March edition – now at Creswick

With the sudden demise of the Printers Room, our wonderful home of the past two years, we’re hitting the road to relocate this month’s edition. Far from being a ‘road to nowhere’, as our theme for the month suggests, it is rather a road to somewhere very pleasant indeed: Odessa at Leaver’s Hotel in Creswick!

We’ve been wanting to run an event at this sumptuous, eclectic venue for some time, and now is the time!

Wordsmiths are invited to explore the themes or simply ignore them altogether. This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s.

Date: Thursday March 19

Time: Doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: Odessa at Leaver’s Hotel, 80 Albert St, Creswick.

Transport: Ballarat attendees, please get in touch if you need a lift, and we will try to arrange car pooling or, if there’s enough demand, a mini-bus.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The menu is available for dinner or snacks, and the well-stocked bar is open.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.

Bonus: The Creswick Harvest Festival opens on March 19, with the official launch and art show opening in the Town Hall virtually next door to Odessa from 5-7pm. Do pop in beforehand and check it out.

We intend to be back in Ballarat with a regular venue from April, with a couple of possibilities being investigated. Stay tuned.

Keep in touch: at facebook.com/wordsoutloud or join our mailing list.

Closure of the Printers Room

printers room, at sebastiaans cafe, lydiard st ballaratFriends, we are sorry to report that our most affable and generous host, Nigel Burgess, has told us today (March 2) that he has not been able to come to terms for a renewed lease on the Printers Room and Sebastiaans and both are closing immediately.

We have put feelers out today to possible other venues and will keep searching for a suitable space in which to continue.

We will keep you informed here, through the newsletter and Facebook about developments.

We wish Nigel and his crew the very best and regret we won’t have the opportunity to see them out in style. They were very good to us indeed and helped WOL build on the solid foundation laid down at Babushka. Two excellent venues with marvellous hosts. Keep your fingers crossed for a third time lucky!

They Are Us is launched

Some of the audience at the launch of They Are Us at the Mercure Ballarat


The They Are Us collaborative ekphrastic art exhibition filled the room for its official opening on February 27, and it was quite a blast.

The exhibition reversed the usual ekphrastic process, having 20 Soldiers Hill Artist Collective members create art in response to short fiction and poetry by Central Highlands writers, operating under the WOL banner, on the theme of They Are Us.

The artists were randomly matched to the written works and created responses in a range of media, including painting, photography, woodwork and textiles.

Writer Jean Flynn at the They Are Us launch

Writer Jean Flynn reading her work, ‘What Would Jacinda Do’

The writers engaged with a broad range of subjects, from intergenerational meditations, warfare and immigration, to alien encounters and environmental concerns.

The combined works comfortably fill the generous space at the Lounge Gallery, Billy’s Bar, at the Mercure at 613 Main Rd, Ballarat, and the launch crowd comfortably filled the room! Lovely to see some red dots on the walls by the end of the evening, too!

City of Ballarat’s deputy mayor, Cr Belinda Coates, again showed her appreciation of not just the exhibition and the project’s collaborative nature, but the role of art itself at a defining time in history.

Reuben Morgan (of the BallaRat Pack), who composed a gorgeous piece for the previous WOL-SHAC collaboration Weathering the Future in 2018, has again written a bespoke theme piece. He was unfortunately unable to perform it on the night, but a recording of the work (about seven minutes in three movements) played during the launch shows a piece well worth a closer listen when it becomes available as he reflects on the refugee experience.

We’re particularly grateful to Radmac Office Choice in Ballarat for the generous donation of foam core board on which to display the written works and to Robert Young Signs for their contribution.

The exhibition runs from February 24 to April 5.

Artist Judith Bryce explains how she used writing by Jean Flynn as inspiration for a woven basket

Artist Judith Bryce explains how she used writing by Jean Flynn as inspiration for a woven basket laden with symbolism.

