Maurice Saxby Lecture

Last night was a buzz … it was more of a gathering of lots and lots of book friends – as well as listening to the wonderful Mark Macleod (okay Dr Mark Macleod) presenting the second Maurice Saxby Lecture. Many many friends from the years were there as of course was Maurice who – as usual had so many wonderful reflections from the years as the authority, doyen, champion (they were the three featured words that Libby Gleeson, who was MC for the night, discovered when searching the internet for words about Maurice – I like godfather too) of Australian Children’s Literature. Luckily for me he was my lecturer at college …and the reason why I am so involved too. He had beautiful reflections of the Children’s Book Council and how it is evolving!

It is always lovely catching up with Mark. His was a passionate address about reading literature, not readers, reading books written for the value of the word and the beauty of the story – not the test for literacy or the test for reading or even the test for writing! He sprinkled it with some emotive reflections and there were more than a few slightly moist eyes as he mentioned some of the creators and their works. I just loved his reference to titles such as Margaret Wild & Anne James creation the Midnight Gang, or Jeannie Baker’s the Story of Rosie Dock and of course Libby Hathorn & Greg Rogers masterpiece, Way Home, weeping eyes and a few skipped breaths then for sure with the mention of Greg – which all fitted in well with his comment about the emotional workout, the laughing and crying. He talked about the emotional journey for the reader – and the writer and quoted from Robert Frost … “no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” Mark also mentioned the importance of reading to your children – that modelling behaviour that so many of us mention when we are talking to parents and other adults and of course how important Imagination is.

A wonderful night.


One Response to Maurice Saxby Lecture

  1. It sure was Chris and so wonderful to celebrate Maurice. Mark’s words should be compulsory reading for every politician – but would they take any notice!

    Libby Gleeson May 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply

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