The people of Eastbourne packed out Rona Gallery on 5 December to launch our first Mākaro book – Eastbourne : an anthology. The collection of poetry, fiction and creative memoir writing by 96 different authors was a hit with over 200 copies pre-sold or sold on the night – some people buying as many as ten at once – and people promising to come back for more. The first print run of 600 went on to sell out within a week and another print run is heading off to the shops today.
Eastbourne was launched by former Eastbourne mayor Elaine Jakobsson (writes as poet Helen Jacobs) who commented on the breadth of the writing and how beautiful the 300-page book is to have and to hold. Printed on high quality munken paper by Wakefields Digital in Wellington, the book has a stunning cover image by local artist Stacey O’Neill, and includes line drawings by local artists.
A dozen writers read from their work on the night including Elaine Jakobsson with her poem Eastbourne, former York Bay resident Lloyd Jones and his son Avi Duckor-Jones, as well as Lorae Parry, John Horrocks, Marilyn Duckworth and Melissa Day Reid. They were joined by new writers Stephen Press, Donna McLeod and seven-year-olds Lauren Excell and Tatum Collins. Former adman and poet Len du Chateau’s poem Labour Day, 1925 was read by his daughter Robyn du Chateau. The readers reflected the range of work in the book.