Ex Libris comes to town

BOOKS with a farming connection are among the themes of this weekend's Ex Libris Port Fairy Festival of Words.

Ex Libris committee chairperson Sylvia Jones said the committee had chosen the theme of books with a farming connection to celebrate both this year's National Year of Reading and the Australian Year of the Farmer.

Among the 11 authors taking part in this year's event is Rachael Treasure, of Tasmania, author of the iconic Jillaroo book and four other books centred on country life that have cemented Treasure's place in the Australian literature scene.

The country theme will also be highlighted with A Country Lunch from 12.30pm on Saturday at which Treasure, kelpie breeder and author Tim Austin and writer and historian Edith Jesse Flanders will speak.

Austin, formerly from Coleraine, wrote the popular book Dog Psychology, and Flanders, from Casterton, wrote His Own Man about Jack Gleeson, who has been associated with the Koroit, Crossley and Port Fairy areas.

Festival co-ordinator Margaret Sinnott said the festival gave people an opportunity to take their enjoyment of books to another level.

They could gain insights into where authors gained their inspiration, as well as other aspects of the writing process.

"It develops their experience beyond just reading a book. They can catch up with like-minded readers," Ms Sinnott said.

The festival catered for people who read books either in hard copy or electronic form, she said, because both shared the love of a good story.

Workshops will be held on topics such as family history, farming life, the Irish in Victoria, kelpies, poetry, bullying, and telling and writing your own stories.

Two book launches will take place, with historian Dr Val Noone launching his new book Hidden Ireland In Victoria, an illustrated history of the songs, stories, poems, prayers and accents, events and monuments of the Irish migrants to Victoria. Children's author Glynis Bloomfield will launch her book Jake's Secret.

On Saturday morning there will be a Poetry Session With Breakfast with poets Brendan Ryan, Anne Gleeson and Lorraine Marwood. There will be an opportunity for local poets to read their poetry in either the Bush Poets @ The Stump session or at the final session of the weekend, Local Readings, to be held at the Victoria Hotel.

Carol Altmann, who began her writing career with The Standard newspaper in Warrnambool will tell about country life in Tasmania.

Winners of an Ex Libris competition that asked local primary school and kindergarten children to write or draw about their farming experiences and knowledge will be announced from 3.30pm on Saturday at the Port Fairy Community Services Centre.

Two exhibitions will be a feature of the weekend.

Local photographer James Pevitt will have his photographs of local identities featured in an exhibition at Rebecca's Cafe in Sackville Street, while Customs House Gallery will have an exhibition of original Australian children's picture book illustrations at Blarney Books & Art in James Street.

A favourite of past Ex Libris weekends will return with the festival's Big Book Club, that this year will discuss two books, A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey and Breath by Tim Winton.

Other features of the weekend include a Schools Debate, a talk by author Wendy Altschwager about her experiences working on huge properties, family history sessions with Margaret Campbell, and the ever popular Barbara Cartland Gumboot Hurl.

The regular Ex Libris feature, the book sale, will be held in the Drill Hall and will have many thousands of books, including antiquarian and collectables, on sale from 11 book sellers from across Victoria. Many authors will be at the book sale to sign their books and have a chat with the public.


ARTICLE: Ex Libris Comes To Town, 05 Sep, 2012 12:30AM. [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at www.moynegazette.com.au/ [Accessed 6 Sep 2012]
IMAGE: Ex Libris Comes To Town, 05 Sep, 2012 12:30AM. [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at www.moynegazette.com.au/ [Accessed 6 Sep 2012]