Animals & nature
The Future is Fungal
Mushrooms, it seems, have some uncanny properties. Fungi are more closely related to humans than plants, and if we can work with our fungal cousins, we might find a way to reduce waste – and perhaps even salvage our planet.
Gavin McIntyre and Brian Pickles are two ‘bio-neers’ whose work is at the forefront of the new mushroom movement. McIntyre is…
The Wheeler Centre
Our City of Literature: Ten Stories of Melbourne
Eloise Grills at the Deakin Edge — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Melbourne has always been a city of literature. Our population is bursting with rabid readers and writers. We have the best libraries, the coolest bookshops, the finest festivals and some truly pioneering publishers. Also, Monkey Grip is set here and we are the best at wearing turtlenecks.
So it made perfect sense when, in 2008, Melbourne joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and made it official – becoming a designated City of Literature in recognition of our literary spirit.
For the tenth anniversary of this designation, we kicked off the celebrations with a gala night of readings and storytelling at Deakin Edge. We heard from ten brilliant writers – both established and emerging – who have made Melbourne home for either a short time or a lifetime. Where, for them, does Melbourne come alive on the page? Which classic stories and scenes of Melbourne are part of our literary DNA, and how are a new generation of writers remaking the city with words?
In order of appearance … hear from Alice Pung, Tony Birch, Jane Rawson, Eloise Grills, Moreno Giovannoni, Jennifer Down, Alexis Wright, Patricia Cornelius, Andy Griffiths and Sumudu Samarawickrama.
This event was presented in partnership with the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office.
Select an image to view in detail
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Simon Winchester is a giant of narrative non-fiction. Across four decades of working as a journalist and author, Winchester’s reverence for the natural world and love of adventure have defined his extraordinary career. This is a man, after all, who has travelled on a Russian tramp steamer from Antarctica to England and seen the inside of an Argentine jail cell.
As a foreign correspondent during the 1970s and 1980s, Winchester covered major international events including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Watergate scandal and the Falklands War, and is the author of books on a dizzying array of subjects. He’s written about the history of the Yangtze River, the eruption of Krakatoa and, perhaps most famously, the making of the Oxford English Dictionary in the bestselling The Surgeon of Crowthorne.
Winchester’s timely new book, Pacific, profiles the world’s largest ocean and considers its crucial role in the planet’s present and future. From the Bikini atoll hydrogen bomb tests of the 1950s to the rise of China as a global economic superpower, Winchester explores the history of the Pacific – and the countries that border it.
Join us for a conversation with one of the most prolific, polymathic writers of our time, hosted by Sophie Black.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
The Fifth Estate
Whitewash: Crops, Corruption and Cancer
Glyphosate is the most widely used weed-killer in the world. It’s the active ingredient in Roundup, the flagship agricultural herbicide sold by Monsanto, and it’s used in more than 130 countries including Australia. Glyphosate is in our parks, gardens, golf-courses and playgrounds. And it’s in our food and water.
Veteran investigative journalist Carey Gillam has spent decades exploring the links between big business, biotech and agriculture in America. In her new book, Whitewash, she looks into the growing body of research about glyphosate’s health risks – and reveals the legal and marketing strategies Monsanto has employed to prevent and conceal damaging revelations about their product.
With Sally Warhaft – and in the immediate aftermath of a landmark US ruling on Roundup's links to a cancer case – this tenacious Kansas-based journalist talks corporate power, public health and reporting Roundup.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
Enjoyed talking to @careygillam at @bgowritersfest last night. Not sure where she found the American sized beverage in rural Victoria but not surprised. She’s been on Monsanto’s case for 20 years. pic.twitter.com/HmhUlOKvTZ— Sally Warhaft (@SallyWarhaft) August 12, 2018
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Krissy Kneen is a writer of lavish imagination.
Over seven books – including five novels, one volume of poetry and a memoir – she's invented bizarre fictional technologies, conjured extravagant sexual escapades, and speculated about consciousness-fusing with jellyfish. Female sexual adventure is front and centre in much of Kneen's work, but her writing twists and traverses several genres including literary…
Dark Emu Revisited
With his 2014 book, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe presented robust evidence that entrenched assumptions about Aboriginal hunter-gatherer societies were false. Nobody predicted the intense, ongoing interest that would follow. Drawing from the journals of European explorers, Pascoe showed that pre-settlement Aboriginal people engaged in various forms of agriculture.
Dark Emu itself was just the beginning of a series of…
Anything and everything in Animals & nature from across our archives.
Explore these other subjects, across our site.