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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Blurb June15th

Book News

· ‘Street/Studio’
Tonight at 6.30pm at Readings in Carlton, 309 Lygon Street, Alison Young a Professor at the University of Melbourne will speak with some of Melbourne’s top street artists. Alison has recently released a new book, Street/Studio: The Place of Street Art in Melbourne.
Recently street art has been enjoying more exposure and popularity in Melbourne. It has been in the news after a stencil by well known British graffiti artist, Banksy, was accidently removed by city cleaners.
Street/Studio is an illustrated book with more than 200 full and double page colour spreads. It retails for $59.95 and offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how street art has entered the mainstream and become one of the most collectable new art forms. It explores the diverse range of street art styles, including painting, drawing and sculpture.

· ‘Journey’
Stories about people’s experiences with breast cancer are sought for a new collection entitled Journey. Journey is tentatively scheduled for an October 2011 publication Busybird Publishing & Design is looking for factual stories about breast cancer. Through the collection Journey, they are hoping to raise awareness, offer insight, and help others through the sharing of stories. A percentage of proceeds from the completed book will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation. See or email

Fatherhood Poetry Project
Relationships Australia and the Australian Poetry Centre have joined forces to produce a book on dads and what being a dad or fatherhood means to Australians. What does having a father, or being a father, mean to you? 15 poems will be chosen for publication in a very special limited collection to be launched in time for Father’s Day. Poems should be funny, touching, stirring, inspiring and need to be no more than 15 lines. The poems will be chosen by a selection committee comprising of established poets and representatives from Relationships Australia and the Australian Poetry Centre. Successful poets will also receive a free copy of the publication and one year’s membership with the Australian Poetry Centre. The books will be available in bookshops and the proceeds will go to fund community programs. Entries close Thursday 1st of July

BERNARD’S Review of Clifton Evers: Notes for a Young Surfer, MUP p/b, rrp $24-99

I confess I don't spend much time on sport - reading about it, watching it...much less playing it. It is, however, apparently one of our national obsessions. When I think of BOOKS and sport, I see the sellers' shelves are full of glossily-illustrated " biographies', etc. How many look beyond That Year or That Game or That Series or This personality? How many discuss where this 'obsession' fits into the people's collective psyche? I think of a classic from years back," The Coach" by John Powers about Ron Barassi, and the continuing work of the wonderful Martin Flanagan and NSW's Petere Fitzsimmons. Peter Roebuck on cricket often reaches considerable literary heights in his columns on cricket, but he is usually focussed on This Game. There seems to be very little reflection on sport's place in Australian life.

The research and teritary teaching by someone like this week's guest CLIFTON EVERS is going some way to filling the gap with the sport of SURFING. Clif' lectures at the university of Wollongong in the areas of gender, media,sport and cultural studies. His own lifelong love of the surf and his more recent research focus have led to his book of " Notes". It is quite a slim volume and is somewhat sporadic in its organisation, but he manages to cover a wide range of activities and issues relating to a sport that so many Aussies follow with a passion and commitment unique among recreational pursuits, I would suggest [ especially after reading this book.] It is a book one can dip into rather than read-to-the-end and includes a useful index. There is a strong NSW and Queensland bias: I am not sure how widely Clif's insights apply to our local scene, for example.

Part of the book's readabilty comes from the author's authority - and honesty: while valuable points are made about sociological and cultural factors and outcomes, they are usually first-hand observations - and usually the result of experience. The more 'theoretical' sections are pleasingly interspersed with anecdotal sections about everything from a story about wipeout to a frightening vignette describing a pack rape. Clif' doesn't flinch from the ugly side of the culture. His sections on the [south of Sydney] " Bra Boys" and the 2005 Cronulla riots are very confronting for all Australians. [ Have we learned from the latter? Listen to our political leaders outbidding each other on " toughening up" our treatment of asylum reaction to the polls! ] This is about surfing, but its overall framework is how the sport provides rites of passage for thousand of young Australians. If you surf or have surfed, you will love it. If your CHILDREN surf, you will find " Notes..." of practical use, I am sure.

Publishing news,etc:

* BEWARE BLURBS. On this program we offer you hard news....and OPINION. When our reviewers evaluate a book, you can be guaranteed we will have read the book at least once and probably done some other research as well. BLURBS are a marketing tool and should be treated with the usual caution. Nor is one of our reviews anything like ' gospel'..... My latest effort was to read that Barbara "The Poisonwood Bible" Kingsolver's latest, " The Lacuna", has just won The Orange Prize [ Best Novel in UK for 2010], the book which I - um - less than enthused over on our show not long ago.

* OVERLAND mgazine is always worth a read. The latest has a more positive discussion of Australian film than we've seen of late. There is also a searching article on Canberra press gallery veteran, Pul Kelly. The writer suggests Kelly may have become less-than-objective of late.

* Aspiring writers might like to look at which gives you all sorts of free advice re. publishing,etc.

* JUDITH WRIGHT. A friend gave me the lovely new memoir of that late great Australian, JW, by Fiona Capp, ex- " Age" journo and novelist [ " Night Surfing"]. JW's " The Surfer" [ 1946] is our poem for today. Apparently it gave Fiona an idea for her surfing novel... DO YOU WANT TO REVIEW FOR US? SEND IN ABOUT 750 WORDS ABOUT A BOOK YOU HAVE RECENTLY READ AND WE'LL CONSIDER IT FOR INCLUSION ON THE SHOW

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