Programs hit the streets for Port Fairy Festival of Words

MARY ALEXANDER
09 Sep, 2011 04:00 AM
The Standard

PROGRAMS are available for this weekend’s annual Port Fairy Festival of Words.

It will feature a wide range of activities, including the Big Book Club and cocktail party, which was one of the most popular events in its inaugural staging last year.

The Big Book Club is modelled on Jennifer Byrne’s First Tuesday Book Club on ABC television, where a panel of literature lovers enjoy talking about two books: one classic and one modern.

This year the panellists will give their opinions on the novel of manners past and present, highlighting Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and The Slap by Christos Tsolkas.

The panel, chaired by local solicitor Justin Serong, will feature some of last year’s participants and some new panellists, including Melbourne author Di Georgeff.

Organiser Hester Woodrup said the evening’s topic aimed to tie in with the festival’s theme of past and present, using two books that were contemporary for their time. “It will show how styles have changed.”

The 2010 Big Book Club was a standing-room only event and this weekend it will again be held at the yacht club overlooking the Moyne River on Saturday at 6.30pm.

Other events during the weekend are writing workshops on historical fiction and poetry, a pub session with Danny Spooner and activities for children: two exhibitions and the Famous Five adventure on Griffiths Island.

There are also individual author sessions, including those with biographers Roland Perry OAM and Georgeff, novelists Gregory Day, Rosalie Ham, Jane Sullivan and Tess Evans, poets Max Richards, Andy Jackson and Robyn Rowland AO and local historian and naturalist Jodie Honan.

Local shops are getting into the mood, with several decorating windows in a pink theme to tie in with the events around romance author Barbara Cartland.

Printed programs can be picked up from libraries, bookshops and tourist information centres. The program is also available on the Festival of Words website www.exlibris.port-fairy.com.