Join poet Michael Sharkey and others on the Bellinger River for a morning of water and wonder during the Readers and Writers Festival in March.
Join poet Michael Sharkey and others on the Bellinger River for a morning of water and wonder during the Readers and Writers Festival in March.

Paddle with a poet

WHAT a great idea - teaming the magic of the Bellinger Valley with some of Australia's award winning poets in a canoe on the river!

Paddle with a Poet is one of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival most unique events, providing festival goers with a special way of exploring the environs of the Bellingen region more intimately and feeling for oneself what inspired festival patron Peter Carey to write the Booker-winning novel, Oscar and Lucinda.

You will be paddling alongside poet and essayist Mark Treddinick (winner of the $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize), Michael Sharkey, Kit Kelen and festival founder Brian Purcell plus some surprise guests.

Stops will be made along the way to rest riverside and listen to original poetry inspired by rivers and their landscapes being read by the guest poets.

The canoes will be setting off from Lavenders' Bridge, Bellingen on Friday and Saturday morning, March 23 and 24.

You will need to be at the bridge-side car park by 9am, life jackets are provided but BYO hat, water and sunscreen.

Bookings are essential and tickets are $35.

For late bookings and technical details phone Bellingen Canoe Adventures 02 6655 9955.

Other quirky festival highlights include a marathon reading (7am to 9pm) of Peter Carey's novel Oscar and Lucinda at Gleniffer Hall on Sunday, March 18 and a breakfast at Valla's Headland Cafe with surfer Rusty Miller and others entitled 'Outrageous Lies and other Surf Stories' on Thursday, March 22.

There is also a poetry slam on Friday, March 23 and a literary lunch with well-known Australian author Robert Drewe on Saturday, March 24.

The 2012 Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival program has over 50 of Australia's best loved writers appearing including Morris Gleitzman, Charlotte Wood, Arnold Zable, Alice Pung, Steven Carroll and the ABC's Richard Glover.

There will be three days of inspiring literary events offering something for all ages including readings, panels, forums and feasts, workshops, multimedia, theatre and spoken word performances.

The Festival has been made possible by the Australian Government's regional arts program through its Regional Arts Fund.

For bookings and more: www.bellingenwritersfestival.com.au.



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