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.
Photo credit: Annamaria Weldon and Dennis Haskell
Thank you so much for recommending these two books and women ! I will try and add get hold of copies in Sydney. I’ve been busy with the mundane world for the last few months with moving house, and no time to write. But listening to Mary Oliver on the ‘On Being’ podcast supports me to stop at least for 5 minutes and jot down a few lines . Poetry keeps me sane, especially when it’s about Mother Nature/ Goddess.
Hope you had a great time immersing in the Festival!
Thank you Bindu. Annamaria’s book of poems dedicated to the stone goddesses of Malta is utterly beautiful. I have no words when encountering poetry so divine. Moreno’s autobiographical novel is also stunning, and he is a delightful, warm human being whose understanding of the immigrant pull/push is precise. Yes, poetry and good writing keeps me sane too.
You have certainly inspired me to read them once I get through my mountain of books that I’m currently engrossed in. Thank you.
You’ll love both the poetry and the mostly-memoir novel, Louise. A pleasure to look forward to.