Books, tea and broad ideas
Antonia Case and Zan Boag bring established businesses and a new literary space to Tasmania's capital.
Books and tea, a combination synonymous with calm. When the publishers of New Philosopher and Womankind magazine sought a home for their specialty bookstore and tea atelier, they looked all over Australia. In a stately Hobart building, wrapped by a prospering literary scene, they found ‘Poet’ a home.
Antonia Case and partner Zan Boag both had a penchant for Tasmania. Antonia came here as a young girl and she asked her parents not to leave. Decades later in 2017, Zan came to talk at Fullers and swiftly decided Hobart should be home. With that, the pair scooped up their Byron Bay-based family and officially opened the Poet store this July.
“There’s an energy here in Hobart that is really exciting. Places like Sydney and Melbourne are quite established places to live, unlike Hobart,” says Antonia. “To be creative you need space, quiet and time to reflect. You have that here. You can go for walks in the hills to encourage thought. In bigger cities it’s more difficult to be close to nature, to find solitude and moments of rest. What Hobart also has is dynamism. It’s not a country town but a capital city where solitude blends with opportunity for like-minded company. It’s a literary and artistic place – a natural fit for Poet.”
Not only is Antonia the literary editor of New Philosopher and the editor of Womankind, but an awarded writer and journalist. She holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney and was awarded Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals’ Award in 2013. Having this national association based in Tasmania has also inspired Antonia to establish a philosophy festival here.
“We plan to have regular philosophy events with guest speakers, centred around themes in the magazines,” she says. “We’re also keen to have a Tasmanian writer’s week where local writers are celebrated and an artist’s week where our walls become a showcase of Tasmanian talent.”
“The magazines are advertising free, so the tea is essentially a way to fund them. We chose organic, fair trade tea simply because we drink a lot of tea ourselves,” smiles Antonia. “Through tea and our literary space, we hope to be a hub for writers, entrepreneurs and artists. Already this is happening, with locals coming in to welcome us to Hobart which is really heartening.”
Hobart is now also the central production house for New Philosopher and Womankind, titles that deliver contributions from minds as far as London and New York. Head to 130 Macquarie Street for a tea-sipping browse. Let the mind wander – see where Poet takes you.
Are you interested in making the move? Make it Tasmania.
Find out more about Poet tea.
For information on starting a business in Tasmania look through our stories or visit Business Tasmania.
Published: 7 August 2017