Great escapes

Photo of Belinda Tiffen in library by Joanne Saad

Belinda Tiffen, photo by Joanne Saad

In summary: 
  • The Library's National Year of Reading is packed with free talks and events for both the UTS community and the public
  • Authors involved in their schedule of author talks include Debra Adelaide, Pam Newton and Anthony Macris. 
  • The program will showcase the Australian literature and creative writing coming out of UTS and supports and celebrates literacy

May is shaping up to be an eventful month in the UTS Library, as it hosts a series of five author talks on the theme of escape. Presented by prominent and award-winning UTS writers, the free talks are part of the library’s program of events for the National Year of Reading 2012.

“Author talks are always really exciting,” says Director of the Library Resources Unit Belinda Tiffen. “It’s great to bring in the authors and hear their thoughts on their work and the writing process and how the work came into being. Students and staff are always really receptive to it.”

The series kicked off on 2 May with a talk by novelist, essayist and non-fiction writer Debra Adelaide, who’s also an Associate Professor in Creative Practices at UTS. Adelaide read a piece of short fiction, talked about her novel The Household Guide to Dying – published in over a dozen countries worldwide – and answered questions from the audience.

On Wednesday 16 May, fellow Associate Professor in Creative Practices, writer and literary critic Anthony Macris will talk about his most recent book When Horse Became Saw: A family's journey through autism, which was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year in 2011.

Poet, dancer and filmmaker Richard James Allen, ALS Gold Medal shortlisted author Kirsten Tranter, crime writer Pam Newton and young adult novelist Pip Harry will also give presentations. All are UTS graduates and will talk about their latest novels (which will be available for sale at the events), how they became writers and what inspires them to write. They will also be available for book signings.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Australian literature and particularly the creative writing that’s done here at UTS,” says Tiffen. “We’re keen to share our love of reading, books and literacy.”
Promoting UTS writers and writing has long been a priority for the library, which has a special collection of writing by UTS staff, students and alumni, and offers the ability to search specifically for UTS authors as one of the functions of its online catalogue.

The National Year of Reading’s Love2Read initiative has given them added impetus to support and celebrate literacy. The collaborative project brings together public libraries, government, community groups, media, commercial partners and the public to promote books, reading and literacy through programs and events Australia-wide throughout 2012.

As part of Love2Read, the library has planned a calendar of events that engage with the program’s monthly themes. These have so far included laugh, think and feel, and of course, this month’s theme: escape.

Each month the library is holding one big event, such as a movie screening or an author talk, along with some smaller events. They are also running book displays around each theme in the library foyer and publishing themed reading suggestions on their Read@UTS blog. The smaller events include e-books and e-reader workshops for people who are new to iPad and e-reader technology.

“It’s going to be a really fun year,” says Tiffen. “We want to encourage people to think beyond just reading their textbooks to read a bit more broadly and explore the library’s collection.”

For more information about UTS Library events or the National Year of Reading, visit or

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