You might be happily parked in front of your air conditioner today, but when this heatwave breaks we’ll all be looking to get back out on the town. Get ready for an exciting month of diverse literary and cultural events – we’ve got a bus tour, book fair, and The Bard! There are plenty of author talks below this list too, so be sure to check them out.
13 Feb-20 March – The Blind Giant is Dancing
Brutality in the workplace, rage in the streets, seething in the home. The vulnerability of political parties when they’ve forgotten why they’re there. The intellectual torpor of modern Australia. How power corrupts. Stephen Sewell’s play is an angry and tender depiction of an idealist who becomes so embroiled in a party power struggle that he loses sight of what’s at stake. This Australian classic is being performed at the Belvoir St Theatre, ticket prices vary so see website for current information.
2 March – An evening with Dr Lee Francis IV
Lee is a National Champion performance poet, scholar and entrepreneur based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He will be sharing his perspectives and insights on USA First Nations Writing and Storytelling specifically through the work of the Wordcraft Circle, as well as discussing his process as a poet and performing a selection of his works. Tickets $10 including wine and snacks.
3-13 March – John Knowles Storytiller presents Fourfathers
Fourfathers is the anticipated follow-up to Storytiller, John’s solo show of last year’s Spectrum Now and Sydney Fringe Comedy festivals, directed by George Catsi. John’s dad, Chuck Knowles, was a bullet-dodging ex-rodeo cowboy who surprised John with a couple of prostitutes for his 16th birthday. Chuck’s Dad, (Grandpa) Noel Knowles, rubbed shoulders with prime ministers, sporting heroes and Viscount Montgomery of Alamein but never once hugged his son. John vowed to learn from their mistakes when he had children, but lately he’s noticed scary traits of Chuck and Noel emerging in him. Are we programmed to become our parents despite our best intentions? Will his sons become him? There’s clear signs already that this is the case. Showing on Thursday and Friday nights, and Sunday afternoons, tickets $22/$18.
4 March – Alexander McCall Smith: Unexpected Love Stories
Join one of the world’s most beloved authors and raconteurs, Alexander McCall Smith, for a beguiling hour of love stories and tales from around the world. Alexander will bring together characters from all walks of life, from Precious Ramotswe, Isabel Dalhousie and little Bertie in Botswana, to lovers in the Scottish Highlands and rural Australia. From 6:30-7:30pm, tickets $35/$25.
5 March – Curated Bus Tours: Go Inner West
The Go Inner West tour, led by Vanessa Berry, is the perfect way to explore Marrickville’s thriving art scene and enjoy the Marrickville Open Studio Trail (MOST). Berry is a writer, visual artist, and chronicler of the urban environment on her blog Mirror Sydney. She is the author of the memoirs, Ninety9 and Strawberry Hills Forever and is well known for her zines, hand-drawn maps, and tours of city and suburban oddities. Cost is $10 plus booking fee, tickets available online.
6 March – All About Women 2016
The All About Women festival returns to the Sydney Opera House as a prelude to International Women’s Day. With an explosive day of talks and panel discussions, we celebrate stories and ideas from the front line of the fight for equality and we want you to bring yours along! Starts 10am, program information and tickets available here.
9 March – Women Writers’ Literary Luncheon
The Society of Women Writers NSW welcomes newcomers to their monthly Literary Luncheon and Workshop. For March the keynote speaker is Susannah Fullerton, who will be talking about Living a Literary Life in Sydney. The workshop will dive into the challenges of writing a killer opening sentence for your novel or short story. Tickets $30 for members, $40 for non-members, must book before 7 March.
12-13 March – Woollahra Library Book Fair
Woollahra Libraries will be holding their annual Book Fair from 10am-3pm each day. There is a special ‘Library members only’ hour from 10.00am-11.00am on the Saturday. Enjoy live music, face painting and a sausage sizzle overlooking beautiful Sydney Harbour, and pick up a bargain, as all items are priced between $0.50 and $10.00.
15 March – Culture Club: If Shakespeare were alive today…
Marking 400 years on from Shakespeare’s death, Bell Shakespeare’s Peter Evans (Artistic Director), actor Michelle Doake and director Damien Ryan discuss some ‘what if’s’ in the world of this legendary artist. What would he make of the 21st century? What do contemporary audiences get out of the classics? If Shakespeare were alive what would he be writing, and perhaps more importantly, for whom? Sydney Opera House, 11am, tickets $15.
