Meanjin is where Australia’s literary culture sets out its fiercest ambitions. Quarterly in print and continuously online, each year Meanjin publishes new work by hundreds of Australian writers in all genres and forms. A growing audience of print and online readers buy, subscribe to and collect Meanjin for its unique role in articulating the Australian cultural moment.
For over 80 years, Meanjin has fostered a rich and rigorous national conversation by remaining true to its founding principles: ‘to talk poetry’, ‘to work for a healthy climate of opinion and literary activity’, and ‘to make clear the connection between art and politics.’ Whether in poetry, fiction, essay, memoir or experimentation, Meanjin writers seek audiences who are active contributors to the public spaces we all make together: readers who enjoy critical discussion and—to continue in Founding Editor Clem Christesen’s words—who ask Meanjin writers ‘to reveal and clarify our life by showing it to us though a vision different from ours and deeper.’
Meanjin was founded in Magandjin (Brisbane) in 1940. In considering the journal’s name, Christesen felt (after Lawrence Durrell) that ‘the important determinant of any culture is, after all—the spirit of place’. For this reason, Christesen chose the name ‘meanjin’ (pronounced MEE-an-jin), a Yuggera word for the site where central Brisbane sits.
Meanjin moved to Melbourne in 1945 at the invitation of the University of Melbourne. As well as receiving vital support from our subscribers and readers, Meanjin currently receives funding from the University, Creative Australia and the Copyright Agency. At the beginning of 2008 Meanjin became an editorially independent imprint of Melbourne University Publishing.
After starting out as a journal of poetry, from its early years Christesen ensured that Meanjin reflected the breadth of contemporary thinking, be it on literature, other art forms, or the broader issues of the times. This approach has been strengthened under its subsequent editors—Jim Davidson, Judith Brett, Jenny Lee, Christina Thompson, Stephanie Holt, Ian Britain, Sophie Cunningham, Sally Heath, Zora Sanders, Jonathan Green, and from 2023, Esther Anatolitis.
Past contributors to Meanjin include Australian writers Judith Wright, Kylie Tennant, Manning Clark, Vance & Nettie Palmer, A D Hope, Dymphna Cusack, Martin Boyd, Alan Marshall, Dorothy Hewett, Peter Singer, Vincent Buckley, Donald Horne, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Patrick White, Gwen Harwood, Bruce Dawe, David Malouf, Humphrey McQueen, Jack Hibberd, Bruce Pascoe, Roberta Sykes, Helen Garner, Alex Miller, Frank Moorhouse, John Morrison, Sarah Holland-Batt, Hal Porter, Rodney Hall, A A Phillips, Alexis Wright, Peter Carey, Alice Pung, Michelle de Kretser, J M Coetzee, Carmen Callil, Claire G. Coleman and Dorothy Porter. International authors published include Jean-Paul Sartre, and Kurt Vonnegut. Published four times a year and online, Meanjin is one of Australia’s best, and oldest, journals of literature and ideas.
In Meanjin 82.2 Winter 2023, Gaja Kerry Charlton (Yagarabul and Gabi Gabi Elder, traditional owner, and Indigenous Industry Fellow at the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland) has written The Meanjin Paper titled ‘Makunschan, Meeanjan, Miganchan, Meanjan, Magandjin’, where she presents family, cultural and linguistic context for the use of the word ‘meanjin’.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Meanjin, the first ever edition was republished by MUP in 2015.
Meanjin abides by the University of Melbourne Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy.
We acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which Meanjin’s office is situated, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.