Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ithaca Island Bay Leaves

This intricate, clever, warm , irreverent book of poems was launched last night in Wellington. Vana flew in from Crete for it.

As author and our shared MA tutor, Damien Wilkins, said upon launching: Vana wonderfully conflates the ordinary with the heroic and mythical [he said it better than that]. You find people called Nestor and Hector out and about in Beramphore or Greymouth, and the story - for it is a story - stretches back over the oceans and through the history of the Manasiadis family.

It's about the stuff of being Greek back then and now, over there and over here, and all at once... The gorgeous cover by Marian Maguire is about that too. Being part Greek, this collection has always excited me - back in 2005 when it was Vana's thesis for the MA, and now it's been polished up for publication.

It was a wonderful launch last night by Seraph Press in amongst Maguire's works in the Adam Gallery at Victoria University. Good independent bookstores will stock it I'm sure [they should].
Kali tihi, Vana!

Postscript:: Vana's publisher Helen Rickerby says if a bookshop doesn't have Ithaca Island Bay Leaves they can order it in, or email her direct for a copy:


Rachel Fenton said...

It sounds epic :) - I'll keep an eye out for it. The cover image is wonderful, too.

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks so much Mary, and thanks so much for coming. I'm a very proud publisher at the moment, and very much hoping this book will find the audience it deserves (which is a good and big one!). They'll be in the wonderful Unity Books in Wellington from today, and can be ordered through other bookshops, or direct from me (

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks Helen. It was great to catch up with you in person too rather than blog-side. I have put the info re. ordering the book into the blogpost, thank you. I also re-arranged it a little and corrected the misuse of Damien's lovely word 'conflation' ... these are the things that happen when you rush a post ...