Book launch: “This is Home” (NLA Publishing)

April 14th, 2019 | 'Banjo' Paterson, C. J. Dennis, Henry Lawson, Photos, Poems for children, Stories for children

The National Library (NLA Publishing) has recently released an anthology of poems for Australian children entitled “This is Home – Essential Australian Poems for Children.” I am very happy to report that two of my poems – ‘Dad Meets the Martians’ and ‘The Sash’ – are included in the collection, which is lavishly illustrated by Tania McCartney. The poems were selected by Jackie French, perhaps best known as the author of the classic children’s picture book ‘Diary of a Wombat.’

The book was launched at the National Library in Canberra last Sunday (7th April), and I received an invitation to attend and read one of my poems from the book. As I happened to be in the area with my friend Maggie Somerville, I decided to attend. My son, Thomas, and his girlfriend, Catherine, are also living in Canberra these days, so the four of us made our way to the library in the early afternoon.

It was a beautiful sunny day. I can’t remember if I have ever been to the National Library before or not, but I have to say the entrance looks quite magnificent.

Susan Hall, the publisher, welcomed the guests and introduced the afternoon’s proceedings…

Margaret Hamilton officially launched the book, but I do not have a photo of her speaking. The best I can offer is the following photo with, from left to right (in the comfy chairs) Margaret, Jackie French and Tania McCartney.

She was followed by Jackie French, who selected the poems…

and Tania McCartney, who provided the illustrations.

Both spoke with great passion about the book, and their contribution to it.

Next came the poets, a number of whom were in attendance, to read their poems.

Leo Barnard read ‘A Palace of a God’…

Jackie Hosking ‘A Dessert Sky’…

Christopher Cheng read ‘We Celebrate’…

Janeen Brian read ‘Looking’…

Libby Hathorn was the next to read, but I think I was distracted by my own imminent performance, and cannot be sure which of her three poems she read. I think it may have been ‘Cindric’s Trolley’, though.

Geoffrey Page also read ‘Silver Wind’, but unfortunately I do not have a picture of him, either.

Lastly, I performed my poem ‘Dad Meets the Martians.’ I am pleased to say it was well received.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Thomas and Catherine…

(thanks to Maggie Somerville for the photo) and skedaddle back to Melbourne in time for work at 9 am on Monday morning!

It had been a great day.

https://bookshop.nla.gov.au/book/this-is-home-essential-australian-poems-for-children.do

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