After obtaining the anthology Lines In The Sand, I realised just how many contributors I left out yesterday. Mea culpa, I should have waited.
Last evening, Grant Stone - Murdoch University librarian, radio show presenter, sometime ABC guest/expert, founder of the Laughter Club, and other activities - launched this well-orchestrated collection of prose and poems by Western Australians. Yes, generations are represented, but the major impact of the collection to me was the maturing of many 'new writers' of yesterday into confident voices with things to say - personal, universal, about history, society and literature itself.
I am moved to see Lesley Dougan writing about her sister Dorothy Hewett, and to read Brian Dibble's piece on Elizabeth Jolley. Well-known names like John Kinsella (who also wrote the foreward)is there alongside Megan McKinlay and Debbie Hills. Hal Colebatch and Shane Macauley are in the mix with BJ Thomason and Nandi Chinna... I just can't name them all, but the general feeling at the Centre for the Book at the State Library last evening was of an extended family, and that feeling is truly in this book as you read it. These people are expressing their lives from the many corners of this community.
People who help this literary community in other ways as well are here as writers, their first love: Amanda Curtin, editor; Roland Leach, teacher and publisher; Frances Macaulay Forde, controller of the Poet's Corner and photographer of poets in public; Trisha Kotai-Ewers, centreplate of the FAWWA; Dennis Haskell, editor and UWA professor - these people put in the hours to help other writers achieve and publish.
Some say, Writing is a lonely business, and it often is, but last evening and in Lines In The Sand anthology, writing has brought an extended family together.