 

March edition – Road to Nowhere

WHAT THE DICKENS: Congratulations to WOL regular David Mellows, the first to flag the underlying theme for our monthly editions this year. His powers of perception were rewarded with an ABC Music CD of Charles Dickens ghost stories … that might be handy come October!

As the ’80s music continues to power our writing prompts, March picks up from the broken hearts and romance gone wrong of February’s ‘Tainted Love’ with a ‘Road to Nowhere’. We promise, things will get brighter down the track!

We were also very pleased to see a handful of new faces in the crowd and on the stage.

Wordsmiths are invited to explore the themes or simply ignore them altogether. This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s.

Date: Thursday March 19

Time: Doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: The Printers Room, in the basement of Sebastiaans at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets, Ballarat. Enter from Mair. Note: the venue is stair-free. Take in the air in the beer garden. Enjoy the show from couches, the tables or a seat by the bar.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The full menu is available, as well as a $20 two-course meal deal, with bar service.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.

Keep in touch: at facebook.com/wordsoutloud or join our mailing list.

Zoe Werner at February’s Words Out Loud

They Are Us launch

They Are Us is a collaborative ekphrastic art exhibition involving Central Highlands writers, operating under the WOL banner, and Soldiers Hill Artist Collective.

The writers composed short fiction and poetry on the theme of “They Are Us”, selected by SHAC, to which randomly drawn artists have created responses in a range of media, including painting, photography, woodwork and textiles.

The writers engaged with a broad range of subjects, from intergenerational meditations, warfare and immigration, to alien encounters and environmental concerns.

The free launch is open to all.

It will be at the Lounge Gallery, Billy’s Bar, at the Mercure at 613 Main Rd, Ballarat, on Thursday February 27 at 6.30pm.

City of Ballarat’s deputy mayor, Cr Belinda Coates, will be doing the honours.

Reuben Morgan (of the BallaRat Pack), who composed a gorgeous piece for the previous WOL-SHAC collaboration Weathering the Future in 2018, has again written a bespoke theme piece and will perform it on the night.

Drink and nibbles supplied, with huge thanks to the Mercure. No RSVP needed.

Any assistance in spreading the word is greatly appreciated, and of course, the more the merrier on the night. There is a Facebook event for those who would like to share that.

We’re particularly grateful to Radmac Office Choice in Ballarat for the generous donation of foam core board on which to display the written works.

The exhibition runs from February 24 to April 5.

 

February edition – Tainted Love

Scott Woodard at January’s Words Out Loud.

January’s Words Out Loud, with a theme of “Great Southern Land”, raised $111.85 in the donation jar for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. We were so grateful for the generosity, and have topped that up to an even $150.

Bushfires and environmental degradation were a common theme on the night. If you’re on Facebook, Megan J. Riedl has posted a video of the powerful poem she performed on the night, “Cartographers of Othering“.

We point out that fires have affected each state and territory, and continue to threaten. Also drought and floods. So the season of giving is far from over.

On an arguably brighter note, February’s theme is “Tainted Love”. Wordsmiths are invited to explore the theme or simply ignore it altogether.

This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s.

Date: Thursday February 20

Time: Doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: The Printers Room, in the basement of Sebastiaans at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets, Ballarat. Enter from Mair. Note: the venue is stair-free. Take in the air in the beer garden. Enjoy the show from couches, the tables or a seat by the bar.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The full menu is available, as well as a $20 two-course meal deal, with bar service.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.

Keep in touch: at facebook.com/wordsoutloud or join our mailing list.

Support for bushfire appeal at January’s WOL

January Words Out Loud posterWords Out Loud will be giving all entry donations from January’s edition to the state bushfire appeal.

There is a number of appeals and a growing list of events supporting the fire fight and recovery efforts, with hot months ahead, so if you can spare some cash, please find the right fit for you to contribute.

Here are the details of the event:

Date: Thursday January 23

Time: doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: the Printers Room, in the basement of Sebastiaans at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets, Ballarat. Enter from Mair.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The full menu is available, as well as a $20 two-course meal deal, with bar service.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.