November 1, 2019 posted by Unity Wellington

AFTERGLOW: Social Media Mary Macpherson

AFTERGLOW: Social Media Mary Macpherson

Wednesday 23rd of October saw the launch of Social Media, the first book of poetry by longtime poet and renowned photographer Mary Macpherson, hosted by Unity Books Wellington.

Social Media ‘explores identity as a creation of the interactions we have with others: friends, family and the wider world, and the evolving role technology now plays in this. A playful and provocative collection that drills into our social and media selves using elements from short stories, art projects and films.’

Mary was joined on the night by Mary McCallum of Social Media publishers The Cuba Press. McCallum made the official launch speech for the book, thanking Mary for ‘sailing with The Cuba Press’ and, in a lively turn of phrase, praised Macpherson’s bravery in staring down the ‘gaping maw of the oxymoronic beast that is social media’. A triumph of planning emerged as both Mary’s had elected to read from the same poem Charge, leading to an almost seamless transition from publisher to author. Mary Macpherson read a second poem, Litter, before going on to thank the many people involved in the production of Social Media including her partner and fellow photographer Peter Black for providing the striking cover image. Thanks also went to Mary’s writing group, the Meow Gurrrls, who joined Mary at the mic to take turns reading poems from the new book, giving the audience a excellent taster of what lay in store for readers.

Toasts and book signing followed as Social Media was welcomed onto the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry shelves.


Mary Macpherson warms up the guests

Unity Books’ Marion Castree chats with Gregory O’Brien

Wellington photographers Andy Spain and James Gilberd, no strangers to Mary Macpherson’s work

Mary McCallum of Cuba Press officially launches Social Media

The Meow Gurrrls prepare to transpose words for page to life

Mary Macpherson

Meow Gurrrl, Abra Sandi King was first up to read from Social Media

Janis Freegard adds her voice to proceedings

Mary-Jane Duffy read a poem of her own to compliment her reading from Social Media

Last up, Sudha Rao

Hearty applause at the launch of Social Media with Peter Black on documentary duties

Mary signs James Gilberd’s copy of Social Media while author Craig Cliff waits patiently in line

Mary McCallum and Jenny Bornholdt chat after the event

Mary’s partner and fellow photographer Peter Black moonlighting in bookselling


Social Media by Mary Macpherson is available to buy in store and online now.

Words and pictures John Duke

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