It is a busy busy town we live in now, with our centre on wheels of books and writing.
I saw the great man, Colm Toibin, last week, and thoroughly enjoyed all he had to say about writing in general - not so much what he politely supplied in answer to questions on his latest book, as I had read an awful lot of that kind of thing already. (Keep an eye on this link as there will be a video of the evening at some point (YES, THERE IT IS now). Also keep a very keen eye on LiteraryMinded for Angela's upcoming interview.)However, as anyone who listened to La Throsby last Friday can attest, whatever he has to say about writing is like gold. I have been thinking all weekend why that might be so - he is very quick, I think, to respond concisely to any questions about craft and clearly has plenty of insight into his own work, which is not always something available to writers, or something they are happy to share . I was interested to hear that it was reading the work of Alistair McLeod that brought him to the realisation that it would be good to revisit Ireland as a subject for his fiction.
News that came to hand with Throsby's interview is that Toibin's limited editions press, Tuskar Press, picked up The Slap and is running hot with it in the UK at present. If you start listening to the Throsby interview at the 48-49 minute mark, you will find out why.
Meanwhile I am insanely jealous that the Sydney crowd got to hear a whole Catalan song from him at SWF (thanks to Charlotte Wood for that news), but it serves me right for being too mean to go up there.
I am very close to rocking up to hear Louise Swinn, indie publisher extraordinaire, interview Peter Carey (Le Carey?). So I guess this rambling introduction is a way of letting you all know that the Wheeler Centre's second programme for the year is up on the site, in the email box, et cetera. The coverage the Centre is aiming at is impressive - not all things I would necessarily attend, but still, something for everyone there, as Michael Veitch used to tell us so long ago.
Things of note include Richard Flanagan's mix tape (though I am being a bit silly there as of course I'd rather hear him talk about writing), a night of erotic fan fiction which has been borrowed from SWF (worth seeing just to hear Marieke H.'s contribution really), Kate Jennings in conversation with Hilary McPhee, a night celebrating Chekhov, conversation between Jennifer Byrne and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a lecture from no less a personage than Jonathan Mills on the state of the arts, a visit from Fatima Bhutto and, finally, the promise of a week in September where the judges of art get well and truly rolled.
A WHOLE WEEK. The critics must be nervous already.