A book launch story with pictures

Last Sunday saw the launch of Josephine Rowe’s newest book, How a Moth Becomes a Boat, in Newstead, at the delightful Dig Cafe. Yours truly was among the performers, and I managed to take some blurry photos of the fine folk strutting their literary stuff on the day.

Newstead - Neal

Neal Boyack – MC, organiser of the event and brains trust behind the Newstead Short Story Tattoo, who gave the event its imprimatur – took stage first, extoling the virtues of his new $60 amplifier, picked up recently at the Newstead market, before welcoming everyone and favouring us with a story of his own about surfing and withered hands.

Newstead - Sue

Next up was Sue King-Smith, who shared three poems with us about bushfires and New York City, among other things, and who deftly dropped an oblique Star Wars reference that would have made Joss Whedon proud.


And then came Dave Thrussell with his children’s (?) story about the black chewing-gum of hate (moral: there’s enough for everyone) and his cautionary tale about the day everyone told the truth.

Newstead- Dubby

The audience was next favoured with the bluesy stylings of SATED. I didn’t get a photo of the guys, but here’s one of the cafe interior and the sun-bleached face of a young man who was sitting at our table, enthralled by the music.

Newstead - Ellie

First up after the break was Eleanor Marney, whose story about managing to have sex with your actual partner in a house full of five of your own children was a beacon of hope to sleep-deprived and sex-starved young parents everywhere.


I read next, and as usual was too shy to ask anyone to take my photo as I read, so here instead is a photo of a glass of water, an apple and a beer. I read a story about a jungle woman mourning the death of her jungle lover, and two poems from The Third Fruit is a Bird – the title poem and, inspired by the title of Josephine’s book, “Mothwing Kiss”. I was pretty happy with the way it went – Neil’s new speakers had a really satisfying amount of bass in them.


And finally we got to hear from Josephine herself, bringing to life a handful of the gorgeous storypoems from her beautiful book. Her words are impressive on the page, sure, but the way she speaks them really makes them sing.

If you weren’t there and you didn’t score yourself a copy of How a Moth Becomes a Boat there’s still hope – you should be able to pick it up at your local independent bookstore. If not, you can always contact Josephine directly through her website, Cherry Fox Mantle.


Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in gigs, i would like to recommend these people's writing
3 comments on “A book launch story with pictures
  1. Stu says:

    I look forward to reading Josephine’s new book. I’ve seen her perform her work a few times, most recently at the Emerging Writers Festival launch – where she was simply stunning. I heard her featured on one of the Poetica ‘Pod of Poets’ podcasts too. Great stuff.

  2. ellie says:

    hey adam! a thorough and thoroughly charming recap of the day! wot fun – josie’s book is fantastic, i finally got to hear you read, and i had a ball. worth it all round, despite the nerves and not sparing my own blushes (my own fault). hope to catch up with you next time around!

  3. Adam Ford says:

    Hey ellie – great to finally hear you read too. didn’t get the pleasure at the last newstead gig because of dad duties in the courtyard, but it was worth the wait. yes, it’d be good to linger after a performance and catch up.

    stu – thanks for the reminder about the PofP Poetica thingo – i’ve downloaded a bunch and am putting them on the iPod for the commute next week.

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Quelle Grammage!
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