Saturday, 22 July 2017

Writing about Nature with Helen Hagemann @ the Fremantle Arts Centre, Friday, 28th July, 1pm-3pm.  Readings of Peter Cowan's "The Red-backed Spiders". This workshop will introduce ideas on how we can write about nature in our short stories. The "feel good" or "prissy" approach to nature is often boring for the reader. Therefore, we will look at Peter Cowan's short story that includes the perverse and a "threatening nature" that aids tension, plot and suspense.
Venue: Fremantle Arts Centre, inquire about room at front desk.
Time: 1-3pm. What to bring:  Notepad, pen, laptop or iPad
Cost:  OOTA $25  - NON-OOTA $30 (ask for membership form to save).  
Please note: For information on joining OOTA and what we do, please visit our website http://ootawriters.com

Peter Cowan is a quietly introspective writer, and consequently his intensity of vision and his scrupulous craftsmanship can easily be underrated. He has shown a particular talent for the short story or novella, in which he can focus on a single relationship and explore a single line of feeling. His stories, written in a spare, taut style, have as a recurring theme the relationship of a man and a woman seeking relief from their loneliness in sexual love. Cowan is intent upon an inner reality: his characters are seldom individualized very far; they seem almost anonymous, and the sensuous reality of the external world is only faintly felt. His imagination is compelled by a painful awareness of the feelings of loneliness and alienation that lie beneath the surface of commonplace lives; and in exploring this territory he has become, more than is generally recognized, a significant interpreter of Australian realities.

In his second collection, The Unploughed Land, he reprinted seven of his stories from Drift, along with six new stories, which represent a distinct advance in technique. These new stories include the much-anthologized "The Redbacked Spiders," a powerful story of a boy whose resentment at his brutal father leads to the man's death. The title story is an extended treatment of the pre-war country life about which he writes in his first volume. In its evocation of that life it is one of his finest pieces, and it marks the end of the first phase of his development.


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    Writing at the Centre is an independent writing class conducted each Friday at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Print Room, upstairs in the main building.

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