Seddon resident and literature lover Bruno Lettieri, known for conversations with some of Australia’s most treasured writers, tells Benjamin Millar he feels poetry and magic at home. 

 

What is your connection with Seddon?

I have been living in Seddon for about nine years now; it’s been great. I can remember moving in and a neighbour came from across the road to welcome us, then someone else came to do the same, and we just thought this was a great place to be. There is a lovely poetic feel here. Writer Ailsa Piper, who lives in St Kilda, came over for a talk and she said this is a gem of a place; she felt there was something very different to it, a lack of pretension.

 

How has living in this area influenced you?

For me, ideas come from a space. I get an immediate sense from a place. I will be down on the river and imagine we could do this or do that, have a conversation here or get a double bus, and have poetry and a picnic there.

 

What can you tell us about your new conversation series Bruno Goes Everywhere?

It will feature writers and thinkers in conversation at the Bluestone Church Arts Space in Footscray. We had about 65 Rotunda in the West conversations; they had a marvellous following and seemed to matter to people. People were saying I should bring these conversations back.

 

What are your hopes for the series?

If I can do five or six between now and late November, I think that would be great. We have got Helen Garner lined up; she’s got a new book coming out. We will have John Clarke and we are hoping to have Michael Leunig as well. I try to have a really convivial feel; we don’t try and rush it along and rush people out. Helen Garner told me I create multiple platforms in conversation and it was lovely to hear that. Like any good conversation you have, it follows its own meanderings.

 

Where do you like to go to read or think?

I go down to Point Gellibrand a lot. I take my notebook down there and I just look at the sea. Invariably, if I ever get stuck, I go down there or I go down to the Maribyrnong River. Sitting on a sea-rock looking out to sea, it’s magical.

 

What are some of your favourite memories of the area?

We have had nights where we have taken poets down to Gem Pier or Point Gellibrand and they would read poetry in the twilight to people – it was just magical. You don’t need to go to Venice when you have the Maribyrnong River right here.

 

2015 Miles Franklin award winner and Altona resident Sofie Laguna will be the first writer in Bruno Lettieri’s new conversation series. From 6.30pm (7pm start), Thursday, April 28 at the Bluestone Church Arts Space, 10A Hyde Street Footscray. Tickets $15-20, RSVP essential: 0422 298 643 or brunolettieri@hotmail.com