On an exceptionally kind February afternoon in Perth yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Annamaria Weldon and Moreno Giovannoni about goddesses and fireflies. The late great Mary Oliver wrote this: ‘creative work needs solitude. It needs concentration without interruption. It needs the whole sky to fly in.’ Both Annamaria and Moreno spoke of the physical and metaphorical flights they undertook for each of their works. Both writers are clear-eyed in their depiction of their homelands, Malta and Tuscany. For Annamaria, Malta is ‘a slight blemish on the sea’s glaze’ and for Moreno, the men of San Ginese are ‘trees that had half their roots hacked off.’ These compelling poems and stories are the source of two of the books that gave me most pleasure this year. Stone Mother Tongue is published by UWA Publishing and is available for purchase all weekend at the Writers Festival. The Fireflies of Autumn and other tales of San Ginese is published by Black Inc Books and is also available at the Festival Bookshop in Perth.
I’m off now to immerse myself in the rest of this weekend’s bookish experience.