Academics from across the nation are undertaking a literature tour of the Hastings for the 2021 Australian Literature Conference.
The conference is being hosted by The Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) from May 10 to 14 in Port Macquarie and the Camden Haven. Past tours have been held at Mount Kosciusko and Norfolk Island.
The group promotes the study, discussion, creation and awareness of Australian writing in the wider community and internationally.
University professor and association co-founder Julian Croft said more than a dozen writers will undertake a heritage walk, river cruise, winery visit and an excursion around the area while based at Water’s Edge Hotel.
“We’re all academics who’ve been in the field of study literature for the last 50 years,” he said.
“The conference is just to talk among ourselves about things we’re interested in from Australia literature. Some of those discussions end up being expanded and published in academic journals.
“People tend to forget that some of the oldest traditions of literary work can be poetry.”
Writers will study early penal settlement and convict history in the lives of Australian writers such as convict writers James Hardy Vaux and James Tucker. Annabella Boswell, Louis Becke and Robert Gray born in town and works about the wider area from Henry Kendall, Les Murray and Kylie Tennant.
Mr Croft has previously taught at the University of Sierra Leone and University of New England.
“For this conference we’ve got one of our members giving a paper on Henry Kendall at Camden Haven. I know there is a bit of an interest in Kylie Tennant also,” he said.
“The area has a long literary history which goes right back to the 1800s.
“It’s an interesting thing the history of Port Macquarie and the Camden Haven is being looked at. discussed and potentially research papers could come out of this. That’s quite interesting.”
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