March 23rd, 2023Book it in! Clunes hosts book lover feast all weekend
Words: Eve Lamb.
Clunes comes to life this weekend – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March – as it hosts its acclaimed annual Booktown festival featuring author and artist talks, workshops and live entertainment.
The hugely successful Tough Guy Book Club will be among the 100-plus stallholders set to attract bibliophiles from far and wide as a new look Booktown will take advantage of the autumn weather with this major regional event running from dawn to dark over two days, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in Clunes from cover to cover.
The Clunes Booktown program has been extended to look at the many and various ways we tell stories – through books, film, music, theatre, songwriting, photography and other visual arts, even the houses we make. There will be first hand stories – this year arising out of ageing, small town crime, imagining other worlds, land management, women’s business, and more.
Organisers say the festival – which has previously been held about a month later – will continue to celebrate every aspect of the book – not just writing and reading but making, illustrating, publishing, retailing, and sharing.
Along with books on display and for sale, there’ll be conversations with writers and storytellers, renowned authors, poets and wordsmiths, creating a wordy feast for weekend consumption.
And new to the Booktown program will be an evening of live music in the old Central Garage (one of the main locations in Mad Max). The corrugated iron icon will resound with music from Kee’ahn, The Idiomatics, The Footscray Gypsy Orchestra and there will be a David Bridie album launch to cap it off.
Authors and conversationalists featured in the program include Tony Birch, Aileen Morton Robinson, Jefa Greenaway, Jacinta Parsons, Ponch Hawkes, Sophie Cunningham, Miles Allinson, Emily Bitto, Emma Viskic, Vikki Petraitis, Jock Serong, Chris Flynn, Nova Wheetman, Nina Kenwood, Alice Boyle, Jan Henderson, Janice Simpson, Candice Fox, Michael Cathcart and Nathan Curnow with many more to be announced.
In addition to the author talks there will be a program of art form story crafting conversations with visual artists Simon Perry, Philip Faulks and Deborah Klein, film and TV makers Sue Maslin and Fiona Cochrane, theatre makers Bill Garner, Sue Gore and Hannie Rayson, and song-writing with David Bridie and Maylene Slater Burns.
The town’s Fraser Street will be closed to traffic between Service Street and Templeton Street from 8am on Thursday 23 March to 12pm on Monday 27 March.