Also launching were Aideen Henry of the Atlantis Collective with her first collection and Knute Skinner with a memoir.
Mary Mullen is one of those people who is an absolute pleasure to know: she's talented, intelligent, funny, beautiful and has a heart the size of her home country, Alaska.
Poet Gerry Hanberry launched Mary's book and he praised Galway for its vibrancy when it comes to writers. He said it's not normal to be so surrounded by writers all the time but that we in Galway think it is. There's a writer on every corner here. He praised Salmon Poetry for their stellar work in publishing poets (they have a great track record in publishing women poets in particular) and he also commended Aoife Casby for the delicious cover art on Mary's book.
Gerry said, 'Zephyr will be dog-eared - people will refer back to it at times of importance'.
When Mary got up to speak she said, 'Alaska is all about salmon - salmon in Alaska is like turf in Ireland. You either have it or you are trying to get it.' So she is particularly pleased to be published by Salmon.
Mary's daughter Lily has Down Syndrome - she features in several poems in the book - and Mary stated, 'I hope my book elevates the status of the 1 billion people in the world with disabilities'. She also said, 'If it makes one single mother feel not so crazy, I'll be delighted.' That garnered a round of applause. Having been a single mother, I related totally to that.
Mary read beautifully, with real emotion, and with pride in her twin heritages - the Irish and the Alaskan. It was a lovely, warm, friendly well-attended launch and it was a pleasure to be there among the writers, the literature lovers and the people, as Mary said, who were first-timers at a poetry reading. Everyone seemed to enjoy it all hugely.
Juno enjoying the launch