Launched in Christchurch on Saturday, due to Elaine Jakobsson (pen name: Helen Jacobs) having recently had surgery on her spine, so wasn’t able to travel away from Christchurch.
The Christchurch launch was in the new post-earthquake Scorpio Books, which looked lovely, and was a great venue for the Christchurch launch.
Sunday saw the Wellington Poetry reading, at Fringe Bar in the afternoon. Fringe host an open mic on the third Sunday of every month, and the launch followed this so the audience was primed / warmed up / hungry for words.
Despite being den like, Fringe built an atmosphere of dark warmth. The poets were center stage, under spot lights, enhancing their performances.
The Wellington launch started with the sorrowful tunes sung by Ruth Mundy, the tone and acoustic music fitted the vibe, sharing songs about friends and family and her friends dog.
Then Mary McCallum, the Makaro Press publisher, welcomed everyone, introduced the latest series, and passed along Elaine Jakobsson’s apologies. Each Hoopla Series is comprised of three poets, one that is a late career poet, a mid career poet, and a debut poet. And each collection works through an overarching theme.
Harvey Malloy was the first poet to read. He was animated, to say the least. He talked about teaching at Porirua, claiming he couldn’t teach drama. Despite this his reading was undoubtedly a dramatic recitation of his poems. Luke thought he was a “funny man” and delighted in his poems and performance. Worlds was Harvey’s theme, the many worlds that there are.
Mary then introduced Ish Doney, the debut poet, who was warmly received and wowed the audience. Old and new fans alike were excited by her work. Poetry collection looks at tea and fish and the sea. Her poems are about leaving.
Mary read on behalf of Elaine Jakobsson, whose poems worked on the theme of age. Having recently moved into a home at the age of 87 she claims she stopped writing poetry, but the crowd, and Mary, hoped to see more.
Harvey and Ish were available to sign the books, a few chats were had, a few books were sold, and there was an excellent positive post-poetry feeling in the room. An excellent Sunday afternoon.