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Literary musings from your contemporaries

Inside-out or outside-in?

by David Musgrave In May I had the good fortune to be invited to the 4th China-Australia Literary Forum in Guangzhou. There I met four Chinese poets: Yang Ke, whose work I was already familiar with through Simon Patton’s translations, Xi Chuan, Professor at Beijing...

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On Smokeflowers and Hawaiian Pizza

by David Musgrave   A little while ago I returned from three months living in Beijing and found my world subtly changed. I’d gone there with the intention of continuing my study of Mandarin, but in a more intensive fashion than hitherto, and succeeded in that aim...

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July Monthly Blogger – David Musgrave!

A huge thanks to Marija Peričić for her excellent posts. Our blogger this month is David Musgrave. You can read all about him below: David Musgrave has published six collections of poetry, the most recent being Anatomy of Voice (GloriaSMH, 2016) and a novel, Glissando...

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Hearing Voices

by Marija Peričić In my ideal world, I’d live alone in my own apartment, which would be in a small block, filled with books and houseplants and perhaps a cat. The apartment would have large windows, be on the first floor, and look out over a lovely garden. This pretty...

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Why is a literary hoax?

by Marija Peričić   A middle-aged woman poses as a transgender teenage boy; an Anglo-Australian man pretends to be an Indigenous woman; an Anglo-Australian woman assumes a Ukrainian immigrant identity. On the surface, the idea of a literary hoax seems straightforward...

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Why read novels?

by Marija Peričić   “There’s more to life than books you know, but not much more.”                                                 – The Smiths   As an emerging author, and as a reader, every few years I get a small chill of horror as a spate of...

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Stories of stories.

by Marija Peričić “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser, “The Speed of Darkness”, 1968.       All we are is stories, and the telling of them, the hearing and writing of them. Stories fill the whole world, and all of...

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A Short History Of My Sentimental Education

By Moreno Giovannoni A Sentimental Education My father who died a few weeks ago left me a legacy. He left me the Italian language and Italy and he left me a book. Working backwards through that list of three, the book he left buried inside me and I had to work hard to...

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A Short History Of Writing (or I Am Not A Writer)

by Moreno Giovannoni Dear Reader   There is a lot of writing about “the Writer’s Life”. This is not an example, except in  passing.   First of all, you must understand, I am not a writer.   Why I Wrote A Book   I just wanted to...

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A Short History Of Reading

by Moreno Giovannoni   John Clarke, who died a month ago, said it:   Our minds were on fire at that age.   He was talking about the creativity he discovered in himself when he went to university. In my late teens and early twenties which is more or less...

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A Short History Of The Italian language

by Moreno Giovannoni   Morè.   Morè.   Only an Italian can say that properly and there’s only one person left who calls me that. The rest are dead.   The first words I ever heard were Italian ones. The first word I ever spoke was an Italian word – papà....

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Projecting Decolonial Love

by Natalie Harkin In 2013 Leanne Simpson, Nishnaabeg writer and activist-educator, wrote a book Islands of Decolonial Love – a collection of short fictionalised gems including prose, poetry and songs imbued with characters who, as described by ARP Books,...

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This is not a time to be silent…

by Natalie Harkin – Zero Tolerance, Dirty Words When our Premier Jay Weatherill announced the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in February 2015, I wrote a letter – a poetic narrative tracing radioactive and colonising currents from French, American and...

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In her pocket she carries her heart

by Natalie Harkin   Some moments linger to leave an indelible imprint on your mind, heart and spirit – they become the memories that rest under your skin, or recur with an unanticipated and uncanny trigger, or like stubborn stains, they simply refuse to...

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Caravan to Yale – A Tjindarella Story

by Natalie Harkin I am above the clouds, floating on my contemplations and looking for patterns and remnant bush in cleared and carved-up landscapes.  I’ve just parted ways with my friend and fellow poet at the Adelaide airport – she to Sydney and me to Canberra, each...

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My ‘Avant-Garde Card’: Five Aesthetic Categories

by A.J. Carruthers ―For Pam B., Michael B., Fiona H. & Justin C.  In this final blog post I want us to all get making. To get into the spirit of active experimentation, I want to share some personal writing practices here in the form of five achievable aesthetic...

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The Australian Neo-Avant-Garde: Beginnings, 1973-1992

by A.J. Carruthers   It is imperative that studies of the neo-avant-garde in Australia, and I think avant-garde studies in general, strike a balance between theory and history. One cannot just have a history of the avant-garde: a slew of good examples without a theory...

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Pocket thanks

by Alison Whittaker     Dunno if you remember me, tid. You and me went to school together in 2005.   I’ve got these vignettes of you in my head. First we walked together on a tour of the school grounds like fluffy juvenile magpies – except it was so hot...

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Talking about: talking about

by Alison Whittaker   ‘In conversation’ is the lie I tell myself to get to a venue where I’ll talk about writing.   Harmless little chat. It’s a harmless little chat.   Here’s the real harmless little chat, twenty minutes before: From there, a writerly...

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Writing and

by Alison Whittaker   The writer and the writing life, two off-cut conversations that have planted themselves anew in 2017.   On the Southerly blog last month, Roanna Gonsalves breathed The Double Lives of Writers, a sobering bulletin that etched out the...

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Sovrenaissance

by Alison Whittaker Wangal land, in the memory of colonial records at least, has never been hotter. Today while I write, its sky is some thick full-handed slap of cyan on an unwilling canvas. Every new humid day that it’s like this, I’m reminded that we’re heading...

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Why do we bother to write?

by Roanna Gonsalves     A few days ago, the National Human Rights Commission in India noted the suspicious deaths, over the course of a decade, of 500 indigenous (tribal) girls in government-run Ashram schools in the state of Maharashtra, India. In Australia...

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Tracing body-and-bloodlines

by Roanna Gonsalves     A book, like a person, holds a tangle of ancestors within it. Sometimes, tracing the literary influences and resonances in a book, its bloodlines, is as straightforward as tracking back through the parish register of births and...

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The double lives of writers

by Roanna Gonsalves Most aspiring writers across the world face conflicting demands in the pursuit of a literary career. We must work to develop our skills as writers, get published, hope to achieve recognition from peers and from the literary establishment, gain a...

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“Humor is vengeance.”

by Roanna Gonsalves The first time I heard the line “Humor is vengeance”, something surged in my brain and my body. I understood its outside as well as its inside, the pitter pat patter of its near perfect dactylic feet, the subatomic particles in its electric charge....

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December Monthly Blogger – Best Southerly Blogs of 2016

Many thanks to Nic Low for a fantastic month of blogging. To see out 2016, this month we’re featuring some of our most visited blogs posts of the year. We’ll be back in January 2017 with more great blogs and bloggers, beginning with Roanna Gonsalves author...

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The secret history of Australia’s unpublished literature

Nic Low For five of us over the last week, life’s been defined by the chug-and-whir of digital copiers sucking in page after page of reject literature. With the support of the State Library of Victoria’s Storage and Digital Collection Services, a small...

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