On March 14, a full room of supporters and fans gathered at Baulkham Hills Library, Castle Hill, for the launch of rick rack, Julie Thorndyke’s book of tanka poetry. It was a wonderful event with a variety of readings with complementary music. Tim, Julie’s husband welcomed the guests and introduced Beverley George who launched the book with a short history of tanka’s origins and readings from Izumi Shikibu.
Julie presented tanka from her book, talking about her tanka journey with each tanka or sequence displayed against stunning visual images. The audience was moved by the impact and effectiveness of Julie’s tanka that covered the gamut of human experience.
There were other readings – a very moving sequence by Beverley George and Meredith Collins, then Julie and Beverley readLocket, their prize winning tanka sequence. The special guest, well known Japanese poet, Mariko Kitakubo, beautifully dressed in a silk kimono, read some of her tanka in Japanese, with Beverley reading the English translations by Amelia Fielden. Mariko accompanied the readings with the Hamohn, a Japanese musical instrument. There were also readings by the Tanka Huddle group from Eastwood Hills Fellowship of Australian Writers ( Those present were Carolyn Alfonzetti, Jan Foster, Beverley George, Anne Howard, Carmel Summers, David Terelinck, Julie Thorndyke).
The star of the show, though, was Julie’s wonderful tanka, which demonstrated why Julie is considered to be one of the leading tanka writers in Australia today.