Skip to main content

Inside the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas

This weekend I went to the first workshop at Melbourne's brand spanking new Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. It's the jewel in the crown of UNESCO's City of Literature and, based on the construction work going on out the front, there's a bit more polishing before it's fully open to the public.

Even still it's up and running in a pilot mode with most of the resident organisations already moved in and some even starting their events. Six resident organisations - Australian Poetry Centre, Emerging Writers' Festival, Express Media, Melbourne Writer's Festival, Victorian Writer's Centre and SPUNC - all seem to be in various stages of unpacking. The centre itself starts programming events early next year.

It's an impressive building from the inside and out - keeping the State Library's classic look while making it contemporary enough to be a work place. There's still a few bugs to iron out with the entrance which was still draped in construction scaffolding so signage was impossible. While waiting to be let back in after a break, I overheard a passing couple speculating on what the building was. He wasn't sure if it was part of the nearby QV shopping centre, but she was better read and set him right:
"No, it's that cafe - Mr Hulk or whatever."

Comments

  1. I popped in the other day and especially liked how they still had plastic over the carpet, like the back seat of a new car that the owners don't feel the need to remove.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The green pesto eggs at Mr Hulk are awesome. Hulk crush eggs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely still has the fresh paint smell as well, Oslo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Green eggs? And ham? Very literary.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mr Hulk sounds so formal though. Like teh Geisel ref, Lisa. Who in Oz lit is the equivalent of Seuss?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Was thinking Shaun Tan, but maybe Paul Jennings is better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nup, definitely Andy Griffiths. He's such a big Suess fan that he has the One Fish Two Fish characters tattooed on his left forearm. If you want to read modern day Suess read The Big Fat Cow Went Kapow. It's brilliant. And I am being utterly sincere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pamela Allen's not Australian then? (though her dialogue is a bit sparse). 'OOOOH OWWW EEEE, cried Mr McGee' doesn't quite cut it, does it.

    Fantastic preview Mr H(ackpacker, that is, not Hulk). Many thanks, I will link to your preview if I get around to blogging how slow they are getting the front done. However I have household issues of my own - have to empty a tank today so the cleaner can get a small deceased rodent out of it for me tomorrow. So far be it from me to criticise the builders at SLV.
    Pray for rain on the weekend, everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do not mean to hijack your thread, George - but good news. No rodent found.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good news on the rodent front. In further news the signage has improved since I posted. No worries on hijacking threads - that's what they're for!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Speaking of rodents, there is a dead rat in my yard and I'm not sure what to do with it. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  12. You could sing to it, Lisa, and ease it's passing into the next world.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You've obviously never heard me sing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not sure I would't have preferred a rodent now - I have to buy a leafblower and persuade my husband to vacuum out the gutters on a fairly regular basis, and get the neighbours to cut down a tree.
    Though more unsettling, it might have been easier to have a rat...on the other hand, I now know that pittosporum flowers can stink out a 3000 litre rainwater tank after two seasons.

    George I had a quick scoot around CBGBWI yesterday - and, yes, not so silently judging myself at this point. Isn't it a wee bit on the SMALL side? - I was hoping for a long, wide polished corridor, graced with columns around which literati could drink at launches, with extensive office spaces off to each side...

    ReplyDelete
  15. More importantly, is there a lap pool? I'm pretty sure Michael Williams said there would be a lap pool.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lisa, I did not see the lap pool. MWF are moving in next week, perhaps they are bringing the filter and motor along with them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. as much as i love a lap pool, i'm not sure i'm ready for the Melbourne literati in their swimmers...!

    oh & excellent goss on Griffiths' tattoo - gold!

    ReplyDelete
  18. They should seriously think about re-branding as CBGBWI, Genevieve. I think if people start showing up with towels they'll eventually put a lap pool in Queen's Hall.
    And perhaps here's another sub-thread: writers you would/n't like to see in the togs.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Now I'm imagining what kind of togs Australia's various literati would wear. Christos Tsiolkas in budgie smugglers. Angela Meyer in two-piece vintage. Helen Garner in sensible Speedos. Etc.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

More from Hackpacker:

How to become a Lonely Planet author

Sweaty Naked Men