Brisbane Writer’s Festival

September 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

On Sunday I was able to catch the last day of the Brisbane’s Writers Festival, held at the State Library of Queensland (cultural precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank).  Despite the grey sky and drizzling rain, the atmosphere was terrific.  In fact the weather made it perfect for being surrounded by books and authors!  I walked out of there having purchased more books than intended purely because I could not wait to get home, snuggle under the covers,and start reading (which of course was exactly what I did). 

First up for me at the festival was Café Scientific; Imperfect Creation- the Gloriously Messy Universe  [click link for full details].  In a nutshell,  Marcelo Gleiser [author of Imperfect Creation: Cosmos, Life and Nature’s Hidden Code] believes the universe is not elegant but is instead, gloriously messy.  Luckily, before I went in I ate a rather superb piece of beetroot and chocolate vegan cake [made by the great people at Stove].  And drank coffee [by BlackStar] from the food stalls, which kept the brain power going!  I spent the next two hours listening to a panel of three quantum scientists discuss the evidence of a cosmic blue print, nine dimension or eleven, the String Theory, and whether there would ever be the theory to underpin all theories. Quite a bit of the ‘science’ went over my head, but the explanations were well simplified,  and what I did understand was fascinating.  

Next on the agenda was more food and a stroll through all the gallery gift shops and book stands.  I was fortunate enough to run into one of my favourite Brisbane based authors Benjamin Law.  Benjamin has just published his first book, ‘Welcome to the Family Law’ (which I bought and finished with many laugh out loud moments).  He is also a senior contributor to Frankie Magazine, The Big Issue, The Monthly, Qweekend, Sunday Life New Matilda and The Courier Mail.  His essays have also been published in, The Best Australian Essays 2008 (edited by David Marr) and The Best Australian Essays 2009 (edited by Robyn Davidson). 

He happily posed for a photo with me and signed a copy of his book (lucky me).   As Ben was signing,  ‘Hey Nadege, Welcome to The Family Law “  in my book, I was tapped on the shoulder by a tiny and  beautiful woman who whispered in my ear,

“I’m Ben’s mum”

Promptly she wrapped her arm around me and started taking photo’s of us.  As his mother (Jenny) features heavily throughout his book, for a moment I was truly experiencing Ben’s writing first hand.  The adorable proud mother who takes photos of everything is very much true. 

After listening to a few talks scattered around the precinct I found the new media hub or Digital Cultural Centre named The Edge [click the link to join, free] in the Brisbane State Library.  Looking out onto the Brisbane river, this place is mix of computers, projectors, editing equipment and people buzzing about.  If you need free access to any digital equipment for photography, music, writing, publishing, mapping and printing, The Edge is the place to be in Brisbane. 

So after my arms were full of new books, and my brain was full of new knowledge, I noticed I was walking around with a smile on my face.  My day at Brisbane Writers Festival definitely lived up to its theme this year, “All Heart’.

– Nadege Hamdad.

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