On the 14th April, Victoria University Press launched their latest collection of poetry Memorandum of Understanding by Bill Nelson.
Nestled into the corners of Southern Cross, in one of the lounge rooms, kitted out with decor reminiscent of the 70s or maybe the 80s, the atmosphere was warm and relaxed, full of nice lounge vibes with the welcome addition of wine.
Kate Camp launched the collection, and spoke with incredible fondness of Bill and his poetry, showing infinite warm support. Kate was especially taken by the poem ‘One-Day Cricket’ from the series of poems ‘How to do just about Anything’
“Like origami, oyster soup
and obscene phone calls
this is something your grandfather
was never into.”
Bill shared thanks with the crowd, and made special thanks to those who had been involved and helped along the way, and then read a few poems. Pockets of audience laughter and chuckling flowed throughout the speeches. It was followed by classic book signing process. During the signing, in the most excellent way, Bill spilt his wine, and thankfully it fell away from the numerous copies of his freshly launched books.
The cover of the collection has striking bars of yellow that appear as if they are falling. Fergus Barrowman of VUP told the crowd the inspiration for the collection’s cover had come from Blue Note Record’s jazz album covers, which had the same abstract imagery of scales and notes. And he talked about the significance of the yellow.
The poems, as the back cover rightfully claims, are “Funny, strange and arresting, these poems test our understanding of understanding.”
From a poem that describes entering John Coltrane’s skin, to a turtle falling into the sea, there are moments of true human nature and human understanding.
Victoria University Press