Our next publication in the Inland Writer’s Series – Campfire Satellites; an inland anthology – will be launched at the NT Writers Festival in Mparntwe Alice Springs this Sunday 19 May.
This stunning collection of central Australian writing explores what it means to live ‘inland’ from the voices of four women; Maureen Jipyiliya Nampijimpa O’Keefe, Gretel Bull, Linda Wells and Emma Trenorden.
Through poetry, short story and memoir, the authors enter into a landscape where cultures meet, revealing the power of family and the tender connections between women.
We will be showcasing each author in the lead up to the launch event which will be held at 4.45pm Sunday 19 May at Bean Tree Café Olive Pink Botanic Gardens. It’s free – RSVP here.
For more information contact Olivia Nigro: 0405 406 731 | firstname.lastname@example.org
She says: "Writing is a way for me to sift through the layers of experiences that have accumulated over time. Finding a moment of quiet with pen and paper, I hope to make some sense of the emotions and thinking that are stirring about within me. Sometimes inspiration strikes and I reach for pen and paper to run with it. Other times, even when it feels like I have nothing to say, I make myself sit with pen and paper and just start writing - something, anything, to see what comes.
This is the first time for me to share my writing publicly and it's exciting to be published by a community publisher in Ptilotus Press - a collective of local writers who share not only a passion for writing but also a shared experience of place, here in the red centre. I really enjoyed writing about the theme of 'inland.' This theme allowed me to reflect on the many facets of what a sense of place and home means to me here in Central Australia".
She says: "Writing for me is a catharsis. It helps me to make sense of the world around me which I see as largely nonsensical. Central Australia can be as heart-breaking as it is beautiful. As a writer, I’m deeply inspired by the landscape here, but I also feel a desperate need to make sense of the everyday tragedies and inequalities I see around me. One of the major draw cards to living in Alice Springs is the thriving creative community. Now that I’ve settled here to raise a family, it’s such a pleasure to be able to contribute to that myself.
‘Highway to Utopia’ is a deeply personal work actually. It was written following a series of research trips into the Utopia region of central Australia. We kept passing a place where I lost a child a few years earlier and I was inundated by the memory of what had, until then, been a quiet, private tragedy. That got me thinking about the way our stories leave their impressions on the landscape, and I felt compelled to write my own".
"Gretel Bull is a writer, artist and mother, living and working in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. Influenced by Jungian theory and journeying epics of the Homeric and Aboriginal Dreaming traditions, her work explores the reciprocal influences between history, mythology, person and place. Gretel's writing experiments with fracturing and rearranging temporal tenses and physical and metaphysical imagery to deconstruct the boundaries between time/space, unconscious/conscious, land/body and past/present. Written following a series of research trips into the Utopia region of central Australia, ‘Highway to Utopia' examines the post-colonial themes of dispossession, cultural destabilisation and enduring connection to country. Memories of a past tragedy are interwoven with the inanity of the present and the poignancy of place in a philosophical exploration of the utopia/dystopia dichotomy".
She tells us: "I write therefore I am. I love writing to explore and express and share knowledge and ideas. It’s just my thing and I need to do it.
It is always an honour to be chosen for publication, to have your work recognised. It’s wonderful to have my work recognised by Ptilotus Press. In my story about two women and a coffin I am particularly fond of the two characters and the relationship that develops between them. I think it is one of those uniquely Central Australian experiences and I am pleased to be able to share it with others.
The Central Australian community has experiences and faces challenges that are quite unique to Central Australia. I think it enriches our lives and sense of who and where we are to read creative works that are specifically about those Central Australia situations".
The opening scene of Linda's captivating short story featured in our inland anthology Campfire Satellites.
Linda Wells, originally from Melbourne, has lived in central Australia for many years. She is the author of Still A Town Like Alice (2011) commissioned by the Alice Springs Town Council and Kultitja: Memoir of an Outback Schoolteacher (2016). Linda is currently in Melbourne, undertaking a PhD.