Past events 2018

We regularly host events, including launches, signings, readings, and announcements of prizes. These are usually held in the shop in the early evenings, where you can enjoy a glass of wine with your launch speech, and take the opportunity for some after-hours browsing. We also sell books for events held at other venues.

Check our calendar of upcoming events, or have a look at photos and highlights from past events below.

If you would like to be added to our events mailing list, see our Bookshop Community page. If you are interested in holding an event with us, please email us.

Book Launch: Going Down Gordon Brown (Alice Nunn with Andrew Mackirdy)Going Down Gordon Brown

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday December 19th

We were pleased to host the launch of Going Down Gordon Brown (Alice Nunn, with poems by Andrew Mackirdy), published by Ginninderra Press.

In 2006 there were 2.7 million people on Incapacity Benefit in the UK and Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, decided that 1 million of these should be taken off and made to work. Andrew had spent 35 years on this benefit, after time in a mental hospital in his early 20s. With this small amount of financial support, he was able to live a quiet contained life, caring for his 90-year-old mother. He was a good cook, hated jazz, voted for the Labour Party and wrote poetry.

But none of that saved him. The government was determined that the figures would come down. And that Andrew would be one of them.

Book Event: The Slipping Place (Joanna Baker)The Many Lives of Douglas Mawson cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday December 18th

Thanks to Joanna Baker for spending time with us last night.

We now have signed copies of her new novel The Slipping Place, which is set in Tasmania. Drop in while they're still here!

The Slipping Place is a stunningly compulsive, darkly suspenseful Australian crime novel that asks how far we would go to protect someone we love. Veronica Cruickshank's youngest child Roland is her idealistic one - a fighter of lost causes, and the one that always needs protecting, particularly from himself. So when she hears he is back in Hobart helping an old school friend, Treen McShane, Veronica tries to track him down - but all she finds are second hand reports, whispers of horrific abuse stories of a small child being hurt. Then Roland sends Veronica a text message, asking her to go to the Slipping Place, high on Mount Wellington, a picnic spot known only to their family. Here she discovers Treen's frozen body. Knowing Roland will be suspected of leaving Treen to die, Veronica resolves to find out what really happened. But as long-buried truths slowly surface, she uncovers a secret that brings the violence closer to home than she could have ever imagined...

Joanna Baker Rhee

Book Launch: The Many Lives of Douglas Mawson (Emma McEwin)The Many Lives of Douglas Mawson cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday December 13th

We were delighted to welcome Emma McEwin back to Hobart to launch her new book, The Many Lives of Douglas Mawson, published by Australian Scholarly Press. The book was launched by Associate Professor Elle Leane, author and Antarctic scholar.

A national hero, Douglas Mawson is famous as an Antarctic explorer who narrowly escaped death on the ice. Many books have been written about him. Artefacts from his expeditions are on public display and Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison in the Australian Antarctic Territory have been preserved as a heritage site. His exploits are known to us, and yet he is enigmatic and cloaked in controversy.

In this book, Emma McEwin, Mawson’s great-granddaughter, reflects on her forebear’s public and private persona. Inspired by letters and portraits and other material traces of his legacy, she writes intimately about his effect on generations of his family and the making and unmaking of myths about him.

Book Launch: Renovating Madness (Karen Knight and Liz McQuilkin)The Many Lives of Douglas Mawson cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday December 12th

We were excited to host the launch, by Margaret Reynolds, of Karen Knight and Liz McQuilkin's new book, Renovating Madness, published by Walleah Press.  

'The history of the treatment of mental illness is a story of neglect and ignorance, resilience and rebellion, and, in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century, outright cruelty. There is much to be learnt from that history. This poignant and provocative collection is a maverick biography of an institution established in New Norfolk in Tasmania in 1827, finally closing in 2001. The poems, narratives, reflections, records past and present collude to create powerful reminders of forgotten or forsaken lives and the impetus to treat mental illness with compassion and open-mindedness.' - Sarah Day.

'What is the shape of madness? Is it a signature element within a Tasmanian imaginary? Read this book and you will have your answer. Here are poems that shed an uncompromising light on that other and less known island shame, the institution I grew up calling 'the loony bin'. Here are poems brave and scintillating, poems edged in frost, raw poems that take not one backward step, poems that showcase the literary verve of two of the island's most original and accomplished talents. Knight and McQuilkin have given us a book about 'the bruising shout of power'. It demands to be read.' - Pete Hay.