15-20 March – Noted Writers’ Festival 2016
Noted is Canberra’s independent writers’ festival and one of the newest additions to the city’s cultural calendar – a celebration of reading, writing and all things literary that is not to be missed. They return this year to feature authors, poets, journalists, publishers, editors, dancers, zinemakers, visual artists and more. See their website for full program.
17 March – The Stella Prize and Australian Women Writers: A Panel Discussion
Kinokuniya is hosting some of the best voices in Australian writing as they discuss the Stella Prize and the current climate of Australian women’s writing. Each year the Stella Prize is committed to recognising the best books by Australian women, both fiction and nonfiction. By raising the profile of women writers, and celebrating their achievements, they hope to erode the self-perpetuating cycle of underrepresentation that confronts all women writers – not least nonfiction writers. From 6:30-8:00pm, free entry but RSVP online.
19 March – Playwriting Festival
We couldn’t put together a list of the most exciting literary events without including the NSW Writers’ Centre’s very own Playwriting Festival. Hosted by Hilary Bell, this event is for playwrights looking to broaden their horizons, whether through skilling-up, diversifying their craft, or networking. The program draws together practitioners from major companies with regional playwrights, emerging artists, writers of musical theatre and of adaptations, to explore the ethical dimensions of the stories we tell and the variety of ways to get a production up. Come alone to Callan Park, Rozelle, tickets are $60 for members and $90 for non-members.
19 March – Multilingual Poetry Slam
Got something to say? Speak up! Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you believe in? Perform poetry, share stories, croon lyrics, or monologue your ideas about identity, culture and community…in your own language! Whether you’re a proud performer or cheering crowd, join the diverse conversation to celebrate World Poetry Day. Sydney Dance Lounge, 7:00-10:30pm, entry $15 but free to perform (spaces limited so register soon).
22 March – Tegan Bennett Daylight on Helen Garner’s Cosmo Cosmolino
As part of the Reading Australian Literature series, in which acclaimed writers reflect on the Australian books they value, Tegan Bennett Daylight discusses an unlikely choice: ‘Cosmo Cosmolino is Helen Garner’s least understood and liked novel, and contemporary reviews were generally not favourable. But it’s always been my favourite of Garner’s works – it is the richest in metaphor, and the only one that deals in what we might call the supernatural, although Garner’s characteristically lucid prose makes the magical very real. Cosmo Cosmolino is a book written by a major Australian author in a period of great flux – it’s a key, I think, to her work, and both a privilege and an adventure to read.’ Hear more at the University of Sydney, 6:30-7:30pm. Free entry but bookings requested.
24 March – Subbed in #6: poetry & parkour together again at last
Subbed In, which showcases the literary talents of local and interstate champions, is turning one! To mark the occasion they are chucking a gnarly reading and house party and ringing in the long weekend with poetry. From 7:30pm, at 26 Edgeware Lane, Enmore. See website for list of poetry readers.
31 March – Talking Writing: Sport
Is sport culture? How does what we write about sport change the game? What are the issues being tackled in sport writing today? The NSW Writers’ Centre’s first Talking Writing for the year is all about sport and what we write about it. Featuring sport biographer and Inside Sport editor Graem Sims in conversation with writer and sport historian Erin Riley, Zela editor and advocate for women in sport Danielle Warby, and cricket historian Ric Sissions. From 6:30-8:00pm, with wine and cheese to begin. Free for NSWWC members (and a friend), $10 for non-members. Book online.
March seems to be the month for mingling with upcoming authors and established favourites. Here’s a quick-fire list – why not get a dose of creative inspiration by hearing from those who’ve already walked the path to publication?
1 March – Meg and Tom Kenneally, The Soldier’s Curse, 12:30-2:30pm
2 March – Etgar Keret, The Seven Good Years, 7pm
2 March – Will Kostakis, Sidekicks, 6pm
3 March – Simon Winchester, The Pacific, 6-7pm
3 March – Andrew O’Hagan, The Illuminations, 8-9pm
9 March – Fiona McFarlane, The High Places, 6:30-7:30pm
9 March – Lian Hearn, Emperor of the Eight Islands, 7:00-8:30pm
12 March – Jaclyn Moriarty, A Tangle of Gold, 3pm
15 March – Suzanne Falkiner, Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, 6:30-7:30pm