Picture of Helen by Ardy Tibby
(Gallery of Photos from the day are here)
About thirty lesbians gathered at the East Reservoir Senior Citizens Centre at 7A Strathmerton Street at 2 pm on Sunday 27 May 2018 to enjoy the sumptuous High Tea prepared by Claudia and Liz, thanks to a generous donation from Helen. Partway through this splendid occasion of much chatting and eating and drinking Long Breast Press launched Helen Lee’s book of poetry tthemada.
Anneke from the Matrix Guild did the acknowledgement of Wunrundjeri country followed by a brief overview of the significant work of the Matrix Guild before the Savoury High Tea was served by Claudia and Liz and we could all help ourselves to the feast on offer with drinks including sparkling wine.
Ardy as the emcee, gave a brief overview of the books Long Breast Press has published and the reasons we published Helen’s book, partly because she asked us
tthemada was beautifully launched with a heart-felt speech by Helen’s surviving partner Rachel who read excerpts from Helen’s poetry to illustrate just how brilliant her work is.
Anneke talked about the drawings of grasses she was asked to do by Helen before she died and which give the book another artistic dimension.
Coleen, Barbary and Jean read several of Helen’s poems to give the audience a taste of the depth and breadth of Helen’s poems and as an encouragement to buy the book.
The Dyke Divas took to the stage and sang several songs as a tribute to Helen and to round out the launch proceedings in an uplifting manner.
Claudia and Liz then served the Sweet High Tea with the scones, bush tucker jam, carrot cake, custard and other sweet delights.
And this very delightful afternoon of tribute and celebration was wrapped up with sales of Helen’s book, a bargain at $15, as well as the selling of the other five LBP books by Barbary and Ardy, and much mingling of participants.
Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make this celebration a tribute to Helen’s life and poetry and especially to those who bought books to keep Helen’s poetry and lesbian writing alive and well-read.
Ardy, Barbary, Claudia and Jean