The launch of Etchings 8: Dusk Till Dawn could have been straight out of a how-to manual. It had every element you’d expect:
- a sexed-up venue with indoor-outdoor schmoozing space
- bar snacks (very important)
- bar service (more important)
- eager interns (Eliza-Jane Henry Jones and Lana Rosenbaum) taking turns to act as MC
- the metaphoric breaking of the champagne by appropriate famous person (poet Anthony O’Sullivan)
- a taste of said launch product to activate salivation (A.S. Patric read from his story ‘The Wife’, Georgina Luck, from ‘Clutching the Butterfly Shawl’, Kate Murfett her award-winning poem ‘The Red Queen’, and twenty-year-old writing student from Deakin University, Allyse Near, from ‘Venus in the Twelfth House’)
- a plug-in by one or more field professionals (Professor Jennifer Radbourne, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University, celebrated the literary successes of Deakin’s past and present students)
- and most importantly, discounted launch product (I managed to score a copy of Etchings 8: Dusk Till Dawn and Etchings 7: Chameleons – which included drink cards – for not much more than the cost of an extra drink. Happy me).
Having said that, for an issue touted to be ‘dark and sinister’, which ‘delves into the obscure, goes undercover, seduces, spirals into obsession, journeys into other galaxies, and is haunted by the otherworldly and mysterious,’ I had been hopeful of a Tarantino tribute, or at the very least, volumes of vampiric verse.
Instead, with its fabulously floral-faced podium and 80s discothèque dance floor, I discovered a serious insufficiency of ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ décor. None of the guests even got into character or played dress-ups.
On the whole, a successful, if staid, evening.
Here’s hoping the issue itself provides what the launch lacked: some deliciously devious darkness.
My amateur photos (check out Ilura Press on Facebook for a more professional, less fuzzy and with fewer shots of the backs of peoples’ heads impression of the evening):
Christine Priestly is currently studying for her Master of Arts in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She writes fiction and creative non-fiction and knows you can never own too many pairs of stilettos or love enough cats.