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Literary musings from your contemporaries

Reading Secondhand: Ruth Park at St Vincent de Paul

by Ali Jane Smith I am a keen, but not obsessive, op shopper.  I love bric-a-brac. A novelty biscuit tin, the toys from McDonalds’ Happy Meals, a jigsaw puzzle, cake forks, a milk jug. Tupperware! I’m wary of the books, unless I am in the shop where my...

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Reading Secondhand: Susan Hampton at Sappho Books

by Ali Jane Smith The walk from Sydney’s Central Station along Broadway to Glebe Point Road did not have a lilting, iambic rhythm. It was a prog rock experience, a march through a tunnel, a stroll along the footpath, a scurry across a road that inexplicably...

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Reading Secondhand: Graham Greene in The Foundery

by Ali Jane Smith The orange spine of a Penguin showed through a grotty plastic cover. The title, partly obscured by a piece of masking tape with the call number ‘824.91 G83’ written in biro, turned out to be The Lost Childhood and Other Essays by Graham...

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New Monthly Blogger – Ali Jane Smith!

A enormous thanks to Eileen Chong for her excellent posts. Our blogger this month is Ali Jane Smith. Her bio is below. Ali Jane Smith is a poet and critic. Her poetry has appeared in Southerly, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, and Mascara Literary Review. Reviews...

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Eating and Telling: A Personal Food History

Food is serious business. I live in a suburb with so many restaurants that if you went out to eat every night of the week, you wouldn’t be a repeat customer at any establishment for about a month. Once, when I walked past a restaurant on my way home, I saw a famous...

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Letters

by Eileen Chong 23 June 2016 1:44am                                                                          Sydney, Australia Dearest Joci, Hello! As I’m writing this, you must be in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. I hope the wait isn’t too long. I can’t...

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Eileen Chong’s Diary for the Week

8 June 2016, Wed It’s the birthday of one of my oldest friends, SH. I remember taking the bus with her to and from school and our many hours hanging out at the tiny suburban mall near our homes. Those days seemed endless, although of course, they were not. Perhaps the...

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Eileen Chong interviews Eileen Chong

By Eileen Chong Tell me a little about yourself. My name is Eileen Chong and I’m a poet. I’m a bit of an accidental poet – I took Judith Beveridge’s poetry class when I was at Sydney University doing an M. Litt mostly because I was trying to avoid any modules in which...

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June Monthly Blogger – Eileen Chong!

An enormous thanks to Luke Beesley for his excellent and entertaining posts. Our blogger this month is Eileen Chong. Her bio is below. Eileen Chong is a Sydney poet who was born in Singapore. Her books are Burning Rice (2012), Peony (2014) and Painting Red Orchids...

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Poets in Cars, An Interview with Nicholas Powell

by Luke Beesley …turn on that dishwasher John Ashbery, ‘Wooden Buildings’ My old mate, poet Nick Powell, visited Melbourne last week with his family – it was his first trip back to Australia in 4 years. Nick’s partner, Laura, is Finnish and he has lived in Helsinki...

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Paul Foot Meets W. G. Sebald in a Light Blue Pencil

by Luke Beesley This is the first time I’ve ever “blogged”, and it included a false start. I wrote a whole “blog entry” and then I looked back on it only to realise that it was too much in the tone of previous essays or reviews of books etc I’d written in the past....

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May Monthly Blogger – Luke Beesley!

A warm thanks to Christopher Raja for his excellent posts. Our blogger for this month is Luke Beesley. His bio is below. Luke Beesley is a poet, musician and artist, and he has won numerous awards and fellowships. Jam Sticky Vision, his fourth poetry collection, was...

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Literary Commons

By Christopher Raja When asked about his approach, the iconic artist and blogger, Ai Weiwei said:  ‘we’re actually a part of the reality, and if we don’t realise that, we are totally irresponsible. We are a productive reality. We are the reality, but...

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The Family Recipe

by Christopher Raja Stay happy and get fat like the laughing Buddha. In India we often associate a full stomach and fat people as being prosperous and happy. Ganesha’s big belly is believed to contain the entire universe within it. Food is something we can all relate...

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Writing ‘The Burning Elephant’

by Christopher Raja “startling”, “ vivid” and “compelling” (Sydney Morning Herald, 20 November, 2015) The Burning Elephant is a Young Adult novel that deals with the assassination of Indira Gandhi and it is completely set in India; it is also about a family’s journey...

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Revisiting ‘The First Garden’

by Christopher Raja ‘A true and original gift for the rest of Australia’. – Stephen Armstrong, Chair of the Theatre Board, Australia Council, May 2012. ‘The most that you could want out of a show. It makes you go out of the theatre and want to...

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New Monthly Blogger – Christopher Raja!

An enormous thanks to Michelle Hamadache, who not only gave us such excellent posts, but did all this while reading our fiction submissions. Our blogger for April is Christopher Raja. His bio is below.   Christopher Raja migrated to Melbourne from Kolkata in...

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A thousand tiny fettered steps

by Michelle Hamadache  I The mother in me is horrified at that little boy holding onto the pigeon. I’m thinking psittacosis. Mostly I adore his swag, debonair in adidas, his rakish lean against the walls of the kasbah, and his friend stage right eyeing the bird with...

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Of Knaves and Knights and the Long In-Land Road

by Michelle Hamadache THE FIRST BORDJ There’s an alchemy that dissolves time and divisions and brings to the surface like the city of Atlantis from the waters of our mind, from the liquid space of what we know and of what we forget, instantiated moments. An arcane...

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The Strange Gaze of Justice: Words, Stones and the Moon

by Michelle Hamadache Amine’s favourite movie of all time is The Message. It stars Anthony Quinn as Hamza and it tells the story of Islam, from cave to page. It’s got this rousing song—Tala al Badru Alayna, O the white moon rose over us—that is sung as road-weary...

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The Love Between

by Michelle Hamadache There are two men who share my heart. One is my husband, Amine, and the other is Albert Camus. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re both Algerian, and though I’d never tell my husband, I wonder if I’d have fallen in love with him, if I...

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March Monthly Blogger – Michelle Hamadache!

Due to a tidal wave of unforeseeable circumstances, Christopher Cyrill is suspending his blogging for the moment. He’ll be back in with us in December this year to continue his elegant essays on the writing life. But this month our monthly blogger is the...

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Superb Mornings, Drunken Swallows.

by Christopher Cyrill I despise the word blog. I mean no offence to bloggers anywhere and mean no criticism of the concept. I just don’t like the word. I don’t like the word frangipani either. After keeping a writer’s journal for many years I found rereading them a...

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New Monthly Blogger – Christopher Cyrill!

An enormous thanks to Corey Wakeling for his excellent posts. This month our blogger is Christopher Cyrill. His bio is below. Christopher Cyrill is the author of the novels The Ganges and its Tributaries and Hymns for the Drowning.  He has also published numerous...

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The Ham Actor

by Corey Wakeling 1. A secret to admit. I’ve been writing novels lately, but only as a bellows to an unlit fire. The tinder of poetry hasn’t taken for almost a year, shooting a few sparks in the last week, but otherwise perfectly unlit since February 2015 when I moved...

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Sustaining Speechlessness

by Corey Wakeling It’s no surprise that the first approach to writing about the birth of a child is usually sentiment. Sentiment tries to respond to, though not exhaust or compare with, the gravity of the inception of new life. When the child is yours, that is,...

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