Wonderfully Wild and Literate Weekend in Apollo Bay
2nd August, 2017
The annual Apollo Bay Writers Festival integrated seamlessly with the third Winter Wild Weekend over the final days of July.
Magnificent presentations from Clementine Ford, Michael Leunig, Charlie Ward and Susan Carland were complemented by an array of thoughtful, funny, profound and charming moments of local commitment.
Desh Balasubramaniam of Ondru provided us with gentle access to the empathetic, athletic mind of Michael Leunig. Desh told us that the aim of ONDRU was to “give voice to the tenderness of the human condition. ....to give light to issues that exist in the dark....to create art that will emotionally and intellectually connect people.” This was certainly the result of wise and gentle presentations for the large audience that embraced the authors with rapt enthusiasm.
Foodworks hosted the presentations of the children’s writing prizes and original prize winner and local writer, Isobelle Carmody reminded the young finalists and their parents of the joys and wonders of the storybook.
Soon after, the passionate members of the Roomers group told the stories of their lives through poetry and anecdote. They spoke of lives of dignity, pain and joy in the rooming houses in Melbourne and gave us all a clearer insight of the issues of social justice we face in this age.
Desh spoke also with refugee Paheer Para and Alison Corke from ABRAR in a moving reminder of our crimes as a nation for ignoring the plight of so many other humans who struggle with issues well beyond our experience.
Desh joined Alice Pung, Arnold Zable, Charlie and Clementine, in an entertaining meeting of minds and philosophies through the AB Q&A. Later Les Twentyman author and journey man added his formidable tales of social action for our attention and reflection.
This full program was further enlarged by the sold out crowd at the local debate and a fascinating array of local performers sparkling their way through the winter words competition. In all cases the youthful triumphed over the old in a special transition of good will.
Fabulous performances by Freya, Fern, Heidi and Nattie on stage and off stage by Holly, Lil and Grape showed that the world was in good hands through these and other wise young women. The killer finale hosted by Emilie Zoey Baker was another miracle of local theatre with fabulous poetry, text and music highlighted by amazing performances by Alister and Fern.
And those of us lucky enough to get to Winter Wild as well had all loved the Dog Watch again (only one to go!) plus performers like Mantra, Horns of Leroy, the joyous Amy Bodossian, Emilie Zoey Baker and the wonderful Spyndrift.
What a weekend!!
From Les Cameron
120 Montrose Ave
M: 0417 592 670