Some writers feel like they’re hanging from a thread when they’re seeking inspiration. Melbourne-based writer Susan Hawthorne (pictured) is no different, except she doesn’t require the metaphor.

Sometimes I’m interested only in writing poetry, sometimes only in aerial work. In the last couple of years I’ve become interested in that crossover, explains Hawthorne, who is starring in her own circus/spoken word performance Gravity Defied for the cultural festival. Gravity Defied began as a poem that struck Hawthorne while relaxing on the trapeze.

On the surface it’s about travel -¦ but it’s also about the challenges travel brings you on quite a deep emotional level.

Hawthorne is an over-achiever: publisher, novelist and co-editor of September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives. She’s also a founding member of Performing Older Women’s Circus and has written their latest show The Maiden Aunt’s Story, also showing at the festival.

The show’s subject is important to a lot of lesbians, because their maiden aunts have been important models for them, and now women my age are those maiden aunts! laughs Hawthorne. Peripatetic, poetic and athletic: as lesbian aunts go, Hawthorne sounds like every baby dyke’s dream.
Gravity Defied: 4-5 November, 6:30pm at the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown. The Maiden Aunt’s Story: Paddington Town Hall, Oxford Street, 6-7 November, 4pm and 8:30pm. Phone 9266 4020 or visit for bookings.

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