And I have met hundreds of people I shall love until I die, like Kaye Alderhoven who has taken me into her home and introduced me to he friends, and shepherds me through this sizzling heat. Then there are the Northern Territory writers, vibrant and intelligents, and Kardeck who greeted me in Maori. He is a beautiful young man hald Balinese half New Zealander. And John Puhle, a writer from Niue Island who greeted me in Maori with a hongi. I love them all.
Writers, There were writers from all over the country, some I had never heard of before, to my shame. Tim Flannery was the guest speaker at the festival's opening dinner, and again at lunch the following day. At question time a young girl (primary school sge) asked what children could do to save the planet. His reply, "ask your parents if you can see their power bill. Make a bet with them that you can reduce it by a third, then go around the house turning of lights and appliances that are not in use." In other words everybody has to help save the planet. Kaye drove him to the airport later, and like so many icons he is unassuming and plain nice.
As were Bruce Pascoe, whose book 'BLOKE'is onthe best seller list, and Arnold Zable, sone of Holocaust survivors, who took a three hour workshop which was inspiring, and Don Watson who trained as a theoretical physicist but could not get a job in Australia so he formed the Rock Band COLD CHISEL. and Kevin Gillam the poet who is head of Music at a Perth High School, He writes beautiful poetry but looks as though he should be propping up the All Blacks front row, and John Maynard, Professor of Aboriginal Studies, who lectures inspiringly and lucidly on Aboriginal culture.
Then there are the women. I did not meet Germaine Greer, but I read with some amazing people, like Mardija Simpson, who has a masters degree in adult education and teaches creative writing in Alice Spring; Iyut Futra from Indonesia, Dizzy Doolan who electrified us at the after festival party with her hip hop performance, light years ahead of anything I have seen or heard, with very, very sophisticated lyrics, and she's gorgeous to look at too.
My free time on the Palmerston Library's Hot Spot is running out, so I shall have to contiue this in my next, about the beautiful poet from India, etc. etc. etc.
And those eight boys of mine, I have not heard a word from you all week. Shame on you! Peter especially, I need you to get in touch with me as the e mail here keeps returning my messages.
Last evening I sat on the Darwin foreshore with five other writers and we drank champagne while the sun went down. It was magical.