Mallika Naguran created the Pub to Park Storytelling, which is a series of reading events of stories and poetry at various places. And a chance to feature local voices, by invitation, as a guest.
Since early 2022, Mallika has been reading from her recently published book of short stories titled She Never Looks Quite Back at her “Pub to Park Storytelling” series in Australia, Singapore and beyond. The stories concern vital subject matters such as war and reconciliation, nature and the environment, social displacement, the pandemic, relationships, and more. The book contains thirteen original short stories that depict characters who are swept by surprising turn of events, yet not losing their resolve to survive or create change for the better.
The “Pub to Park Storytelling” series, supported by the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania (CDAT), will take place at various venues, chiefly cafes, pubs, parks, community centres and nature reserves. “We are excited to have a new voice in Tasmania who seeks to promote—in a rather creative way—messages of peace and environmental stewardship in a fragile world,” said John Kamara, President of CDAT. This storytelling caught the attention of Hobart’s ABC Radio host Ryk Goddard, who chatted with Mallika on air. Hop over to the media page to see the other coverage gotten to date, from Singapore to Australia.
In the series, Mallika reads from different stories that relate to the setting, and these could include charming pubs, chic cafes, scenic parks – rain, hail or shine! Here are the planned sessions, so do take note and join in. It is free of charge to attend, however, do patronise the participating cafes and pubs by buying a drink or snacks.
Storytelling #1: Saturday 19 March 2022, Fern Tree Tavern, 680 Huon Road, 3-5 pm. “War and reconciliation; love and passion”.
Amazing kick-off session moderated by Cr. Zelinda Sherlock.
Storytelling #2: Saturday, 23 April 2022, The Springs track on kunanyi, 3-5 pm. “Bird Watching” story reading.
Celebrating Earth Day. Meet at meet at Fern Tree Tavern at 3pm before we proceed to walk as a group.
As it happened, the sun smiled down at us, and we had a great time in the forest. The kids acted out Ling’s role as I narrated her getting lost in the forest in “Bird Watching”. And we spotted loads of mushrooms and Tasmania’s own fagus.
Storytelling #3 & Book Signing: Book signing of She Never Looks Quite Back by Mallika Naguran on Saturday 30 July 2022, 10am to noon at Petrarch’s Bookstore, 89 Brisbane Street, Launceston. Visit their FB event page.
Joint storytelling with Adam Thompson on Saturday 30 July 2022.
Adam is the author of sharp short stories Born Into This centred on Tasmania First Nation’s culture, heritage, identity, and struggles.
Venue: Devil’s Door, 91 George Street, Launceston 3-5 pm. Free event. Win vouchers with book purchase.
Storytelling #4 was held on Friday 12 August 2022 at the Tasmanian Storytelling Festival at Inveresk Tramsheds, Launceston, Tasmania. This is where people who like to spin tales gather! A free event, it was also for those who wish to pick up tips on writing and stage delivery of oral storytelling. Mallika read from her short stories “The Liquid Goalie” and “Ode to Joy”. She conducted a workshop on Saturday 13 August 2 pm on what makes a good ending.
What the audience said: “The story of the goalie was so gentle yet powerful. I loved it.”
During the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in Tasmania, Mallika shared her writing experience along with other short story writers Ben Walter and Adam Thompson, hosted by Lyndon Riggall, at “The Power of the Short Story” session on 15 October 2022 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.
Storytelling #5. Avery McDougall was in conversation with Mallika Naguran at the Hobart library reading series on 28 October 2022 from 5.30-6.30 pm. Check out the Author Talk here. We talked about our stories surrounded by shelves of books, how cool is that? Great attendance and response to our lively conversation. Congratulations to Avery whose book Invisibly Grace had been longlisted for the Tasmanian Literary Award.
Storytelling #6. Intimate session at Rani’s place (of Rupini’s beauty parlour fame) in Singapore on 17 February 2023 where I read from my ‘chicken curry’ story that brought tears and laughter to the small group of avid readers who turned up. Well, the full title of that story is “How to cook an authentic South Indian chicken curry (but not on April Fool’s Day)”. Thanks lots Rani for hosting and the yummy snacks prepared.
Storytelling #7. Ash Cottage in Ouse hosted my very first reading series on 14 July 2023 in the grand central highlands of Tasmania. Ouse is a quaint village 15km north of Hamilton and around an hour and 20 mins drive from Hobart. It is where I live! At this reading, locals of the central highlands came together to listen to my reading and storytelling of “Katarzyna’s Secret”, about a Polish centenarian reliving her shame during World War ll. A must read!
I really loved this session as the people started sharing about their own family histories that have encounters with war, from the firest world war to the Vietnam War.
Rather moving and special to me. Because the Pub to Park Storytelling is not just about my stories but of others too.
Thanks to Ash Cottage for hosting this Pub to Park Storytelling along with morning coffee and sandwiches thereafter.
