Bacilli and beer
If my voice has returned, and if I've become non-infectious, then I shall be returning to the world of healthy humans tomorrow, by attending the launch of Jen Crawford's new chapbook Napoleon Swings at Fordes Bar from three o'clock onwards. Most writers treat their book launches as opportunities for monologuing: there's the obligatory thankyou speech, which can often morph into an elaborate exercise in autobiography, and then the equally obligatory reading of excerpts from the book. Jen, though, has turned tradition on its head by inviting some of her many friends to read their own work at her launch. It's a characteristically generous gesture from a person who has distinguished herself as a creative writing teacher and a critic of her peers' work. Napoleon Swings is being coaxed through the printers by Michael Steven's Soapbox Press, which seems to be going from strength to strength.
If the bacilli have been vanquished, then I'll be reading tomorrow at Fordes (that's 122 Anzac Avenue, in the city), along with Jack Ross, Sarah Broom, Tony Green, Olivia Macassey, Therese Lloyd, and Lee Posna. After the success of the recent Titus Books event, Fordes is developing into a real redoubt of culture. The beer is remarkably cheap by inner-city standards, too, though I'll probably be mixing my Waikato Draught with Lem Sip.