Launch of Engraft by Martin Langford

12654248_10153963895347437_5224428608965360806_nWell it’s done!  Engraft has officially been launched, and I couldn’t be happier. The room was full, the crowd were kind, and some books were sold. Phew!

Distinguished poet and critic Martin Langford was generous enough to launch the book, and Rochford Street Review were good enough to publish the speech he gave.

Martin said:

“Writing has a complex relationship with Buddhism. It is so weighted with the dirt and doubt and slew of ordinary living that it can never hope to walk in that territory where one is free of such encumbrances – the territory, that is, that Buddhism aims for. For this reason, some schools of Buddhism dismiss the arts altogether. What the two do share, however, is a common engagement with understandings. They may come at them from slightly different routes, and neither of them may quite have understanding as their ultimate aim – there is a point in Buddhism where one hopes to move beyond one’s understandings, whereas in literature, the aim is usually to take those understandings and work them into some sort of overall aesthetic experience – but both revolve, in important though different ways, around that fragile, verbal confrontation.

I was thinking of these similarities and differences reading Michele Seminara’s new book, Engraft. Many of the poems are attempts to shape the forces at play in experience in a credible and accurate way: in short, to understand them…”

You can read the rest of Martin’s thoughtful launch speech here. Many thanks to him, to fellow poet Les Wicks (whose 13th book Getting By Not Fitting In was also launched on the day), to my publishers Island Press and to all who attended or sent good wishes. I feel very fortunate to have actually published a book, let alone to have anyone read it!




14 thoughts on “Launch of Engraft by Martin Langford

    • Thank you, Sarah. Actually, I was rather terrified in these moments, so I think I might store up the ones that happened afterwards, over celebratory wine and dinner. And crawling back into my jammies having not made a complete fool of myself — that’s always the best moment of the day! 🙂

  1. It’s great to see these photos, Michele (you have such a fabulous smile!). Looks like such a friendly and supportive bunch, and you look pretty pleased about it all, as well. Ah, distance, shame I couldn’t be there, but at least these tricky digital devices give me some access. And now to the poems…. xx

    • Hi Robyn. I do have a rather toothy grin, don’t I? Sometimes I wish I could tone it down, sometimes I even think I have, but then I look at the photos and there it is! Ah well, it was a great afternoon, with lots of love and support in the room. Distance isn’t a problem — I can feel your good wishes from here! Thank you!

  2. Great news!!! Congratulations, I’ve just ordered and look forward to your book winging it’s way to Ireland! Faithful promise, when I have had chance to absorb your work I will read some pieces at the various poetry groups etc I visit across Ireland. Absolutely delighted for you, “go n-éirí an bóthar leat!” (may the road rise with you/gu nire-ee on bowhar lat)

    • Hi Kevin, Oh wow, thank you, I’m so thrilled! I shall send it off today – how wonderful to have a book finding a home in lovely Ireland. Thank you for offering to read some of it at your poetry groups – that means a lot. And thank you for the gorgeous Irish blessing – I love the meaning (and the lilting sound) of it. I’m trying to pronounce it right now in my rather twangy Aussie accent!

  3. Divine Michele, The Launch was of course fabulous, the audience captivated and the slight hiccup with the ping pong artists was (in my opinion) so in tune with Martin’s speech and Engraft – all perfect and on all occasions you were graceful! Congratulations on your first! xx

    • Thank you, Tanyeno. It all still seems rather amazing and surprising to me too! No, the book isn’t on Amazon, but if you would like one I’ve got a link here on my blog where you can buy one via Paypal and I’ll post it out to you. How is your script writing going?

  4. Hi Penelope. No, I didn’t make it down to Wagga (three kids will do that to you!) but I am going down to Melbourne on the 19th to do a launch at the Dan O’Connell. Should be fun! And thanks for your kind words about Engraft. I’m thrilled you like it.

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