‘Liminal’ magazine: interview with Michelle D’Souza

‘Liminal’ magazine is a relatively young, energetic online space ‘for the exploration, interrogation and celebration of the Asian-Australian experience’.

To learn more of the magazine and its creative team, visit the 2017 Digital Writer’s Festival session, ‘A Platform of One’s Own: Liminal Magazine’.

The most recent issue of the magazine features Sumudu Samarawickrama’s interview with Michelle D’Souza, poet, critic and managing editor of Mascara Literary Review.

Can you tell us what you have planned for the future?
I have been working on my novel and a trickle of new poems. I’m delighted that UWAP are re-publishing my second poetry collection, Vishvarūpa, this year as it was out of print with 5 Islands Press who are closing shop. I’m also thrilled for the collection of stories that Margaret River Press are publishing, We’ll Stand In That Place, which I was privileged to judge.

Of course, I hope that as a community we can continue to support each other and expand our diverse, transnational spaces, reaching out to writers from other countries and being in conversation with writers and thinkers here in Australia. I am careful in what editing roles I might take up going forward as it has conflicted with my writing time.

I am also writing a scholarly essay on Interceptionality and the work of Behrouz Boochani as a way of reflecting on the unsettlement of Australian poetics.

Read more at Interview with Michelle D’Souza.

Questions with Tansy Rayner Roberts

What is your favourite thing about living and working in Tasmania?

I’ve never lived or worked anywhere else for more than a few months, so it’s a hard one to answer. Don’t tell them all how great it is here, Kate, they’ll all want to move here! I like the people and the pretty scenery. I like that our cities are small. It’s a lot easier to live here now you can order literally anything from any other country (missing out on TV or books that didn’t come here used to wear on me when I was younger). I love that I live somewhere that’s between a mountain and the ocean. I belong here.

More at Kate Gordon (blog)

2019 Hazel Rowley Fellowship shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2019 Hazel Rowley Fellowship is:

Maggie Tonkin (South Australia) for a biography of renowned Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard
Brigitta Olubas (NSW) for a biography of writer Shirley Hazzard
Eleanor Hogan (Northern Territory) for her project on the friendship between Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates
Stephenie Cahalan (Tasmania) writing about artist Jean Belette, ‘The Modern Woman of Australian Modernism’
Gabrielle Carey (NSW) for a biography of Elizabeth von Arnim, who was Katherine Mansfield’s cousin and a writer herself, known for her novel Elizabeth and Her German Garden
James Boyce (Tasmania) for a new biography of Governor Lachlan Macquarie
James Mairata (NSW) for a biography about Australian film and television producer Hal McElroy
Diana James (NSW) for her proposal ‘Open Hearted Country: Nganyinytja’s Story’

More at Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

‘Disturbing’: government intervenes in Melbourne Uni publishing turmoil

By Henrietta Cook & Clay Luca, The Sydney Morning Herald, 31st Jan 2019

Some university insiders believe Ms Adler’s decision to publish ABC reporter Louise Milligan’s controversial award-winning book about Cardinal George Pell was a catalyst for the overhaul.

But others say the changes were due to the publisher’s financial performance and concerns some academics’ works were being overlooked in favour of more commercial texts backed by Ms Adler.

Former New South Wales premier and foreign minister Bob Carr and former human rights commissioner Gillian Triggs, both of whom have been published by Ms Adler, were among those who quit the board in disgust.

Well-known publisher Hilary McPhee, an MUP author and former board member, said Australian publishers needed to “publish high and low and scholarly books that people want to read, not just academic books. MUP have done a great mix for a long time”.

More at The Sydney Morning Herald

Behrouz Boochani: detained asylum seeker wins Australia’s richest literary prize

Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, 31st Jan 2019

The winner of Australia’s richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony.

His absence was not by choice.

Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the $25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the $100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.

The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island.

Now his book No Friend But the Mountains – composed one text message at a time from within the detention centre – has been recognised by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up.

Read more at The Guardian

[A (condensed) version of Behrouz Boochani’s ‘A letter from Manus Island’ was performed in Hobart last year at MAC’s Concert for Refugees].

‘It’s a sad day’: Melbourne Uni Publishing board quit amid turmoil

By Henrietta Cook and Jason Steger, The Sydney Morning Herald, 30th Jan 2019

Melbourne University Publishing chief executive Louise Adler and five board members have dramatically resigned after the university decided to shift its focus to publishing academic books.

Former NSW premier Bob Carr, who was among the directors who stood down, said the independent publisher had been replaced with a “a boutique, cloistered press for scholars only.”

More at The Sydney Morning Herald

Stephanie Conn in ‘Banshee’: the poem ‘Family Line’

It brings back fond memories to Tasmanians appreciative of poetry to read new work by Northern Ireland poet Stephanie Conn in Irish literary journal Banshee.

Stephanie was a guest in October 2017 of the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, coinciding with a visit to her sister-in-law who lives in the north of the island.

Since then she’s been busy with a new collection, published by Doire Press (Ireland) early in 2018 and entitled ‘Island’ (taking its inspiration from Stephanie’s ancestors, farmers and fishermen and women on Copeland Island off the County Down coast); John Foggin (6th Jan 2019) traces an appreciative appraisal of her work on his blog The Great Fogginzo’s Cobweb here. Also check out Northern Vision’s vimeo production Novel Ideas.

‘Keats is dead…’: How young women are changing the rules of poetry

Donna Ferguson, ‘The Observer’, 27 Jan 2019

“Publishers have noticed there is an appetite for the writing of women and that if they ignore that appetite, they are not going to sell as many books. Young women working in publishing can also see what is popular online and say: this has a market.”

Emma Wright, 33, was one of those women. She set up her own poetry publishing house, The Emma Press, at the age of 25 after noticing that all the big publishers and poetry magazines were run by men – and that certain styles of poetry were not being published. “And it wasn’t because it wasn’t good. It was just not represented. It wasn’t in vogue. But the form, the subject matter and the style really resonated with me. I thought: who are the tastemakers? They did tend to be these older men,” she says.

Read more at The Observer

Links: Walleah Press