Thursday 26th April was an auspicious date at Unity Books for more than one reason, foremost, the launch of No One Home: A Boyhood Memoir in Letters & Poems by Keith Westwater. Keith’s editor and publisher, Mary McCallum of Mākaro Press, was on hand to start proceedings. The sense of occasion was well and truly established as Mary noted that not only was Keith one of a handful of authors to have published two books with Mākaro Press, but also that this launch coincided with Mākaro’s fifth anniversary.
Present to officially launch the book was Keith’s erstwhile teacher and fellow author Harry Ricketts. We trust that Harry’s tongue was firmly in cheek as he referenced the ‘miserable business of authorship’. Harry shared warm memories of teaching Keith at the International Institute of Modern Letters, and shared a positive appraisal from his archives remembering Keith’s piece, Partings & Joinings. Author and teacher were both delighted to catch up with the numerous former students on hand to celebrate Keith’s latest output.
Third up, Keith took to the mic to share some memories of the life that became the memoir No One Home. There was special mention for the three positive matriarchal characters from Keith’s youth, ‘aunties’ Jean, Jo and Heather, and the younger family members present to represent them. Keith shared readings of a few poems from the new book including Riding the News and the title poem No One Home. Thanks from Keith went out to Mary McCallum and Paul Stewart at Mākaro Press, to Keith’s wife Margret, and to Unity Books, as well as the many many friends and family present to celebrate the launch of No One Home.