Friday, April 25, 2008


On Thursday, 1st May, 08, at the Bookshop, Giramondo Books, distributed by Tower Books in Australia, in conjunction with Collected Works, presents the launching of Michael Farrell's new collection, A RAIDER'S GUIDE. Justin Clemens will do the honours. Time : 6 for 6.30; Venue : Collected Works Bookshop, Level 1, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne [adjacent to the Victorian Writers Centre & Retro Star Clothing]. Enquiries & rsvp, Kris Hemensley, 03 9654 8873.
We've hosted a spate of book launchings over the past few months, including THE BEST AUSTRALIAN POEMS 2007 (published by Black Inc) in November, with Peter Rose, this year's editor, m/c-ing the proceedings; Paul Kane's A SLANT OF LIGHT (published by Anthony Lynch's Whitmore Press, Geelong), launched by Chris Wallace-Crabbe, in January; Ouyang Yu's collection of prose, ON THE SMELL OF AN OILY RAG : Speaking English, thinking Chinese and living Australian (published by Wakefield Press, Adelaide), launched by Rodney Hall, in February; CROAK & GRIST (published by Paroxysm Press, Adelaide), featuring the short stories of Shane Jesse Christmass & Hop Dac, presented by Daniel Watson, kicking off March, followed a fortnight later by another Whitmore Press event, the double launching by Philip Salom of THE PALLBEARER'S GARDEN by A. Frances Johnson & A TIGHT CIRCLE by Brendan Ryan; Stuart Armstrong's THE MYTH OF OPHIUCHUS (published by Rebus Press), launched by Garth Madsen, at the end of March; and in April, two books published by Salt (UK), John Mateer's ELSEWHERE, launched by yours truly, & Javant Biarujia's POINTCOUNTERPOINT : New and Selected Poems, launched by Dmetri Kakmi.
These launchings represented one of the busiest periods of the Bookshop's recent history. There's a business angle of course : as the bricks & mortar bookshop continues to be threatened by the internet, we need the occasion of the book launching to attract people through the beaded curtains. The event reminds old friends that we're still in existence and introduces new people to the Shop. Good turn-outs, good sales boost the Shop's morale as well as its coffers! We continue to pay our bills, order new titles, and so the show (nearing 25 years) goes on! The launchings are also our contribution to Melbourne's poetry culture. Collected Works is the poets' bookshop after all : our original sub-title was "Writers & Readers" (replaced many years ago by "Poetry & Ideas"). Different manifestations of the scene gather, accessible to the readers, the poetry lovers. Poetry is read & discussed, the wine flows, people mingle.
Our events are part of Melbourne poetry's public weave, sharing the stage with Readings bookstores, the Melbourne Poets Union events held next door at the Victorian Writers Centre, the Australian Poetry Centre's events at the Glenfern mansion in East St Kilda, the St Kilda Eco-centre readings, and the regular gigs at such venues as La Mama, Passionate Tongues, the Dan, Babble & many, many others.

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