My local library is a tiny outpost in the inner-north of Melbourne. It is a utilitarian and slightly shabby 1980s building with weeds growing up outside of it, perched on the slope of a noisy intersection between a pharmacy and a disappointing florist. The opening hours are brief. Inside it is dark and cramped. It has modest stock on the shelves: new release fiction, battered paperbacks, cookbooks, DIY, and children’s picture books. Despite its lack of promise, the library is a portal to a world of reading because I can request books from the wider network of which it is […]
Archives for December 2017
At Meanjin we are privileged to publish essays by some of Australia’s finest thinkers. Narrowing them down to this few finest has been a challenge. 2017 was an exceptional time for prophetic writing…
In its long history Meanjin has had the honour of bringing some of Australia’s finest voices to readers—and what form could be so involving, so transportive, so seductive, as the short story?
Meanjin has published some fine short memoir pieces in 2017. Memoir can be an act of reportage, resistance or confession. The late and much loved John Clarke writes tenderly of the commonplace…
The poetry that appeared in Meanjin in 2017 included poems by newcomers to our pages—Shastra Deo, Jodie Hollander, and Ross Gillett—alongside poems by veterans such as Anthony Lawrence, Andrew Sant, and John Kinsella.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything from my personal reading list. So long, in fact, that I have suddenly found myself without one. In all honesty, I have never been the kind of person with a reading list, per say. Not so deep down, I balk at the prospect of a reading list; it evokes the regimentation and planning that I read to avoid, that I have in abundance in my other pastimes. Read: I may or may not over-organize. Nevertheless, four years ago, I signed up for an English Major in an Arts Degree and was […]
I have a dear friend in Melbourne who is an islomaniac. I had heard of the term before, but I didn’t know what it really meant, until I came to the fishing village of Šepurine, on the island of Prvić, in the Adriatic Sea. Places always seem to float in my imagination until they are moored by a small detail. Even staying in them does not always produce this result. London, where I was taken quite often as a child, has never really happened for me. It evokes fleeting memories of Harrods, of the floating bridge that nearly fell down […]
She opens my blinds and she knows I’ll wake up when the sunlight strikes my eyelids. Restless from last night’s disturbed sleep, I’m heavy with pins and needles in my feet. I typically avoid cleaning my shelves; they get messy so easily, there’s no point. I rise and make myself some eggs and toast before venturing back into my haphazard room to conquer what Mum considers ‘a mess’. It’s organised mess, Mum. I promise. The shelves are a mismatched pair of mahogany wood in one the left corner of my room. Stacks and stacks of books, both unread and read […]
Calling all writers for short story prize exploring poverty and resilience Short story submissions are being sought for The Hope Prize, a short story competition to be judged by actor Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville and former governor general Quentin Bryce. The Brotherhood of St Laurence anti-poverty organisation has assembled the stellar judging panel to encourage Australian writers to tackle a subject that is all too often hidden from public view or reduced to stereotypes on tabloid television. The national competition aims to explore hope and resilience in the face of poverty and disadvantage, and will be a thought-provoking summer project […]
‘Regional Echo’ by Jen Cloher is the best Australian song of the year. The way I see it and hear it is as a companion piece or even a sequel to ‘Flame Trees’ by Cold Chisel—a new touchstone in the way Australia feels, the way it remembers and the way it chooses what to value. First, track back to ‘Flame Trees’, from Chisel’s last album Twentieth Century in 1984. Many would—and have—named it as the best Australian rock song of our times, and I agree. It’s set in regional Australia and co-written by Don Walker from his memories and imaginative […]
Outside the bent metal blinds, a mouse-like Corolla sat parked in the driveway. The streetlights shone off its maroon paint, and the sky behind it was lavender. On its roof a sign read in bold blue letters, ‘FLIENDSHIP DRIVING INSTRUCTOR’—except for the L, black in a yellow square, and the P, red in white. What the hell was Fliendship? A play on the fact that there isn’t an el sound in Japanese, so all Asians can only say ar? Winston had told me he was going to pick me up, so I reckoned this was his ride. I left my […]
At a Meanjin launch event at the State Library of Victoria, Mark Pesce spoke on the themes developed in his Summer Meanjin essay, The Last Days of Reality. He was very good. Have a listen here.