THIS DECADE WILL SEE SHOCKS AND FLYING POSSUM SHIT…
…FROM THE NEIGHBOURS’ BEING-RETILED ROOF TURNED THEIR MORNING INTO OUR NIGHT AND IT WILL BE IMPORTANT FOR WRITERS TO WRITE UNDER MANY DIFFERENT CONDITIONS*
I am a migrant on stolen land—this I cannot escape, this I don’t want resolved. To understand my family’s move to safety as the displacement of others is a lifelong project. I am not in the market for fantasies of innocence, I studied history. Giving up the idea that I am on the margins though—that’s hard. If I am on the margins in any sense it’s because being a writer in Australia is seen as an esoteric pursuit, certainly not a profession, a hobby maybe, an extracurricular thing. Australia doesn’t care about most kinds of artists but doesn’t care about its writers in particular. While this contempt must be fought in submissions and agitation and at universities and schools and kept visible like the sauce stain on a thousand-dollar suit, continually spreading, responding to it cannot be the defining fight of writers’ lives or our main conversation. It shouldn’t be how literature gets talked about to young people. Orienting ourselves to this contempt and to the struggle it invites us to join in is a deadend.
I am not done but first I want to talk a little more about the visible and invisible. I am still introducing myself.
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