Melbourne Writers Festival 2017

The Melbourne Writers Festival is happening in Melbourne, Australia from 25 August till 3 September.

Victoria’s premier annual literary event. The Festival connects writers and stories to celebrate a world of literature, explore universal ideas, and inspire a global community of readers.

This year’s Festival theme is exploring the theme of revolutions past, present and future, it’s revolutionary ideas and fresh new voices that will power this year’s Festival – and invigorate everyone who reads.

For all sessions and workshops check out their website here:

Melbourne Writers Festival



Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair


Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2015, over 44 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Melbourne Rare Book Week is now well established in the City of Melbourne’s event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

The Melbourne Rare Book week in 2017 is from 30th June to the 9th of July:

Rare Book Week

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair in 2017 is from July 7-9, 2017.

For more info go to their website by following this link:

Rare Book Fair


Emerging Writers Festival

The Emerging Writers Festival is happening in Melbourne, Australia next month.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival is a not-for-profit organisation whose foundations are built on supporting emerging writers. They are a place where creativity and innovation is celebrated, where new talent is nurtured and where diverse voices from across Australia are represented.

For all sessions and workshops check out their website here:

Emerging Writers Festival



Poem: Not Supposed to Be Here

I’m not even supposed to be here today…
Color blinded
Shoe polish stench
Confused and convoluted
Confined in Dante’s 9’s
“I assure you” intoned
“We are open” explained
Nothing quick about it
Purgatory peddler
Conversing rapidly
Fired with intellectual accuracy
Landing with culturally apt referencing
Death star corpse dance
Badly lit yet exposed
Stoner wisdom 37 in all
Free will is yours
I’m not supposed to be here today…
© T. Altman 2017


Poem: War explained to child


Speaking to my nephew about my father who fought in the Balkans (Albanian Forgotten War):


I once asked him:

“What was it like to shoot people in war?”

Sighing, shoulders slumped
Faraway eyes, swallows hard
Staring down at weathered hands
Sighing then inhaling sharply
“We didn’t know what we were shooting at –
Deep in those forests.
It was dark, damp and dank.
We all suffered.
I don’t know…”
He looks away…
We never spoke about it again.
© T. Altman 2017


What inspires me: Margarett Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale

I have always been inspired by stories of and by women.  I recently re-read “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.


I have to start off by saying this book was recommended to me by a friend and I am glad she did as its become one of my favorite all time books.

The scary thing is that our current political climate can potentially lead to this dystopian world where women’s rights and reproduction are controlled by men in power and with that in mind its quite a thought provoking read.

This book has had a deep impact on me and my personal connection to feminism and the resulting treatment of women and their bodies.

Hulu has created a tv series based on the books airing in March and I look forward to seeing this great novel on the small screen…until then:

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” 

Don’t let the bastards grind you down!