I spent seven years trying to have a child. While I endured miscarriage after miscarriage throughout my thirties, all around me other women were getting pregnant, by choice or by accident. Some of those women chose to continue with their pregnancies and others chose to have abortions. At times I felt envious, even resentful. Why them and not me? After a year of IVF treatment none of the medical interventions had made a difference. I remained childless. Did it feel unfair, that others seemed to find it so easy to have a child? Absolutely. Did I envy the women around […]
The University of Melbourne’s Archives and Special Collections, Student and Scholarly Services collaborated with Meanjin to commission some of Australia’s finest emerging young poets to create pieces inspired by the Epic and Divine: Dante’s World exhibition at the Noel Shaw Gallery in the Baillieu Library in 2022. Below you’ll find the original poems by Nandini Shah, George Cox, Wen-Juenn Lee, and a special contribution written by Jessica L. Wilkinson and Alvin Pang. Portrait of an Infernal Lady, or an Anagram, or a New Translation of Dante’s Inferno, Canto I, Lines I-III Nandini Shah Salvador Dalí Engraves […]
We’re excited to launch a new series of online reviews, edited by Cher Tan. You’ll find the first offerings below—watch this space for more excellent content soon. Reviewed: Women I Know, Katerina Gibson by Matilda Dixon-Smith “What is ‘woman’? A performance, perhaps. Or a category into which some of us are sorted. Maybe it is a story—or stories—we are told, which through mere regurgitation have come to accept as real…” Read More Reviewed: big beautiful female theory, Eloise Grills by Imogen Dewey “Painting, collage, reflections and poetry coalesce in a hybrid of critical theory guide, […]
I am a ravenous beast when it comes to reading. I’ll read anything and everything, it’s as if I fear that in one second every book in the world will disappear and only memory will keep them alive. There weren’t many books for me to devour when I was growing up, and although my mother is now a voracious reader, she wasn’t when we kids were young. There was a battered copy of Exodus by Leon Uris in the shed which I read without comprehension, but the brief passages I did get; the battles, the love story, were thrilling. (When […]
In the trailer for the new volume of Stranger Things, the eighties-homage paranormal series from Netflix created by self-identified nerds the Duffer Brothers, Max, a young girl, stands alone, gazing at a ruined version of her own world. Cut to all the kids sitting in grim silence together in a speeding van while an adult voiceover says ‘I know you’re frightened,’ and acknowledges that they are not prepared for the fight to come. ‘You’re not ready.’ There could be no better allegory for the hell that kids all over the world have survived these past couple of years, and their […]
The unbridled joy that comes with knowing we will never again have to deal with the entity formerly known as Prime Minister Scott Morrison is leavened by the fact that we had to put up with him in the first place. Not just put up with him but act as if the destruction he was wreaking was somehow invisible.
Join us on Thursday 23 June in the Baillieu Library for an evening of poetry inspired the exhibition, Epic and Divine: Dante’s World. The University of Melbourne’s Archives and Special Collections have collaborated with Meanjin to commission some of Australia’s finest emerging young poets to create pieces in response to the work of Dante. You’ll hear Wen-Juenn Lee, George Cox and Nandini Shah read their original works, plus special guest Jessica L. Wilkinson performing a poem written in collaboration with award-winning Singaporean poet Alvin Pang. Come along for a drink and to immerse yourself in the splendour of the Epic and Divine: […]
Plagiarism has been in the news lately. On May 9, Jumi Bello’s personal essay explaining why she plagiarised parts of her debut novel The Leaving the novel was pulled from the website Literary Hub because the essay itself included plagiarised material. The Leaving had been scheduled to come out in July but was cancelled in February by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, after Bello herself disclosed her plagiarism to the publisher. Although the Literary Hub did not mention who Bello had plagiarised, it turned out to be Jonathan Bailey, the author of the website Plagiarism Today. He writes […]
There’s a storm in Australian literary waters over a book that’s been longlisted for one of our most prestigious prizes, The Miles Franklin. John Hughes’s novel, The Dogs, a book that deals with post war history and has taken him fifteen years to research and write, is under attack. As part of his research, Hughes read Svetlana Alexievich’s English translation of The Unwomanly Face of War, a 1985 non-fiction text, which came out in 2017. After The Guardian discovered 58 similarities and instances of identical text in The Dogs, Hughes has apologised and tried to explain. He had taken notes […]
The world we are living in now is incredibly volatile. Hospitals are at capacity with the clash of rising COVID-related deaths and seasonal flu cases. Our greenhouse pollution is higher than that of any other developed country—so no wonder La Nina continues after months-long rainfall. The ongoing injustices against First Nations people from Australia to Palestine are escalating. Black communities are still being killed by White supremacist terrorists. Russia is invading Ukraine—an act reminiscent of World War One. In such an unstable time, we need to start imagining an alternative. If viruses, floods, pollution and war are our current reality, […]
Will he be able to fashion a real party from the banana-shaded flash mob he brings into being every three years? One doubts it because the very insta-gratification he offers saps any strength his affiliates might have for the long haul.
As a new government is sworn in down in Kamberri (Canberra) this week, many in the arts sector are excited by the prospect of a ceasefire in the long and tiresome war on arts and culture that has characterised the last nine years. An unprecedented level of hostility from government has seen a decade of damage control, managing harsh cuts and sudden shifts at the whims of ministers; the absence of any cultural policy at all from the LNP spoke volumes about their priorities, even before the skimming of public money, corporate appointments, interventions in Australia Council decisions, and so […]