Esther Anatolitis, Editor of Meanjin, today reveals the venerable journal’s new design and editorial approach.
‘Meanjin Winter 2023 marks a new direction for the journal,’ said Esther. ‘It’s the first edition to reframe The Meanjin Paper as a piece by a First Nations Elder that greets us the moment we sit down to read. It’s the first to introduce new sections that assess the state of the nation, welcome experiments, and cast a long gaze across one particular field. And it’s the first by new designer Stephen Banham, the internationally renowned typographer who has dedicated his career to creating a distinctly Australian graphic design language.’
Meanjin 82.2 Winter 2023 opens immediately with The Meanjin Paper, written by Gaja Kerry Charlton, a Yagarabul person, Elder and traditional owner in three native title claims—Yuggera Ugarapul Peoples, Quandamooka and Kabi Kabi—with Gulf ties to Walangama Country. Gaja Kerry is Indigenous Industry Fellow at the School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland.
Gaja Kerry’s essay, titled ‘Makunschan, Meeanjan, Miganchan, Meanjan, Magandjin’, explores the cultural, linguistic and social history of the Brisbane metonym, the Yagara word ‘Meanjin’, from which the journal’s origins and name derive.
Meanjin’s agenda-setting essays continue:
- Prof Marcia Langton AO robustly defends the Uluṟu Statement, the Referendum Working Group and the Voice to Parliament against claims of ‘Canberra voice’ elitism, offering a full list of First Nations Elders and experts who these claims insult
- Tom McIlroy examines the impact of Australia’s female high court justices, an impact described as ‘the graceful incoming of a revolution’
- Craig Foster exhorts us to consider the future Australian republic informed by the Voice to Parliament
- Patrick Lenton asks: Why does Elon Musk, the largest clown in the clown car, simply not eat the other clowns?
- Matilda Dixon-Smith asks: Is the literary industry even worth saving?
Featuring the finest new poetry, fiction, essays, memoir and more—including poetry by Kirli Saunders, Simeon Kronenberg and Jane Gibian; fiction by Mohammed Massoud Morsi, Lisa Nan Joo, Belinda Paxton and Dan Hogan; essays by Catherine Ryan, Lur Alghurabi, Patrick Lenton, Briohny Doyle and Jasper Peach; experimental pieces by Cynthia Troup, Jason Barker & Justin Clemens, and Alex Selenitsch; and a compelling interview with Maxine Beneba Clarke, marking the return of this regular feature to Meanjin.
With this issue, Meanjin also welcomes the new Cultural & Literary Advisory, who support the Editor’s decision-making on First Nations matters, cultural sensitivity, writer referral, historical and political context, and the Meanjin ethos. The group comprises seven writers and literary experts of whom at least three are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, at least five have a lived experience of cultural and racial marginalisation, and one is a former Editor of Meanjin:
- Dan Bourchier (First Nations coastal Victorian): journalist, radio and television presenter
- Sophie Cunningham AM (Meanjin Editor 2008-2011): author and editor
- Winnie Dunn: author, editor, and General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement
- Samantha Faulkner (Wuthuthi/Yadhaigana and Badu and Moa Islands, Torres Strait): poet and Treasurer of the First Nations Australia Writers Network
- Grace Lucas-Pennington (Bunjalung): editor, poet, mentor, Managing Editor of State Library Of Queensland’s black&write! Project, Byron Bay Writers Festival Board Member
- Jinghua Qian: writer, critic, cross-platform storyteller
- Christos Tsiolkas: novelist, playwright and critic.
Both solicited and unsolicited advice characterise the group’s work, and they are recognised in each issue of Meanjin starting with Winter 2023.
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 across all genres and forms. Founded in Brisbane in 1940, Meanjin moved to Melbourne in 1945 at the invitation of the University of Melbourne, and in 2008 moved to a new home within Melbourne University Publishing. Its independence is enshrined in a Charter of Editorial Independence.
‘This is a must-have edition,’ said Esther, ‘where we continue to reinterpret Founding Editor Clem Christesen’s commitment “to make clear the connection between literature and politics”. I can’t wait for you to enjoy the latest Meanjin.’
Meanjin Winter 2023 is published on Thursday 15 June.