Here we are, in a freezing valley covered in grass and edged by snow-bothered mountains, sitting nearer to the bottom of the world than just about everyone. It’s a still winter day—fog blocks the morning and the air is nearly tactile. We’re not far from Hobart, but every hill between us is another door opening to chilled air; just like the airport, to come home is to step outside. We’re that much closer to the wet and windy south-west, where muddy buttongrass plains give way to tangles of green scrub and an audience of endless peaks. We’re a long way from the major urban centres, and glad to be. The air is worth breathing, the high places worth climbing and the world is worth touching with our hands. But what does this mean for our writing?
Tasmanian writers are subject to the same frustrations as those elsewhere, but many of these seem to be heightened by geography: the sense of isolation and insignificance; of speaking into the void and not even hearing an echo. There are positives too: the possibility of liberation, of having a practice unconstrained by a community that would otherwise employ, encourage and sustain you. These are deckled positives.
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