20th October, 2016

Conference Program Launched

Thank you to all the literature lovers who came along to our Program Launch party on Thursday 13 October and helped make it a huge success!


Indigenous poet and musician Neil Morris opened the night with a wonderful Welcome to Country performed using several instruments, including his voice and a loop pedal.

This was followed by a performance by African poet Sista Zai who pushed boundaries with her political poetry, including her poem God is a Black Woman: 

Nothing written here but the truth of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. Where I’ve been with these two feet of mine and a heart born to shine, and truth is, truth hurts. But that’s no reason to reject reality and hide from fact in an act in a play called nothing political. Truth is I live in a politicized body, a body forced to accommodate hurt.


SPN’s General Manager  Matthia Dempsey discussed the importance of small press publishing in the Australian literary landscape and thanked the program coordinators for their hard work on the conference.


Mel Campbell – Melbourne-based freelance journalist, critic, copywriter and editor – read from her upcoming rom-com, The Hot Guy, which she co-wrote with Andrew Morris and will be out through SPN member Echo Publishing in 2017.


The formal events concluded with Melanie Joosten’s wonderful reading of her essay, Notes on Writing and Doing Good, from her book A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age.

With writing giving me such confusion, I turned to reading. If it was not quite an addiction, it was my everything. I have heard of writers who do not read. I do not understand this. It seems to me the height of rudeness, and also of disservice to self… I pick up Helen Garner, lie down with Ali Smith.

After Joosten’s words of wisdom, the literary folk networked over wine and cheese. More photos are on Facebook.


The program is officially launched so be sure to check it out and book your tickets online!

Thank you to all of the wonderful publishers, artists, writers and literature lovers who attended and supported independent publishers and the wonderful work they give to the world.

Thanks also to our staff and volunteers who put on such a great event, our venue partner ACMI X, and beer sponsor Moondog Craft Brewery.


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