Saturday, August 13, 2016

National Bookshop Day

Saturday 13th August was National Bookshop Day and I was glad to visit Harry Hartog's amazing bookshop at Bondi Junction, there to spend a happy half hour. But I also want to acknowledge  and send greetings to all those wonderful bookshops, especially those who specialize in children's books who help to keep Australian children's literature alive. Here's what I found!
amid a maze of shelves and a plethora of books.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beautiful Beecroft Children's Bookshop and a Host of Beautiful Librarians

I made it to Paul MacDonald's amazing bookshop at Beecroft for a talk to about 30 enthusiastic librarians about my latest picturebooks, A Soldier and Incredibilia and other things besides
(there were extenuating circumstances). Like so many other writers and illustrators I am so grateful for Paul's support and that of teachers and librarians who go such a long way to promote Australian kids' lit to the extent of giving up part of their holiday to hear about books and the story behind the books! It was a lovely morning.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vale Gillian Mears

Gillian leaves a rich legacy of Australian literature for generations to come and it makes me sad to think such a modest and talented person has gone at 51 years of age.

Australia Council India Tour with Gillian Mears & David Malouf
Some Personal Reflections. The Mint Lawn was my astonishing introduction to Gillian's writing and I invited her to contribute immediately to a YA collection of short stories The Blue Dress (Heinemann 1991) I was compiling, to which she contributed her memorable story My Mother was Married on Morning Glory Blue.

A few years later I was privileged to be part of an Australia Council tour to India with both David Malouf and Gillian that took us whirling though several cities and for the three writers concerned to many universities and bookshops to talk to our books which were published by Penguin India.

It was memorable to spend three weeks with such writers and I remember particularly Gillian luring me away one night from a reception as she was so keen to see an Indian circus and there just happened to be nearby. She continued to delight with such books as the The Grass Sisters and more recently the powerful Foal's Bread in 2011, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. We kept up a disparate correspondence but I am only sorry I could not attend her 50th birthday last year.

Vale Gillian.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Launch of INCREDIBILIA, Sydney University

Last week, we were privileged to hear two passionate speakers in Professor Robyn Ewing who launched Incredibilia (Little Hare, 2016), Faculty of Education building, and the ingenious artist Gaye Chapman who illustrated my text.  Both talked to the importance of nurturing imagination
 being creative- and what I loved - there was an invitation to adults as well as children to do so. The audience of some 50 people  included my three grandkids who inspired the text, my publisher Margrete Lamond and her staff in designer and production who brought the text to fruition and devotees of children's literature, as well as the ever reliable Paul Macdonald (The Children's Bookshop)and plenty of books!  A happy night but where was Susanne Gervay as not one photograph was taken!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Video Conference and a Dog Show welcome my latest Picturebook, A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy.

The illustrator Phil Lesnie has created wonderful artwork for A Soldier a Dog and a Boy (Hachette) which was shown off to great advantage during the Newcastle Writers' Festival in April with the Dog Show/launch  held on the stairs of Newcastle Regional Library, the road closed off for stalls and bookmobile and a crowd gathered. Even the dogs listened as I did a reading from a giant book! In June that book will travel  to Ribbonwood Library in the Illawarra area for another launch and then later a talk at the local CBCA dinner.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Australian Poets Presented by Libby Hathorn...with The State Library of NSW

State Library Treasures

It's been a privilege to work with Pauline Fitzgerald sifting through some amazing poetry archives in the State Library of NSW, that revealed such manuscript discoveries as the actual hand written poems such as "My Country"; reams of photographs, paintings, sketches, letters, cards and telegrams of many poets; as well as such gruesome finds as the death mask of Henry Lawson.

This was in preparation of creating short videos highlighting the lives beginning with such memorable poets as Dorothea Mackellar, CJ Dennis and Henry Lawson.

I will be presenting these poets and items from the inspiring collection, as well as reading some of their muscular and resonating poetry to camera. These will be available during 2016.

Henry Lawson - Death Mask
Dorothea's Original Manuscript for My Country (Core of My Heart)

Viva Australian Poetry and Poets!

It has been a pleasure to celebrate Australian poets as well as discussing my latest novel "Eventual Poppy Day" on community radio - Eastside 89.7.

In discussion with Margaux Dombkins on her arts program, poets old and new such as Judith Wright, Dame Mary Gilmore, Banjo Paterson, Dorothea Mackellar were featured.

I look forward to further such discussions in 2016, honouring poets both past and present.
Judith Wright
Banjo Paterson