She’s not going to understand about time. When I say it was because of time, she’ll think I left the baby on the road because I had to go somewhere, or I was late; or that I left the baby on the road because I didn’t have time to look after it.
Carrie Tiffany, Girl with Rabbits and Foxes, Winter 2015
The collection of bodies at Mitchell is central to a shameful, bleak, little-known narrative about Australia that begins at colonisation and reverberates through our unsettled national sovereignty.
Paul Daley, Restless Indigenous Remains, Autumn 2014
It seems a strange place to start writing about the miniature, but I want to begin on the internet, because I found there, for a time, a thing I could hardly have conceived would have existed: a community of illness.
Fiona Wright, In Miniature, Autumn 2015
When Hoang came over to see the room, he spoke about a Footscray art project he’d organised the year before. The project didn’t take place in a gallery or have a title, and now that he thought of it, didn’t really have an artist. He said it involved lots of people, almost 2000. It was a ‘community event’, he said, although the community didn’t know this. Hoang raised a hand to make scratch marks in the air but then awkwardly brought it down again as if this gesture, or perhaps the ease of this gesture, was also part of the problem.
Scott Brook, Footscray, for example, Autumn 2015
We were the kids who hung shoes from power lines,
left them doubled in their swaying doom
to mark each steal. One of us worked the ignition
Rico Craig, Angelo, Summer 2014
It takes a monumental and ongoing work of moral imagination to understand why people are prepared to starve, become terribly ill, get lost at sea, watch their children suffer, die—all to be able to come to Australia. This work of imagining cannot be supplanted by slogans, not even well-meaning slogans…
Maria Tumarkin, Stories Without Borders, Winter 2011
It’s a Greek word, of course, because the Greeks—the Athenians, really—were the first human societies to enjoy democracy. It initially flourished in their fifth-century city states, except, hang on just a minute, no they weren’t, and, sorry-not-sorry, democracy didn’t begin in the polis at all. People in Australia had many millennia to finesse systems of political power-sharing before Cleisthenes came on the scene. It’s time, reader, for a very deep breath: Aborigines invented democracy.
Melissa Lucashenko, The First Australian Democracy, Spring 2015
Like the falconer, you prize her aphrodisiacs.
Shy, endangered bird, migrating from the steppes
to breed in the warm air of this Empty Quarter.
Michelle Cahill, Houbara, Spring 2011
It was by bringing the imagining self to the gaps in the record that the writing self could reclaim the overlooked and under-recorded lives and work of women. Imagination—both imaginative embellishment and fictive methods—could thereby meld, as it were, with biographical and autobiographical writing to give shape to lives for whom the record was fractured and uncertain. The ‘informed imagination’ of the first person had become, in a sense, the ground of my writing and I took it unquestioned into writing about PNG. It was a while before I understood why that ground proved unstable.
Drusilla Modjeska, The Informed Imagination, Winter 2015
I gave up writing poetry in spring. It wasn’t sudden.
Jennifer Mills, On Quitting Poetry, Summer 2013
You wonder if a child has ever built a castle from black Lego, though you don’t know what rage is yet; or drawn a picture of an enormous cave housing tiny people holding wilting kites. Which would be disappointment. You do know this.
Nicola Redhouse, This is who you are, you’ll see, Winter 2014
When he grew tired of his model railway,
the stamp collection in twelve hefty albums,
and the telescope through which he followed
unseemly events in the tenth-floor bedroom
Alex Skovron, Semper Fidelis, Winter 2014
They live in hotels for a while, after he does that to her face. Not real bad, but bad enough for them to leave the same night. Frantically packing the car as though hoping to outrun some unknowable natural disaster. There’s sand in the bed, Baby, he’s saying. Back at the house, a million years ago in the suburbs. And she won’t tell him why. She’s letting him believe things. There’s sand in the bed, and they are a long way from the ocean.
Josephine Rowe, Hotels, Summer 2011
Toby Fitch, Rawshock, Meanjin Online 2012