On Saturday February 27, the Cottonmouth animals crawl out from underground, returning for 2010 with a peacock-bewildering, hula-spinning outdoor spectacular. Because we've missed you so much, we wanted to throw a hell of a party to kick off a year for which we have pretty grand plans. In conjunction with the Perth Writers Festival, we're treading the boards of UWA's New Fortune Theatre with a coterie of the region's most exciting spoken word performers gathered from the Festival and beyond.
Cottonmouth favourites Simon Cox, James Quinton, Rebecca Giggs, Amber Fresh, Patrick Pittman and Scott-Patrick Mitchell will be presenting new work alongside five very special out-of-towners, with music from Chris Cobilis and Seven Weapons.
Brisbane poet and raconteur Samuel Wagan Watson stole the show last time he came for the Festival in 2007, and he's been somebody that we've been wanting to see on our stage for a while. His stunning 2004 collection Smoke Encrypted Whispers won the NSW Premier's Literary Award, but much more importantly, his festival bio mentions the following: he was recently commissioned by the Japanese Aeronautical Exploration Agency to write haiku for the pleasure of the astronauts on the International Space Platform.
Melbourne writer Tom Cho's performance at the final Cottonmouth of 2009 was one of our favourite things in our first run, so we're pretty thrilled to have him back. Last time, he destroyed a call center with ninjas. Enough said.
Hailing from New Zealand, and joining us on respite from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the rather amazing Eleanor Catton. Her debut novel The Rehearsal has been gathering rapturous reactions and sundry prizes from all over the shop. Last we heard from her, she'd been writing a fantasy novel in an Iowa bar, which makes us think she's going to fit Cottonmouth pretty perfectly.
Josephine Rowe's poetry and short fiction have been published in HEAT, Island, Overland, Best Australian Poems and The Age, and read on Radio National. Her collection of short stories, How a Moth Becomes a Boat, is about to be re-released by Hunter Publishers. The ace lit journal Torpedo calls her one of the most talented short story writers in Australia. We agree.
AND DID WE MENTION THERE WILL BE HULA HOOPS? Writer and circus performer Judith Lanigan's excellent debut novel A True History of the Hula Hoop was recently published by Picador, and you can hear her talk about that at the Festival. But we mouthers wanted more -- we wanted the hoops. Judith will be performing her interpretation of the ballet The Dying Swan with something like 30 hoops. This, we're pretty sure, will BLOW YOUR MIND.
How much for all of this? FREE! As in no money! (Thanks, Perth Writers Festival!). So you can spend the money you would have spent either at our bar or at the mammoth zine table that the Perth Zine Collective shall be providing. We'll also be taking over whatever wall space we can negotiate with the peacocks (who guard the theatre) to bring back our typewriter wall, because it wouldn't be a Cottonmouth without it.
MC Byron Bard shall kick things off at 7.30. Get down early at 6.15 to catch the launch of the latest issue of Indigo, featuring Alex Miller and many more readings and performances. We go ahead rain or shine, we've got a backup tent planned if the heavens aren't cooperating.