Today is the start of Writing Week in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. We had a preliminary event last week with Robert Brown. His writing workshop provided an excellent stimulus for disciplined writing for publication.
This is the Faculty’s second writing week. There are some blog posts about the 2009 Writing Week in this blog. This year the Faculty has scheduled no meetings for the week in order to create time for writing. On Wednesday staff from Sport Studies are meeting the poet Harry Laing at the Old Cheese Factory at Reidsdale to develop our writing skills. We are in for a treat judging by an excerpt from his poem Wordsmith:
…Cold forgery is impossible,
Words must bleed from a hot core –
They bulb at my fingertips
Exuded like beads of mercury, my sons
Hatched from the ashes and into the blaze with them
See those salt blue flames singing at the margins –
That is spirit, quicker than embers
Thumping, banging smith-spirit.
Whilst the Faculty’s Writing Week is in its second year Meanjin is celebrating its seventieth anniversary. A recent Radio National Book Show (24 November 2010) celebrated the anniversary and discussed the role of literary publications in a digital world. The discussions about a published journal compared to an on-line journal mirrored debates in the academic world about open access.
It was interesting to listen to Jim Davidson and Christina Thompson discuss Meanjin and the role of editors in forging a publication’s identity. I was very interested in Christina‘s discussion of her work at the Harvard Review and the positioning of the Review in a digital age. I noted the importance Christina attached to Laura Healy‘s work with the Review’s website (see too Laura’s Chocolog site).
Just as I was savouring these thoughts, Colm Toibin appeared on the same Radio National program to discuss his Off the Shelf books (Off the Shelf is a regular segment on the Book Show where writers and artists talk about a book or books that have influenced their thinking, or one that they go back to for inspiration). His discussion of Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast explored the art of writing. (James Topham said of the A Moveable Feast “I think there is no author that makes you want to write than Hemingway; every sentence he writes seem to suggest a joy and delight in his craft”.)
I am looking forward to the joy and craft of writing this week.