So it’s currently (near the end of) Midsumma, Melbourne’s queer cultural festival, and being a word person I have been going to a few of the events at Word is Out, the literary strand of the festival, held at Melbourne’s queer bookshop Hares & Hyenas (yes! Melbourne still has a queer bookshop! But then Melbourne has so many bookshops, you wouldn’t believe it. At least you wouldn’t believe it if you came from Bristol.)
Anyway, last night I went to H&H again to the launch of the BanQuet2012 Anthologies, anthologies of erotic writing by queer women and queer men. I was standing in for my friend Kate Harrad of (among other places) Fausterella, who had a story in the women’s anthology (about pianos, apparently. I haven’t read it yet – I couldn’t fight my way through the horde of Melbourne hipsters at the bar to buy a copy!) It was a fantastic event, really well-chaired by the energetic (and, um, phenomenally beautiful) publishers Carson and Dettori, who kept us moving along through the readings at a cracking pace and did an excellent job of introducing the readers and the narratives, so we didn’t get lost. The readings themselves were variable – the skill sets for ‘writing good erotica’ and ‘performing to a packed house’, as anyone who’s in slash fandom knows, are not overlapping, and not all erotic writing translates from the page to the voice – but Kath Duncan‘s poem ‘Butch Cock’, which opened the night, was particularly great.
Here’s a little slideshow of images from the night: