November 2014: Escalator Press, Kuala Lumpur …

The Crescent Moon in Kuala Lumpur 

I had a week in Kuala Lumpur when The Crescent Moon exhibition opened at the University of Malaya. The Asia New Zealand Foundation generously gave me the opportunity, as they did last year when the exhibition opened in Bangkok. I spoke at the exhibition opening, and took part in a seminar for students. Always, revisiting that project revives that passion that we need to  become much better informed about Islam and the Muslim community in New Zealand, that we need to talk together about that very large moderate thoughtful middle ground that most of us inhabit, and absolutely not subscribe to glib stereotypes.

New novels from Escalator Press

In November Escalator Press, the new publishing house set up by the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme, published two new novels, The Shark Party by Janet Colson and Run Thomas Run  by Kate C arty. I’m one of a group of 8 running Escalator Press – it’s a lot of work but extremely interesting, and there’s so much opportunity for all kinds of creative thinking around marketing. We’re having fun!

The Blooming Lotus

I proofread the book The Blooming Lotus for editor Samson Sahele, which was launched in November. It’s an excellent and moving book of short stories  by former refugees in New Zealand. This is Samson’s last publication in New Zealand, because he’s moving to Australia. I’m very lucky to have collaborated with him on quite a few publications, and he’s made such a big contribution to all of us having a  bit better understanding of the lives that ex-refugees have  brought with them.