Thank you to everyone who helped me launch my second collection into the world. Below I’ve included publisher Chloe Lane’s welcome speech. All photos by Matt Bialostocki.
I’m very sorry I can’t be with you tonight to help Sarah celebrate the launch of WORK. This one is a particularly difficult one to miss because Sarah is such a dear friend, and I’ve witnessed up close how much time, energy, and heart has gone into making this book.
Additionally tonight is also a big night for Hue & Cry Press. Because WORK, which is Sarah’s second book after her NZ Post Book Awards nomination for A Man Runs into a Woman, is our first “second book.” So for me the publication of WORK also feels like a coming of age of sorts for Hue & Cry Press.
I only have a few thank yous before Sarah, Hinemoana, and guests take over: Firstly, thank you to Sarah for the years of poems you’ve published with us in Hue & Cry Journal, and for trusting us with your first book and now your second. I’m constantly impressed by how much you’re willing to push the boundaries between poetry and fiction, and I’m always bowled over by the depth of feeling and humanness in your writing. I’m excited that this book exists and I have no doubt it’ll find many intrigued and captivated readers.
Secondly, thank you to Amy Brown whose generosity, enthusiasm, and edits helped to make WORK its best possible version of itself. I’m sure Sarah would agree with me here. And Hue & Cry Press simply wouldn’t be Hue & Cry Press without the friendship of designers Duncan Forbes and Elaina Hamilton. Once again, Duncan has given us a book of stunning and sensitive design. So, thank you Duncan.
Lastly, thank you to Vic Books for hosting, and for their support and enthusiasm for independent publishing, to Creative New Zealand for helping to fund this book, to Rachel for reading this for me, and to the extended Hue & Cry Press family for making long-distance publishing possible.
Again, I’m sorry I can’t be there, but I hope you all have fun and please make sure Sarah’s drink is constantly topped up. Oh, and buy the book!