Special event: Bob Brown and Paul Thomas

Dechaineux Theatre, Tasmanian College of the Arts, Hunter Street, 6.00pm, Friday November 30th

In celebration of the release of Bob Brown and Paul Thomas' latest book, Green Nomads: Wild Places, we were very pleased to host an evening with Bob and Paul at the Dechaineaux Theatre. The authors presented a slideshow and an informal talk, and were available for book signings.

The perfect companion to their previous book together, Green Nomads (which recorded their first 19 000 kilometre journey inland through eastern Australia), Green Nomads: Wild Places continues to remind us how extraordinary and diverse is our natural world.

Bob Brown was elected to the Australian Senate in 1996. His resignation as leader of the Australian Greens in 2012 marked his Senate retirement. Bob was involved in establishing the Wilderness Society (1976), Bush Heritage Australia (1990), the Australian Greens (1992) and the Bob Brown Foundation (2012). The foundation ( promotes action for Earth’s environment, including Tasmania’s wild and threatened Tarkine wilderness. His books include Lake Pedder, Earth, his bestselling memoir Optimism, and Green Nomads.

Paul Thomas, who is a farmer, has been a jackeroo, local sportsman, community worker, social activist, environmentalist and art curator. He served two terms as a Greens councillor on the Huon Valley Council (1996–2002). Paul and Bob got together in 1996 and Bob describes Paul as ‘the rock’. On their ‘green nomad’ journeys, while Bob is busy with his camera and navigation, Paul is the main driver, campsite supervisor and chef-in-chief. His farm overlooks Randalls Bay in southern Tasmania.

Book Event: Scott RankinScott Rankin cover

Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Place, 5.30pm, Tuesday November 20th

We joined award-winning writer, director, cultural activist and Tasmanian Australian of the Year Scott Rankin for the launch his Platform Paper, Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive, the Quarterly Essay on the Performing Arts, published by Currency House.

In this talk, Scott, who is a powerful advocate for communities experiencing the effects of disadvantage, argued that culture is a human right and we must advocate for it with the full language of the law. Cultural Rights are as essential to our national wellbeing as health and education – if everyone is to have the right to thrive.

Big hART is Australia’s leading arts for social change organisation and the 2017 Telstra Charity and Tasmanian Business of the Year.

Book Signing: Secret Guardians #2 Rogues Trilogy (Lian Tanner)

Cover Image, Secret Guardians

The Hobart Bookshop, from 10.30am, Saturday October 13th

We were pleased to welcome Lian back to our shop to celebrate the release of her newest book.

The Rogues series is Lian Tanner's third book series for young readers, and if you haven't read her writing yet, you're in for a treat! To find out more about her (and find lots of activities, links, information - and even a blog by Lian's cat Harry!), you can visit her website.

Book Launch: My Nan Speaks Nanish and Oskar Saves the Day World (Jane Williams)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday October 4th

We were excited to host the launch, by Anne Morgan, of Jane Williams' two new children's books, published by Ginninderra Press.

My Nan Speaks Nanish (and other poems for kids and wannabes) is illustrated by Lisa Morgan, and Oskar Saves the Day World is illustrated by Michael Bean.

Cover Image, Among the WillowsJane Williams Launch 2


Book Launch: Among the Willows and Wild Things (by Ann Page, edited by Margaretta Pos)

The Hobart Bookshop, 6:00pm, Friday September 21st

AmongWillows_coverMargaretta Pos, Ann Page's daughter, has edited this publication of Page's diaries, published by Forty South in a limited edition of 300 copies.

We welcomed Margaretta and Don Knowler (whose book The Shy Mountain A Year in the Life of Kunanyi / Mount Wellington, we launched last year) for the Hobart launch of the book.

Among the Willows and Wild Things contains (as well as Page's diaries), a preface by Pos, illustrations by Sabina Gillett, and a foreword by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania.

Book Launch: The Totem Pole - 20th anniversary edition (Paul Pritchard)


The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Friday July 27th

We were excited to host the launch, by Jeffrey Blake, of this new edition of The Totem Pole.
Pritchard's account of his near-fatal climbing accident in Tasmania twenty years ago, and of his subsequent recovery from his injuries, won both the Boardman/Tasker and the Banff Grand Prize.

