Launch of Long Breast Press’ fifth book "On For Young and Old"

What a great time we all had at the book launch of Long Breast Press’ fifth book On For Young and Old (OFYO) at Jika Jika Community Centre in Northcote on 26 November 2017, 1 - 3 pm. This, our fifth book, was launched by Meg Irwin, the Dyke Divas entertained us with a couple of their choir songs and several contributors read extracts from their contributions at Jika Jika Community Centre in Northcote on 26 November 2017. The anthology includes contributions from 28 young and old radical lesbian feminists as well as Tributes to many of the lesbian feminists who have died.

(You can see a gallery of images from the launch: OFYO Gallery)

At the start of Long Breast Press’ (LBP’s) book launch, the collective was gratified to see the large hall  full of young and old radical lesbian feminists milling and chatting, eating cheese and bickies and buying the Anthology from Claudia and Barbary for $25 each, networking and greeting old friends before we all sat in a large circle.. 

Jean started the launch with an acknowledgement of Wurundjeri country. Ardy, as the emcee, welcomed everyone and mentioned that Tineke and later Pat M would be taking photos to go on the newly established LBP Website; and introduced Meg Irwin to launch the book.

Meg, the designated photographer of the LBP collective, launched the book in an informed and insightful way. She emphasized the strong commitment all the contributors had to lesbian feminist actions and how these, combined with their personal stories, made for such moving and compelling reading that she read the whole book in one go. 

Ardy introduced the Dyke Divas lead by Rachel Morgan one of the contributors to the book, Coming Home - Tales From a Womyn of Three Lands. The singers were Kerry Lee, What’s feminism ever done for me?, Liz Smith, Lesbian Mettle, Harry, Helene, Gayle, Trish, Anna, Marlene, Anne, and Claudia, also a contributor. This lesbian choir sang several songs, lending an additional creative dimension to the event.

Jean talked briefly about the process of publishing all five books and how hard we had worked on this latest one, how enthused we were by the response and how pleased we were that so many were there to celebrate this important occasion. She introduced the contributors who read extracts from their particular contributions which gave us an idea of the variety of political and life-enhancing work radical lesbian feminists have been doing over these past four-plus decades. She also mentioned the book included Tributes to lesbians who had died and acknowledged the recent death of one of the contributors, Helen Lee. A long way home.

The titles already mentioned give you some idea of the variety of writers and their topics, and to whet your interest for the many more who are included in the book, the readers were: Robin Gregory, Lesbians Are Everywhere; Sue Leigh, Who Would Have Thought It? Radicalfeminism now; Barbary Clarke, Truth-Telling; Claudia Huber, Globetrotting as Radical Lesbian Separatist; Viv Ray, A radical lesbian mother carves a pathway to equality for children; Robyn Peck, Underground; and Chris Sitka, Being Together. Unfortunately, Jessica Megarry, The women around me, was not able to make it until the end.

Inspired by the readings, Ardy wrapped up the official proceedings with some of her laugh out loud stories from her lesbian past which were much appreciated. Afterwards, we milled and chatted once again as we ate the pavolas and chocolate ripple cake and sipped bubbly to celebrate. More books were bought and signed before we cleaned up, exhausted but exhilarated by the company and our achievements.

A very big thank you to everyone who contributed on the day and especially to Meg Irwin for her inspiring speech, the Dyke Divas and Rachel for their harmonies, the contributing readers for their uplifting stories and Tineke and Pat for documenting the event with photos.  

Ardy, Barbary, Claudia, Jean

Long Breast Press Collective

This invaluable book, On For Young and Old: Australian Intergenerational Radical Lesbian Feminist Anthology, is available for sale at $25 plus postage of $14 for up to three copies. Payment can be made as follows:

You can either send a cheque made payable to Long Breast Press Inc with your return postal details to: Long Breast Press, PO Box 168, Brunswick East, Melbourne, Victoria 3057. 

Or pay through the LBP bank account which is with Bank First in Moonee Ponds in Melbourne (accessed through the Commonwealth Bank) and the Branch Bank Deposit details are: 

Account Name: Long Breast Press Inc

BSB: 063 784

Account Number: 198379

Or the Internet Banking Transfer Details are:

Account Name: Long Breast Press Inc

BSB: 704 191

Account Number: 198379

And don't forget to leave your name with the deposit so we'll know who it's from and let us know by email, as above, where to send the book.