went over to the Page Parlour at the Atrium in Federation Square. Being a zine/independent press fairs newbie, I did multiple mind-skips as I wandered past Visible Ink, The Death Mook, and The Melbourne veg food guide. With my intense staring and gaze-wandering, I probably looked a little deranged.
However, I did get to chat with a couple of the stallholders while I was there. I introduced myself to the people from Harvest, and they answered my questions (more statements of surprise) about their publication. I couldn’t believe that they were able to produce a beautifully designed, colour journal on recycled paper, as well as pay their contributors. How can it be financially sustainable? But they assured me that they get their money back from sales. Plus an arts grant helped them set things up initially.
Josephine Rowe was sitting next to Harvest, with her books and her Travel Scrabble set. She hadn’t opened up her Travel Scrabble yet, which meant she hadn’t had the opportunity to be bored so far at this Page Parlour. She asked me if I had written anything recently. I thought about my procrastination schedule of reading what my bf calls ‘trashy vampire porn’, and told her that I had been busy helping out with editing at The Lifted Brow.
Jenny Blackford was selling her book, The priestess and the slave, so I picked one up for $15. Blackford had tried to write as historically accurate as possible, and I was interested to see how her book had turned out.
Tom Cho was also selling his new book, Look who’s morphing. Having finally finished Look who’s morphing, I confessed to him that I found the sex scenes from ‘Cock Rock’ too confronting. I don’t know why. Being an advocate for American Psycho’s graphic depictions of sex, followed by violence (starving rats eating vaginas?), I shouldn’t mind the sex in ‘Cock Rock’, but I did. It’s something I’ll have to ponder about in a future post.
Speaking of sex, I managed to get a hold of the The Sex Mook. Yay. I haven’t seen one in ages. (To find your very own copy of The Sex Mook, check out its distro post here.) I also had a nice chat with Lisa Dempster from Vignette Press. A panellist from the ‘Truth and honest in writing’ panel session, Dempster spoke about her epiphany on how important it is to tell a good story when writing non-fiction. Travel diaries = fail. Travel stories = ftw.
And then I bought a cool ‘Apocalypse Ahoy’ poster and some Scrabble brooches/pendants, and walked over to Polyester Records and bought two Patrick Wolf CDs, and am now beginning to sound like Patrick Bateman in a department store so I shall wind up.
Emerging Writers’ Festival Reviews:
A feast of writerly food for writers… (TL from Saturday 30/5/09)
…a real community feel of a festival… (TL from Sunday 31/5/09)
Awesome showbags! (TL in the aftermath of the EWF)