There are some exciting courses and book launches happening this month from bestselling authors, as well as poetry readings and festivals for all you poets out there to indulge in. Here’s everything you need to know about events taking place around our city and further afield this February!
Feb 3: Queerstories
Join some of Sydney’s best storytellers for an evening of our city’s queer stories. Reflections on lives well lived and battles fought, pride, prejudice, love, and humour. Giant Dwarf, 7:30-9:30pm, $20/$25. Book online.
Writing To Awaken is an intimate exploration of personal identity through expressive writing. Using targeted questions, radical truth-telling, and self-inquiry, Mark Matousek brings over three decades of experience as a memoirist, editor, and teacher. If you are a memoir writer working to uncover the truth of your narrative, render it vividly on the page, and engage the reader in the humanness and universality of your story, this is not an event to be missed. The Rex Centre, 9:30-5pm, $175. More information here.
Feb 6: Author Talk: Neil McDonald
Join bestselling author Neil McDonald for the release of his new book Valiant for Truth, the first full biography of one of the most important correspondents of WWII. Containing the most complete account to date of the command crisis in 1942 New Guinea and his extraordinary feud with Australian Commander-in-Chief General Sir Thomas Blamey, Valiant for Truth charts Wilmot’s exceptional life as he reported key events of the 20th century. Ashfield Library, 6-8pm. Bookings are essential.
Feb 7: Stella Sparks Party
Join host Julia Zemiro for a gala celebration of the nonfiction Stella Sparks campaign, and the Australian women writers who speak truth to power, reshape our understanding of the world, and reveal unexpected truths about their lives – and ours. Special guests will include 2016 Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood, 2016 Stella Prize shortlistee Fiona Wright, playwright and star of Black Comedy Nakkiah Lui, and performance artist and poet Candy Royalle. Giant Dwarf Theatre, 6-8pm. Tickets are $30/$25.
Feb 11: The Horse’s Mouth: Storytelling
Join acclaimed performer and storyteller Phil Spencer at the NSW Writers’ Centre and sharpen your storytelling skills in this roll-up-your-sleeves one-day intensive, designed to turf writers’ stories out of their notebooks and fling them onto the stage. 10-4pm, $180/$125. Book online.
Winners of our Writing NSW grant for an emerging organisation, Subbed In aims to provide grassroots support for new and underrepresented voices as well as help emerging writers to achieve publication or performance. Their first event for 2017 kicks off at Frontyard Projects at 2pm. Entry fee is $5.
Feb 13: Mark Colvin Luncheon
Join broadcasting legend Mark Colvin as he celebrates the release of his new autobiography, Light and Shadows. Colvin’s engrossing memoir takes you inside the coverage of major news events and gently navigates the complexity of his father’s double life as a diplomat and spy. Dymocks Sydney, 12:30pm. Tickets range from $100 – $85 (includes a two course meal and all beverages).
Feb 14: Ghost Writing Workshop
Educator and storyteller Jo Henwood will look at different types of ghost stories and discuss how to create spooky stories suitable for adults, as well as for younger readers. Ashfield Library, 10-1pm. Places are limited so booking is essential.
Come along to Orange for some bush poetry, school performances, and professional entertainers (among other activities that will satisfy your taste buds). There will be the opportunity for community members and visitors to showcase their skills in poetry recital and musical entertainment on the day. More information here.
Feb 21: Woollahra Poets’ Picnic
Grab a rug, pack a picnic, and celebrate poetry under the stars by Sydney Harbour! Featuring witty, nostalgic and evocative poetry from a line-up of iconic, established and exciting new poets, as a children’s chalk poetry workshop. Blackburn Gardens, 5-8pm. Entry is free.
Feb 21: Open Mic Performance
An evening of open mic performance – mainly poetry, though other forms (such as short story, anecdotes, comedy, acoustic music) are also welcome. The overriding purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for people to share their writing (or others’ writing which they really love) before a receptive audience in a place with a strong sense of community feeling. Petersham Bowling Club, free admission. Bar and bistro open.