What an extraordinary launch we had three weeks ago. Nestled in the soft red interiors of the Toff in Town on a Sunday evening, the entertainment kicked off with a ceremonial opening by none other than GDS regular and commanding spoken wordster, Crazy Elf, in full religious garb.

Lawrence Leung kept the ball rolling with his thoroughly hilarious (if unconvincing) Powerpoint thesis on why Colin Firth  isn’t actually attractive and a riotous bit on some unlikely Neighbours fan fiction come to life.

He was followed by Cate Kennedy reading an excerpt from ‘Atlas Dharma’; a gentle, evocative and unexpectedly funny recount of a childhood in 1970s Australia. Stunning illustrations by Simon MacEwan accompanied her on the big screen. This was our major commissioned collaboration for the year and we are so thrilled Cate was able to join us on the night.

Ben Ezra’s two man act was up next. The room fell truly quiet which I’m pretty sure was the sound of everyone in the room falling in love with him. Banjo, cello, and gravelly blues. Just perfect.

Of course it was the headline double act of Angie Hart and Adam Gibson set we had saved till last. I am strongly convinced I could listen to Adam’s voice all day. Expansive and quintessentially Australian, it did (and does) justice to the stories of beach towns, lamingtons and love lost he gave us. Adam was all the while, expertly backed by Simon Holmes on the guitar. Finally, and tenaciously (his subject, was after all only a few metres away) he read the poem that brought him here at all: ‘Angie Hart (made me want to move to Melbourne)’. Finally, the grand-dame herself stepped out and delivered an epic. A tender tale of cities and relationships (much like the original) and a love letter to Melbourne, interspersed with phrases sung from Bizarre Love Triangle. The great experiment of bringing them together all these years later, had, rather to our delighted surprise, worked.

You should have been there, and indeed, if you were, I say again: thank you! It was magnificent. If you weren’t in attendance that night, you can make it up to us and yourself by buying the new edition either online or in all good bookstores.