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Sent on: 06-Mar-2014

Spinifex Press Newsletter
The Spin Newsletter, Issue 45, March 2014


Spinifex Press is thrilled to announce the re-release of a new edition of Judith Wright's ecological classic, The Coral Battleground.

Just as Rachael CarsonÂ’s Silent Spring inspired a generation to protect the natural environment from destructive practices so another generation in Australia was galvanised by the first major conservation campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef, comprehensively documented in this book by Judith Wright, one of the key participants in the battle.
Suzie Smith, Secretary, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Cassowary Coast–-Hinchinbrook branch

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat once again, with the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion intending to dredge and dump spoils into the waters. But this is not the first time that the Reef has been in danger, and campaigners should look to those activists, artists, poets, ecologists and students, Judith Wrigth among them, who in 1967 saved Ellison Reef from limestone mining and oil drilling. 

New activists can look to these visionaries for guidance in current battles to save the Reef. As Judith Wright wrote in the 1996 introduction to Coral Battleground; "There are not many success stories in the attempts we make to save especially important elements of the natural world from our own greeds and needs. Here at the end of the twentieth century, we have lost or destroyed a great deal already, and we know that much more is likely to vanish. But the story of the rescue of the Great Barrier Reef still throws a light on the present and gives hope for the future." 



There have been some wonderful reviews of Suniti Namjoshi's Suki coming in.

Lauren Strickland for LipMag said: "Namjoshi takes the strange, prattling conversation we cat-owners always have with our reticent pets and turns it in to a literary device for asking big philosophical questions: why are we here? Do animals feel pain? What does dying feel like? What happens when we die?" 

Alison Broinowski for The Canberra Times said Suki was a "delightful little book, which has quirky illustrations by Joy Gosney." 

The Jabberwock book blog said: "At the same time, one knows that these conversations are fictional, that Namjoshi is imagining things about the cat’s inner life and rendering them into human language. And so, the book becomes as much about the author herself – it is a form of therapy, a way of examining her deepest feelings, including love, grief and regret."

And Ranjit Lal writing for The New Indian Express concluded that, "Suniti Namjoshi was extremely attached to her beloved Suki and in this slim volume has paid her a tribute that makes us laugh, think and feel the longing of loss. Not to be missed." 


Elaine Desterre reviewed Invisible Women of Prehistory for d'Esterre Art, saying: "Throughout this world-wide survey the authors argue that society and civilisation were more gender balanced and that women invented agriculture, pottery, writing, and textiles in prehistory, were not war-like and that this was a universal phenomenon."


Pauline Cooper-Ioelu reviewed Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self for Mercatornet. Explaining author Kajsa Ekis Ekman's argument, Cooper-Ioelu summarised: "Underneath the romanticized narrative of the empowered prostitute and the benevolent surrogate lies the simple truth that these acts exploit and commercialize not only women’s bodies, but their very being."



Merlinda Bobis's award-winning novel Fish-Hair Woman has been made into a musical. Adapted for the stage by Rody Vera for De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. The production will put you in war-stricken Iraya. “Fish-Hair Woman” unfolds the story of Stella in the midst of the conflict through music composed by Dodjie Fernandez. The musical will open on March 20 and run to March 22. 

Three Spinifex authors - Patricia Sykes, Louise Crisp and Susan Hawthorne - will be giving readings at the Plumwood Mountain Journal Launch on March 9, at CERES community environment park. 

If you're looking for a comprehensive list of lesbian and queer Australian women writers, look no further than the Australian Women Writers Challenge and this list compiled by Jessica White, which features many Spinifex authors.


A wonderful, eye-opening interview with Vandana Shiva is up on the Global Research website, titled 'Destroying Planet Earth: Geoengineering is the Ultimate Hubris, without Democratic Control'. Vandana says: "'The role of geo-engineering should, in a world of responsibility, in a world of scientifically enlightened decision making and ecological understanding, it should be zero."

Vandana Shiva's latest must-read book is Making Peace with the Earth: Beyond Resource, Land and Food Wars.



Footscray Community Arts Centre presents Transience, featuring 'the work of an exceptional group of women artists from migrant and refugee backgrounds' including Spinifex author Merlinda Bobis

Launch: Saturday 1 March 2-4pm
Exhibition: Saturday 1 – Sunday 16 March
VENUE: Roslyn Smorgon Gallery
More details

Spinifex Press opened doors 23 years ago, in 1991, with a remit of publishing ‘controversial and innovative feminist books with an optimistic edge’. As director of Spinifex Press, Susan Hawthorne has weathered every storm that has threatened the industry, allowing Spinifex to stay the course when many other independent presses have fallen by the wayside. In conversation with PEN Melbourne’s Cynthia Troup, Susan outlines the directions feminist publishing must take in order to survive. 

WHERE - The Wheeler Centre: 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 
WHEN - 6:15PM - 7:15PM Wednesday 19 March 2014
Book now 


or more Spinifex news, visit our News page, Facebook or follow us on Twitter: @spinifexpress   

Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff

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