This new edition includes material edited out of the first edition, plus a collection of new photographs, some of which have never been seen.

Book Launch: Slipping Through the Cracks (Lindsay Arnold; illustrated adaptation of the memoir by Ron Roberts)

Slipping Through the Cracks cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday June 20th

We were pleased to welcome Lindsay Arnold for the launch of his illustrated adaptation of Ron Roberts' memoir, Slipping Through the Cracks: Life as a Street kid in 1950s Sydney.

A visual interpretation of a stolen childhood. With over 100 images, Lindsay Arnold has drawn intense scrutiny to the unjust emotional and physical suffering of a sensitive boy trapped in the cruel thrall of a heartless social zeitgeist which prevailed throughout mid 20th century Australia.

No mere moral fable, this is unvarnished social history, and a cautionary tale for future generations.

At the heart of this story is a mystery, an absorbing question regarding what is going on within its setting. A picture reflecting those often ignored years following World War 2, a personal testament rescued from a time rarely referred to or documented: the 1950s, a time when the hangover from war gestated a generation marked by an upsurge of creative talent to define the next decade, the 60s.

It is the story of a young Australian’s struggle to survive the streets of Sydney and the severities of bush life after leaving school at 13 almost entirely illiterate.

Visit the website for more information on the book.

Book Launch: The Curious Life of Krill (Stephen Nicol)


The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday June 6th

We were pleased to host the launch, by Dr Nick Gales (Director of the Australian Antarctic Division) and Associate Prof Elizabeth Leane, of Stephen Nicol's new book, The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World, published by Island Press

An eminent krill scientist takes us on a journey through the dark, icy world of krill. Krill. It's a familiar word that conjures oceans, whales, and swimming crustaceans. Scientists say they are one of most abundant animals on the planet. But few can accurately describe krill or explain their ecological importance. Eminent krill scientist Stephen Nicol wants us to know more about these enigmatic creatures and how we can protect them as Antarctic ice melts. This engaging account takes us to the Southern Ocean to learn firsthand the difficulties and rewards of studying krill in their habitat. From his early education about the sex lives of krill in the Bay of Fundy to a krill tattoo gone awry, Nicol uses humor and personal stories to bring the biology and beauty of krill to life.

Book Launch: Splint on an angel's wing (Martin Wilson)

Splint cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 17th

We were excited to host the launch of Martin Wilson's new collection of poetry, Splint on an angel's wing, published by Forty South Publishing.

Martin Wilson's poems portray his complex journey through schizophrenia. This collection embodies an intense exploration and reflection on Wilson's own state of mind during this journey.

'This is not a volume to be dipped into, sampled. It should be treated as a whole ... deeply personal and revelatory ... a single, comprehensive, multifaceted set of images of a mind, once in chaos, slowly coming to understand itself. It is an impressive and illuminating achievement.' ~ Poet and writer Alan Taylor

Book Launch: Towards Light and Other Poems (Sarah Day)

Cover Image, The Netted Air

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 10th

We were delighted to host the launch, by Dr Gina Mercer, of Sarah Day's new collection of poetry, Towards Light and Other Poems.

Sarah Day’s previous collection of poetry, Tempo, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and won the University of Melbourne Wesley Michelle Wright Prize. She has been a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and was Poetry Editor of Island for seven years. She lives with her family in Hobart where she teaches Creative Writing and English as a Second Language to year 12 students.

Book Launch: Word Fall (Betty McKenzie-Tubb)

Cover Image, The Netted Air

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 12th

We were delighted to host the launch of Betty McKenzie-Tubb's new collection of poetry, Word Fall.

'Word Fall demonstrates Betty McKenzie-Tubb’s love and mastery of language in very accessible poems written in various styles. The book also reveals the poet’s wisdom, compassion and her wry, often self-deprecating sense of humour. The collection is arranged in three sections: Loss and Love, With Serious Intent and Froth and Bubble. I was moved to tears, deep contemplation or laughter as I read these poems that have arisen from a rich and well-lived life.’ - Robyn Mathison.

