Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

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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 2019 is from 5th to the 14th of July:

Rare Book Week

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair in 2019 is from July 12 to the 14th July.

Rare Book Fair

 

Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

logo

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 2018 is from 29th June to the 8th of July:

Rare Book Week

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair in 2018 is from July 6-8, 2018.

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

Rare Book Fair

 

Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

logo

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

 

Poetry Writing Style

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I was around 21 when I showed a friend some of the poetry I had written up to that point.  We were planning on attending a poetry reading group and I wanted some feedback on my work before going “public”with it.  It was a huge deal for me, as before this I had never shown anyone my poetry.

This friend was very focused and silent, whilst she looked through my notebook of handwritten poems…mostly in neat print which at times became cursive.  After what seemed like an eon, she looked up at me and said “you write like Sylvia Plath” to which I replied “Who?“, as I had no idea who Sylvia Plath was at the time.

Like I’ve mentioned before – I wasn’t exposed to the best English literature at the working class public schools I attended growing up.  For the most part and if I am speaking frankly, I don’t ever recall being taught anything about poetry or poets for that matter.  The poets I had been exposed to were the ones I found on my own.  These tended to be poets from the Romantic era  like Byron, Shelley, Keats and Poe, as I had developed an obsession with the Victorian period as a teen.

Soon after, I found myself borrowing my friends copy of her collection of Sylvia Plath’s work and realized that my poetry did resemble her style.  This was completely unintentional and worried me so much I stopped writing for a while.  I was so fearful about not emulating that it made me stop creating any work at all!

Then, I finally read “The Bell Jar”.  I completely resonated and understood where the protagonist was coming from.  Something inside clicked.   I released the expectation and worry I had placed upon myself.

I went back to writing poetry and I write the way I am compelled to.  Whether it be free or rhyme, flowing or constructed, personal or observational –  I don’t care what I sound like. As long as I am getting my feelings out and expressing myself as I feel compelled to, I feel good about it.

Syliva’s style was autobiographical and so is mine and we deal with the same subject matter of depression, disturbances and death.  The older I get the more comfortable I get with my poetry and as long as I personally feel something when I write it, I will keep at it.

If you would like to read some of my work, here are a few poems I have written in the last year:

Poetry by Tina Altman

 

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(Image: Sylvia Plath)

“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
Sylvia Plath

(c) T. Altman 2017

The Flaneuse (Female Walker Writer)

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Up until recent years, I used to walk around the city, alone – all the time.

I used to work in the CBD (Central Business District) and other than walking to and from my office building, I would spend lunchtimes and after business hours walking around the streets of Melbourne.

I was engaged in the city whilst observing it – two polarities joined.

Sometimes I felt like the untethered explorer, whilst other times I felt a foreboding danger and retreated to the safety of a heavy populated cafe or shopping district.

During these times I would sometimes jump on and off trams and trains to see what I could find.  Sometimes, I would discover some well known artist’s graffiti on a brick wall or an independent retailer selling exotic homemade wares and even a budding musician busking in a underground train-station.

Now, I make an effort to go into the city and visit certain landmarks with purpose.   I am more aware of my surroundings as I take precaution whilst observing as much as I can take in, for inspiration.  I never knew how important it was for me to walk, observe and use that to fuel my imagination until I stopped and then went back to it.  I didn’t realise that like some of my favourite authors, I am a Flaneuse and my hometown is my muse.

(c) T. Altman 2016

What Inspires Me: Anne Sexton

A writers life can be a solitary undertaking but it doesn’t mean you are alone…

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A Witch’s Life

When I was a child
there was an old woman in our neighborhood whom we called The Witch.
All day she peered from her second story
window
from behind the wrinkled curtains
and sometimes she would open the window
and yell: Get out of my life!
She had hair like kelp
and a voice like a boulder.

I think of her sometimes now
and wonder if I am becoming her.
My shoes turn up like a jester’s.
Clumps of my hair, as I write this,
curl up individually like toes.
I am shoveling the children out,
scoop after scoop.
Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.
Maybe I am becoming a hermit,
opening the door for only
a few special animals?
Maybe my skull is too crowded
and it has no opening through which
to feed it soup?
Maybe I have plugged up my sockets
to keep the gods in?
Maybe, although my heart
is a kitten of butter,
I am blowing it up like a zeppelin.
Yes. It is the witch’s life,
climbing the primordial climb,
a dream within a dream,
then sitting here
holding a basket of fire.

 

 

What Inspires Me: Second Hand Book Stores

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It was Virginia Woolf who in her essay “Street Haunting” said:

“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books” 

Well they can come home with me and be tamed because I absolutely love second hand books – they have so much character!

When I have the chance I like to peruse though second hand bookstores.  Due to my addiction to books,  I rarely ever leave a second hand book shop empty handed.

I especially love coming across books with dedications at the beginning of the book as well as personal annotations on the side of pages which highlight some important point to the reader.  I find these even more precious the older they are and it makes me wonder why and how these books with so much personal attachment to them, made it to me.

If you can, visit your local second hand book store and rescue a wild book!

(C) T. Altman 2016