And Tracey, the organiser, had this to say: “This year I had the pleasure of organising a Pub to Park Storytelling event with Mallika Naguran. Mallika had recently moved to the area and offered her storytelling session at our local community house.
She had given me a copy of her book ‘She Never Looks Quite Back’ and I loved the short stories she has written. A couple of them really evoked some past memories for me from travels gone by in my youth. Not only were the stories thought provoking and well written, but Mallika’s’ ability to capture the groups attention when reading one of her stories was great. This created a lot of robust discussion and great feedback from the local group.
I’m looking forward to the next Pub to Park session from Mallika. Thanks for the opportunity to share your talent with our community.” – Tracey Turale, Health Promotion Coordinator, Tasmanian Health Service
Storytelling #8. After the Ouse reading, residents have asked for more.
Next up, I teamed up with Tim Hurburgh, a great architect and poet, to read from our books of stories and poetry on 29 September 2023. I read “Elvis on my iPad”, as it concerns the Tasmanian landscape and the famous giant crayfish, which is captured as part of my story. Tim read from a book he has just published “Tall Poplars: Tales of Tasmania’s fabled Derwent Valley”– a collection of short stories.
Storytelling #9. Featuring Kim Nielsen-Creeley, Marilyn Arnold, Tim Hurburgh and Mallika Naguran.
Come listen to stories and poems on “Highland Life and Love” over wine, cheese and crackers.
About the presenters:
Kim Nielsen-Creeley is a Launceston-based writer/poet. She has released a chap book titled Roughly, and is ready to submit a full length poetry book. Kim is active in the local poetry scene as presenter and emcee. She has been interviewed and read on local and ABC radio. She has assisted to create poetry events in the local poetry scene and also blogs on-line.
Marilyn Arnold, also from Launceston, has her poetry books out: “Capture” with Carol Easton and “Lies, Lovers and Other Constructions”. The award-winning poet is the inaugural president of the Tasmanian Branch of the Society of Women Writers and committee member of the Tasmanian Poery Festival. She runs regular poetry open mic and workshop sessions. Marilyn has written about nature in the central highlands, having lived in Hamilton in her previous life!
Tim Hurburgh is an architect, writer and poet who grew up on the Derwent River north of Hobart. The Ouse resident has released his first book of poetry – Disruptions Tasmania in Poetry. The second book “Tall Poplars: Tales of Tasmania’s fabled Derwent Valley” is a collection of short stories. When not penning poems or weaving tales, Tim sends ping pong balls whizzing past hot ears in the disused Ouse district school on the hill.
Mallika Naguran is a short story and children’s stories writer who will soon be published as a novelist. Her debut story collection “She Never Looks Quite Back” had been shortlisted for a book award. She is the founder of Pub to Park Storytelling, which features published authors, poets and new voices live across Tasmania. The city-turned-country girl is now always woken up too early by eager roosters in Ouse.
This is taking place at the historic Bothwell Hotel of the Highlands (now trendily known as BoHo). So join us!
Storytelling #10. At the wondrous surrounds of Steppes Hall, Miena in the central highlands of Tasmania.
Theme: Memories & Reveries
Friday 16 February, 11 am to 3pm
Randal Morrison hopes to take us back in time by reading from South of the Southern Land: Colonial Van Diemen’s Land, A Portrayal in Verse and Prose.
Tim Hurburgh, author of Disruptions: Tasmania in Poetry and Tall Poplars: Tales of Tasmania’s fabled Derwent Valley, will share poems about memory and amusing travel stories.
Mallika Naguran, founder of Pub to Park Storytelling series, will re-enact dramatic scenes from She Never Looks Quite Back, her short fiction collection.
You can read your poem or prose too at this friendly gathering. Join us!
Free! Easy walk at 11am, followed by light lunch at noon. Storytelling at 1230. All are welcome.
RSVP Mallika at firstname.lastname@example.org or M: 0459 352 532
Steppes Hall, 5813 Highland Lakes Rd, Steppes TAS 7030. The Steppes are about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Hobart and a little quicker from Launceston.
Tasmania Health Service, Health Action Group & Ash Cottage
Further storytelling dates to be confirmed, and please check back this page for updates (as dates might change), or connect with the author on her social media pages.
“Pub to Park Storytelling” series is open to the public; however, RSVP is required, and participants are encouraged to buy a drink at the bar. She Never Looks Quite Back was published by Penguin Random House SEA on 14 December 2021. It is available at online platforms such as Booktopia, Amazon and bookstores (if the book isn’t there, ask the bookstore to get copies). The author will be signing copies during the reading sessions.
During the nature walks, the author will share her thoughts about ecosystems, climate change, and the environment as participants accompany her and a nature expert on a leisurely stroll. Do bring your own water, snack, coat, hat and anything that keeps you comfortable.
RSVP, inquiries… connect here!