Last Friday night saw a big party across the Rangitoto Channel, as Waiheke Island poet laurete Mike Johnson combined his sixtieth birthday party with the launch of The Vertical Harp, a volume of translations from the work of the eighth century Chinese poet Li He. Johnson was introduced to the 'Chinese Baudelaire' by Gu Cheng, a poet who lived out the last years of his own tragic life on Waiheke Island.
Those hippy traditions die hard. Unfortunately, grossly excessive comsumption of Miami wine cooler prevented Jack Ross from delivering the speech he had rehearsed on his blog under the deathless title 'I like Mike'. On the last boat home a band of crack Titus Books writers stormed the top deck, which had been labelled off-limits by kill-joy Fullers ferry officials worried about an incoming gale. Here are a couple of cellphone shots from the deck: