Against Certain Capture: my review at Rochford Street Journal
With some very good advice from BookBub Partners, I called for reviews of my novel The Last Asbestos Town. Lucky for me, a poet who I’ve known since university days, Miriam Wei Wei Lo, brilliantly suggested that we swap reviews of our books; hers being poetry. I think I drew the shortest straw and was able to read her collection in a matter of days. Miriam had the task of reading a novel. No matter, we each enjoyed the works and of course wrote those very important reviews.
Rochford Street Review had previously published the launch speeches of my novel by Richard Regan and Leanne Searle a while back and so I made that earlier connection with Mark Roberts, the Editor. He often publishes launch speeches of poetry collections and to my surprise wanted to feature The Last Asbestos Town.
I have often wondered where this connection came from. Did I meet Mark Roberts while being at Varuna in 2008? His review journal is based in the Blue Mountains where I spent a week after winning a Macquarie/Longlines Poetry Award. Does he recognise me from this time? Or is he an egalitarian when it comes to Australian literature? I rather believe the latter, pinioning Mark as a rare breed who sets himself apart from the populist, Eastern States centric journalism that favours E.S. publications and writers. Any West Australian writer will tell you how hard it is to crack into the market of most Australian journals. Those prime ones being the Australian Book Review, the Sydney Review of Books, and journals such as Meanjin, Southerly, Quadrant, and Overland.
So, I deeply value Mark Roberts and the Rochford Street Journal. His support is invaluable, revealing WA writers such as myself, Miriam Wei Wei Lo, her collection Against Certain Capture and my novel. I am also chuffed that he has published my review of Lo’s collection, verbatim, as well as giving me the opportunity to include my bio, that showcases my current work.