‘The poems in Word Fall capture Betty McKenzie-Tubb’s refreshing and warm hearted style. In a voice both unafraid and elegant, she offers her wit and wisdom with open hands. Curiosity, understanding and insight are crafted into disciplined lines provoking laugher or deep reflections. We travel with the writer as she gleans and gathers stories from each facet of her round and ready life. This precious collection is both moving and uplifting.’ - Elizabeth Goodsir.

Book Launch: The Big Rort (Barry Weston)

Cover Image, The Netted Air

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday April 4th

We were excited to host the launch, by Jennifer Marshall, of Barry Weston's new book, The Big Rort.

Frank Cousins is the owner and sole employee of the Tasmanian Private Investigation Agency and, as his dear old mother said, 'occasionally his own worst enemy'. Frank is hired by a London based solicitor to find the twin sister of his client in Hobart. It starts out as an easy-peasy, money for jam case that turns nasty. Then the lost love of his life calls upon him to assist her brother who looks like going down for the brutal murder of his pregnant partner. Of course, Frank takes on the case. But, as with most of Frank's life, all is not what it first appears. Smuggled heroin, a handful of murders and coming face to face with Joe Shadii was not what Frank had anticipated in trying to win back his lost love.

The Big Rort is the second in the Tasmanian Private Investigation Agency series; the first, The Long Con, was published in 2017.

Book Launch: The Netted Air (Anne Kellas)

Cover Image, The Netted Air

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday March 15th

We were delighted to host the launch, by Sarah Day, of Anne Kellas's collection of poetry, The Netted Air.

The delicate little chapbook is part of the "Picaro Poets" series published by Ginninderra Press, and gives a snapshot of Kellas's work.
Anne Kellas is an Australian poet living in Tasmania. Born in South Africa, Anne has lived in England, Swaziland and, for the past 30 years, in Australia. Her book, The White Room Poems was shortlisted for the Margaret Scott Prize in 2017. She writes full time, and has taught poetry at tertiary level. She regularly holds poetry workshops, edits and reviews books and mentors poets.
You can read more about Anne Kellas at her website.

Book Launch: Running out of Entropy (Tim Thorne)

Cover Image, Wish You Were Here

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday March 1st

We were very pleased to host the launch, by Jane Williams, of Tim Thorne's new collection of poetry, Running out of Entropy, published by Walleah Press.

This is Tim Thorne's fifteenth collection of poetry. Over a career spanning more than fifty years, he has won a number of prizes, including the Stanford Writing Scholarship (1971), New Poetry Award (1973), Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (1978), Gleebooks Poetry Sprint (1995), grant and fellowships from Australia Council (1975, '77, '78 and '79), from Arts Tasmania (1986 and '92), and from the Eleanor Dark Foundation (1993), Launceston Poetry Cup (2006, '08), William Baylebridge Award (2007), Christopher Brennan Award (2012) and the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize (2014).
He has twice been a finalist in the National Poetry Slam, was Director of the Tasmanian Poetry Festival from 1985 to 2001, and is a life member of the Tasmanian Writers' Centre.
You can find a link to footage from the launch, of Tim reading his poetry, on our 'Launch speeches and archives' page.

Book Event: The Styx (Patricia Holland)

The Hobart Bookshop, 10.00am-1.00pm, Saturday January 6th

Cover Image, StyxThe Hobart Bookshop were pleased to welcome Patricia Holland for signings of her debut novel, The Styx.

Sophie can't walk or talk, but behind her disability hides a keen intelligence. Living on The Styx River cattle station with her father and a nanny, Sophie is acutely aware that she is a non-person. Sophie feels as voiceless and isolated as the wallabies of The Wall, an eerie wilderness of basalt lava tubes forming a natural stone labyrinth that protects its remote lushness from anyone foolish enough to wander in. Sophie's father and his "cronies" plot to build a multi-million dollar tourist resort in The Wall. The development will only go ahead if the rare wallabies are already extinct. But they don't realise Sophie has heard their plans to hire roo shooters to help nature along. With the aid of computer technology, a desperate Sophie writes Silent Scream, an anonymous blog that reveals the threat. When scientists commissioned to find evidence of the wallabies' existence go missing, the rescuers appeal to Silent Scream for help. Raising awareness is one thing, but how can one impossibly disabled girl, who can barely help herself, help save the lives of others?

This Australian-set novel will appeal to lovers of gothic noir and dystopian fiction.

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