The Frugal Feast – Meet Rosanna Stevens, writer and performer

18 November 2014

The Frugal Feast - Rosanna StevensThis month, we’re raising funds for our Lanyon Food Hub through The Frugal Feast – a recipe book, and a week of fundraising activities that will engage the community and provide new and exciting ways for you to get involved and make a difference this festive season.

Our week of activities is running from 17 – 21 November, and on Friday 21 November at 7pm, we’re bringing you Poetry at Tree Eighty3, a cosy evening of poetry readings and performances from some of Canberra’s leading spoken word artists. Rosanna Stevens is a local writer and perfomer. Her essays have been published by The Lifted Brow, The Griffith REVIEW, The Big Issue and Going Down Swinging and her stories have been live-read nationally.

Rosanna will be reading on Friday night – check out our chat with her and RSVP for the event using the form below!

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer – what do you write, and why do you write?

I write lots of nonfiction at the moment – it’s usually stuff that comes from my life, but takes me on all of these incredible tangents where I get to spend time learning about others’ lives. I love these opportunities to research and produce work that speaks to people – makes us feel less alone, and more part of one another’s experiences.

What do you love about performing your work?

I love being able to say the kind of sentences I couldn’t possibly write because they just work better when they’re said. It’s something TV, theatre, radio and films do incredibly well, and performing live crosses between communicating my message as a writer, and expressing it for an audience in that room, at that time. It also means you have to tell a really, really great story – there’s no room for dawdling.

It’s so great that you’re supporting the Frugal Feast – why do you think supporting the community through events like this is important?

Welp, without community who are you? What are you? What do you stand for or believe in? I grew up in a strong community in the Blue Mountains, where emotional, creative, social and environmental support were seen as some of the most intense and rewarding experiences you could have. I’m a great believer in giving when you have to give. I have words to give, I have a voice to give, and right now, at Frugal Feast, they can grow community by giving to it.

What your favourite cheap, delicious meal?

One hundred and ten per cent this incredible Italian soup my partner’s father passed down from his mother. It’s called Pasta Fajole (pronounced ‘fassoulie’), and all you need is a tin of tomatoes, salt, a carrot, a can of berlotti beans (or any beans, can we be picky?), water, and some pasta! Potato, lentils and mushrooms are all optional, but the whole dish shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars. The thing about Italian family members, though, is that they’ll tell you a version of their dish, but not the secret bit, but you don’t know that until you’ve made it and you’re wondering why yours doesn’t taste quite like theirs. My partner has her own version of the soup now. Perhaps that’s part of the tradition…

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