Writers’ Week in Adelaide
Today I attended the Thursday sessions of Writers’ Week in Adelaide. This is a regular feature of the Adelaide Festival of Arts which is held every two years. Prominent writers from all over Australia and selected writers from overseas are invited to be guest speakers. Previously I have been unable to attend because of work commitments.
Writers’ Week is held in a beautiful section of Adelaide’s parklands, about 200 metres across the road from the Festival Centre and about five minutes walk from the CBD. The organisers have set up two large tents filled with chairs. Over the years the Writers’ Week sessions have proved so popular that the chairs spill out of the tents and over the adjoining lawns. Being 31C today every shady spot nearby also sprouted chairs filled with eager readers and writers listening to the speakers.
In between the two tents is the Book Shop which sells mainly books written by the guest speakers. Many avid readers snaffle up these books and then proceed to the table where the eager writers are waiting to sign their books. Next to the Book Shop is the very essential food and drinks tent. South Australian wines are a popular and well patronised feature of the drinks section.
The writer I enjoyed most today was Simon Armitage, an English poet. His talk was very entertaining. Simon entertained the large crowd of well over a thousand, illustrating his talk with some of his excellent poetry. Another entertaining speaker was Australian writer Michael Robotham. He also entertained the audience with tales of his experiences as a ghost writer of the “autobiographies” of some celebrities, including Rolf Harris, Lulu and former Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell. More recently he has turned to writing novels, including the highly popular “The Suspect.”