FASHIONABLE TALES

What? Isn’t this supposed to be a writers’ festival? Well more properly, it’s about storytelling in all its forms. The written word is front and centre, as always. And its performance – particularly with our Poetry Land and Story Land sessions. But Lydia Edwards’ brilliant book How To Read A Dress proved too great a temptation. So we’re going to give you a crash course in the history of women’s fashion with Lydia, acclaimed Perth author and fashionista Natasha Lester, displays of historical dresses and a live model showing off the latest in contemporary fashion inspired by the past. All while indulging in High Tea. Surely this will be a first for any writers’ festival?

ARCHITECTURAL PURSUITS

When we found out popular presenter and architecture enthusiast Tim Ross would be in town the same time as the Writers Week weekend, we just had to have him on board to talk to architect and academic Geoffrey London, co-author of the new book An Unfinished Experiment in Living: Australian Houses 1950 – 65. They’ll be joined by another architect and author, Julian Bolleter, for what promises to be a lively and entertaining conversation. We’ve also got Geoffrey teamed up with another Geoffrey, acclaimed pianist Geoffrey Lancaster, for a discussion around the similarities between architecture and music. Both sessions will take place in the context of a retrospective of the architecture and people films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine. If you haven’t seen their warm, funny insightful documentaries filmed largely extempore in famous places and spaces around the world, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. And … have we mentioned the free architectural walks in the CBD – one with Phil Griffiths making visible and audible the stories of some of the historic east end’s most famous buildings, the other with Julian Bolleter heading down to the foreshore and Elizabeth Quay? What about the Northbridge Crime Scene Walk with crime novelist David Whish-Wilson?

MUSIC AND POETRY

Aaron Copland was one of America’s greatest 20th century composers. You probably know his Fanfare for the Common Man. You probably also know the poetry of Emily Dickinson. But what about Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, for voice and piano? It’s such a special way to hear these words ­ especially as sung by Perth soprano Katja Webb and accompanied by Chris Milbourne. This exquisite performance will be followed by a discussion about the connections between music and poetry with Katja, poet and musician David McCooey and music journalist Ros Appleby. You might also want to catch Ros in conversation with Geoffrey Lancaster about the latter’s new book, Culliford, Rolfe and Barrow: A Tale of Ten Pianos. If you ask nicely, they might even play some recordings of historical piano music.