BryshaWilson Press—On Poets and Dancers as Heroes

Layout 1First published by BryshaWilson Press, 10/8/2016

The first blog written for the BryshaWilson Press launch was about a love of books but on reflection more burning topics presented themselves. The chief of these is the question of why you would spend the best part of a year setting up a book-publishing venture when the market place is buried in mountains of books being churned out by vast numbers of publishers all aggressively competing for every cent of the book-buying buck to be scrounged from the big wide world of readers.

The answer is as simple (and as complex) as that to why you would write a poem, or spend years learning to dance, hoping one day to share your dance on the public stage.

Economics and finance have a strangle hold on our world and although wars in all their horror still abound, the real conquests are now made in the financial sector and, for the most part, it’s only when you fail there that you go to war. This is the global reality and any enterprise of which the profit model is not essentially financial raises eyebrows of concern or bemused dismissal.

The people for whom no explanation is necessary are the ones who engage in the creation or the pursuit of the arts in their many guises and the ones who value and share in such activities when the writers, painters, performers, musicians and other dreamers offer their endeavours to the public.

When it comes to funding—government or other—the arts, like Blanche Dubois, have depended on the kindness of strangers but we all know what happened to Blanche. And while few would say no to receiving financial rewards, public accolades and the many other rewards of popularity, the great majority of those engaged in artistic creation pursue it regardless of such concerns.

Barry Kitcher’s memoir From Gaolbird to Lyrebird A life in Australian ballet (BryshaWilson Press, 2016 eBook) tells the story of people who did just that with astonishing results and significant historic impact. The eBook format has enabled the inclusion of much visual material from Kitcher’s personal archive, which would be prohibitive in hard print but makes an important contribution to the recording of Australian dance history as well as the enjoyment of what is a great ballet story.

The other book offered on our launch is The Muse of the Maze (BryshaWilson Press, 2016, eBook) by Larry Buttrose. This beautifully written novel about a young Australian poet’s quest to obtain a poet’s blessing from Robert Graves is simultaneously an adventure story and a study of life dedicated to artistic pursuits. The Muse of the Maze, like From Gaolbird to Lyrebird, has its origins in a previous incarnation as a volume—The Maze of the Muse (Flamingo, Pymble, 1998)—but has been so extensively rewritten that a name change was needed to distinguish it from the 1998 publication.

From Gaolbird to Lyrebird eBook has also been reworked but only to expand greatly on the original 2001 imprint and so the name remains the same.

We think our books very special and hope that they will find many readers who think so, too. Happy reading.