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Sent on: 17-Jan-2017

Spinifex Press Newsletter
Issue 77, 2017
Happy New Year


Welcome to the first newsletter for 2017. This will be in two parts as we want to highlight some of the writers, their books and events that we have engaged with during 2016.

2016 was a great year of recognition for Spinifex writers. Merlinda Bobis won the Christina Stead Award for Fiction in the NSW Premier's Awards for her novel Locust Girl, a book that takes the reader into a future when climate change has ravaged the world with the rich living it up and the poor kept outside the borders in a drought-riven desert. It is a book that brings together themes of refugees, migration, environmental and economic destruction with a touch of magical realism. Merlinda also won Philippine National Book Award for Best Novel in English and was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year Award.

 

Emma Ashmere's unforgettable historical novel, The Floating Garden was a shortlisted for the MUBA award, an award that recognises outstanding books released by independent publishers.   

 

2016 started with publisher Susan Hawthorne participating in the Australia Council's India Delegation. Susan not only participated in the meetings with publishers and organisers of book fairs and literary festivals but also read her poetry at the Calcutta Literary Festival. The following week Susan was an invited Keynote Speaker at International Conference on Women, Peace and Security supported by a grant from the Copyright Agency Career Fund.

                                                        


Back in Australia there were more events to come including an International Women's Day event held at the North Melbourne Town Hall, located just across the street from the Spinifex office.



Speakers at the event were the inimitable Sandy Jeffs, poet and mental health activist. Her most recent book is The Mad Poet's Tea Party

 

Publisher, Renate Klein spoke about the need for radical feminist publishing and highlighted some of Spinifex books such as Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed     


 

And former Melbourne City Councillor and long-time resident of North Melbourne, Lorna Hannan took the audience back to the inspiring women of the past who had lived in North Melbourne, leaving their mark in buildings that still exist.



In April we launched the ground breaking anthology Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade edited by Melinda Tankard Reist and Caroline Norma at a two-day conference held at RMIT called The Oldest Oppression.

   

It included survivors who had contributed to the anthology and generated a great deal of activism that has continued throughout the year. International guests were Rachel Moran from Ireland (author of Paid For also published by Spinifex) and Julie Bindel, long-time abolitionist and Guardian journalist.

 


Wintery July saw more events. First up was a special Feminist Forum event to celebrate 20 years since the publication of the anthology, Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed edited by Diane Bell and Renate Klein which includes over 70 contributors. With a packed audience, the discussion centred on the need for radical feminist books such as this one which has been nicknamed the 'red bible' by many young feminists. Its long and multi-authored section on the problem with postmodernism and the Pomo Quiz remain as relevant as ever.



Saturday afternoon July 9 saw ten Spinifex poets from six states gather at Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne with a fabulous afternoon Spinifex Big Poetry Reading. The poets included Jordie Albiston, Louise Crisp, Robyn Rowland, Miriel Lenore, Deborah Staines, Gina Mercer and others.




If you missed this event, a four–part video was made by Ken Smeaton Here is Part One


Check your email for Part 2 of The SPIN








Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff


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