The successful 2008 EX LIBRIS week-end included the following Authors, Artists, Book Valuers, Film Makers, Poets and Storytellers (in alphabetical order):

Vicki Couzens, Nathan Curnow, Richard Frankland, E. A. Gleeson, Roz Greenwood, Dmetri Kakmi, Julie Perrin, Alice Pung, Brendan Ryan, alicia sometimes, Quin Stackpoole, Lisa Stafford, Lynne Strahan, Sean M. Whelan and Glenice Whitting.

There was also an exhibition of a selection of Shaun Tan's original illustrations and limited edition prints. An autographed limited edition print by Shaun Tan was a highly sought-after raffle prize.

Other events were a 'yellow book road', Barbara Cartland Hurl, High Schools debate, as well as children's theatre and open gardens.

As always there was a giant second-hand book sale and local, regional and Melbourne book-sellers.


in alphabetical order

Vicki Couzens: is a Kirrae Wurrong/Gunditjmara woman from the south west. Vicki was one of the artists involved in the making of a possum skin cloak by the south west clans.  She is a nationally recognised Indigenous artist who works on art and community projects through her business kaawirn kuunawarn, Hissing Swan Arts.  Her artwork is displayed locally and interstate in many places including the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Melbourne City Council collection.

Nathan Curnow: Along with various other qualifications Nathan has a post-graduate diploma in Creative Writing from Melbourne University.  His poetry and short fiction have appeared in publications such as Heat, Overland, Space: New Writing, and Allnighter (Cardigan Press).  Parts of his Ghost Poetry Project were read at last year's Ex Libris Port Fairy Book Fair.  He is a co-editor of Page Seventeen this year and has a poem in the latest Heat magazine (no.16). 

Richard Frankland: is a Gunditjmara man from south-west Victoria, an activist, writer, film maker and musician.  Since 1993 he has written, directed and produced films and documentaries including the award winning No Way to Forget, After Mabo, Harry's War and The Convincing Ground.  He performs with the band The Charcoal Club.  He directed episodes of the The Circuit (SBS) and Double Trouble (Channel Nine).  His first book Digger J. Jones (2007), is about a koorie boy growing up in Victoria.

E.A.Gleeson: lives in Ballarat where she spends two thirds of her working life as a funeral director and one-third as a writer.  Over the last ten years, most of her poems have been published in Australian, Irish and American literary journals and she has won numerous awards.  She reads regularly at Victoria's premier poetry venues and occasionally in other places.

Dmetri Kakmi: was born in Turkey to Greek parents.  His essays, articles and reviews have been published in many papers, journals and magazines in Australia (The Age, The Australian, Meanjin, etc.,) and Middle Eastern ones as well.  In 2007 he edited the children's book When We Were Young: True Stories From Your Favourite Australian Authors.  His memoir Mother Land will be published in July 2008. Dmetri works as a senior editor at Penguin Books.

Julie Perrin: started her working life as a teacher of English and Drama; "... then I saw a storyteller - the rest is history".  She tells contemporary stories as well as folk tales and sacred ones.  She gathers people into a listening space, both in large venues and intimate settings. "It's not just a story - it's potent!"

Alice Pung:  Alice's autobiography, Unpolished Gem (2003) was a best-seller at the Melbourne Writers Festival, received the Australian book industry's Newcomer of the Year award and was shortlisted for many others.  Born in Footscray to Chinese/Cambodian parents, she is now a writer and lawyer.  Her short stories have been published in Meanjin and other magazines.  She believes that good humour (and not-so-good puns) helps surmount adversity.  She has appeared on radio with Ramona Koval.  She has  edited Growing up in Australia, a collection of memoirs by other Asian-Australians.

Quinn Stacpoole: plays keyboards, guitar and accordion.  He cut his teeth on TV commercial jingles ('Come die with us for heaven's sake/We'll make your corpse the life of the wake').  He now writes lyrics for pop bands including Folk/Rock/Plonk band and Twenty Five Hour Day.  His 'iconic status' makes him uncomfortable and 'causes him to drool uncontrollably and bark like a Siberian Barking Sparrow'!

Brendan Ryan: carries in him memories of growing up on a dairy farm in south-west Victoria.  His first book of poems, Why I am not a Farmer, was published in 2000.  He then published in various journals until his recent collection, A Paddock in His Head.  Ryan 'understands how farming communities really work' and gives poetic form to both their pains and pleasures.  He then turns his unflinching gaze beyond the pastoral.

Lynne Strahan: lives and creates in Port Fairy.  Hers is a multi-faceted talent.  She is a poet, historian, short story writer, children's author and dedicated gardener.  She has been publishing since 1988.  Stone Music: a New Zealand Sequence (2001) was in collaboration with renowned painter, Brian Dunlop, the result of a long overdue visit to her native New Zealand.  Lynne will be reading from poems written after travelling in China recently.

alicia sometimes:  is a writer, poet and musician.  Her first book kissing the curve was described by Barry Dickins as 'a galaxy set in lowercase'. She has appeared on SBS, ABC and Radio National for whom she co-ordinated the 2004 radio poetry slam.  She also plays in a band, has performed locally and internationally and is on 14 spoken word CDs.

Lisa Stafford:  Lisa holds a degree in Horticulture. She and design partner Rick Eckersley run Eckersley Stafford Design (formerly Eco Landscape Design) in Melbourne.  Her work in garden design for residential, school and commercial projects has been documented and photographed in books and magazines.  She and Rick Eckersley have co-authored two books featuring their work, the acclaimed 'Living in the Garden - Australian Style' (1993) and 'Outside' (Penguin 2005).  Since moving to a farm property in 1990, where she grows wholesale foliage and flowers, Lisa has continued to design city and country projects.

Shaun Tan:  grew up in Western Australia.  After completing a Fine Arts degree in Literature, Shaun's focus on illustration has taken him to the science-fiction genre, political cartooning and children's (and adults') picture books.  Shaun's work has established him as a progressive in 'sophisticated picture books'.  Shaun spent 4 years working on The Arrival, a 'wordless allegory of the migrant experience' (2006).  The Arrival won both the NSW Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year and the Children's Book Council Picture Book of the Year award, in 2007.  He has also won international recognition.  His latest book is a collection of short stories called Tales from Outer Suburbia, pictures with words this time.

Sean M Whelan:  lives in Melbourne and his poetry and short stories have appeared in various journals and online magazines including Short Fuse and Going Down Swinging.  Sean has performed with the band The Mime Set at the Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival, in Adelaide and New Zealand.  They have been invited to Montreal and aim to travel worldwide with their 'visceral' spoken word and music collaborations.

Glenice Whitting:  returned to studies as a mature age student and worked her way through the VCE to an MA in Creative Writing at Melbourne University.  Her published works include biographies, interviews, reviews, plays and numerous short stories.  Her play, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, was produced during the 2002 Fertile Ground New Play Festival.  Pickle to Pie (2007) was Glenice's debut novel.  It was one of the best sellers at the Melbourne Writers Festival last year.



View the full 2008 Ex Libris programme HERE

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