AWAW 2017 Spotlight—Claire Baker

17th October 2017

We at Melbourne Books want to support local writers as much as we canthat's what AWAW is all about, after all. So we thought we would share some extracts from the 10th anniversary edition of the series.

If you like this, make sure to buy a copy of the book and read all the other incredible, award winning pieces.


Dinner With Family

by Claire Baker

Jugiong Writers’ Festival—Adult Open Section March 2017 


She wields the scalpel in a relaxed but still commanding manner 

and draws it down the taut skin of remembrance 

fleshing out those tiny nuggets of ill-feeling 

past/present swirling in an oil/vinegar infusion 

flavouring each mouthful of conversation 

with age-old hurts 

memories of long-dead parents 

lassoed into archives and boxed into submission 

one-upmanship on who knows what about when and how 

memories in flux 

as neural strands flex to breaking point 


spaghetti twirled around forks and dipped into sauce 

the synchronised opening of mouths accepting nourishment 

ears flapping teeth chattering eyes flashing hearts pounding  

wineglasses raised in a toast to us all 

ancestor-worship [or is it ancestor worthless?] 

fact    fiction    something in-between 

last night’s dinner party dissected