It was near enough to a decade ago that one Susan Fealy materialized on the Melbourne literary scene as if out of nowhere – or so it seems in retrospect, and so it appeared to me at the time. She had written a searching response to my then recently published novella, The Poet, and this led to an exchange of emails and our first meeting. We began to cross paths at poetry readings, and I soon discovered that Susan loved to write long but interesting emails packed with her musings and reflections on matters literary, artistic, or otherwise noteworthy. As time went on, these emails, and our conversations whenever we met up, gradually revealed to me a person who thought hard about language, art, ideas, the natural world; a serious, passionate reader who probed deeply into whatever text was before her or whatever notion was exercising her mind.

More from Alex Skovron, at Rochford Street Review, 21st March, 2017.



Issue forty-four of Otoliths has hit the hustings. Included in this issue are Eileen R. Tabios, Sheila E. Murphy, Steve Dalachinsky, Andrew Topel, Brandon Nakasato, Cecelia Chapman, David Lohrey, C. R. E. Wells, Norman M. Gendelman, Texas Fontanella, Philip Byron Oakes, Caitlin Rose Doyle, Keith Walker, John Xero, David Dick, Kyle Hemmings, Mary Claire Garcia, Jesse Glass, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Philip Elliott, Sanjeev Sethi, sean burn, Kirk Robinson & Garin Cycholl & William Allegrezza, Bill Wolak, Pete Spence, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Thomas M. Cassidy, osvaldo cibils, Kelly J. Powell, harry k stammer, Raymond Farr, John Amen, Lucianna Chixaro Ramos, a.j. carruthers, Olivier Schopfer, Joel Chace, Carol Stetser, Les Wicks, Volodymyr Bilyk, Lana Bella, Diana Magallón, Clara B. Jones, Laurent Grison & Yvon Guillou, Meeah Williams, Michael Berton, Michael Farrell, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Charles Borkhuis & John McCluskey, Lakey Comess, John Martone, Evan Gray, Willie Smith, Allen Forrest, M. Leland Oroquieta, hiromi suzuki, Jack Galmitz, Mason Keys, Joe Balaz, Luisa-Evelina Stifii, Howie Good, Matina L. Stamatakis, George Moore, Drew B. David, Adam Levon Brown, Márton Koppány, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Carlyle Baker, J. Crouse, Richard Kostelanetz, Heath Brougher, Anwer Ghani, J. Ray Paradiso, AG Davis, Joanna Thomas, Kasy Long, Heller Levenson, Tom Snarsky, Dawn Nelson Wardrope, cathy aragon, Jeff Harrison, Marco Giovenale, John W. Sexton, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, bruno neiva, Stu Hatton, Ian Gibbins, dan raphael, Alberto Vitacchio, Douglas Penick, Nika & Jim McKinniss, Alan Summers, Jeff Bagato, Mariapia Fanna Roncoroni, Michael O’Brien, M.J. Iuppa, Carla Bertola, Andrew Galan, Katrinka Moore, Thom Sullivan, Joseph Veronneau, Marcia Arrieta, Sean Negus, Shloka Shankar, Seth Howard, Paul T. Lambert, John Pursch, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Linda M. Walker, Tony Beyer, Edward Kulemin, PT Davidson, Michael Brandonisio, Adam Fieled, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Angad Arora, Bob Heman, Carol Ciavonne, Sheila Windsor & Brendan Slater, Stephen J. Williams, Marilyn Stablein, Felino A. Soriano, Louie Crew Clay, Peter Bakowski, David Heg & Nicolette Wong, Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis, J. D. Nelson, & Marilyn R. Rosenberg & Ann R. Shapiro.

There’s also an interview at Thomas Fink’s new interview site, Dichtung Yammer, where editor Mark Wright speaks with Tim Wright about the Otoliths journey.



StylusLit is a new bi-annual online literary journal, publishing poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, interviews and reviews, and the first issue will go live in March 2017.

Only previously unpublished work is accepted, that is, the work has not appeared on radio or TV, and has not been published digitally (any website) or in print. Copyright remains with the author. Acknowledgment by the poet of any work first published in StylusLit would be appreciated.

StylusLit is accepting submissions for poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction. Submissions for first issue will be accepted from 14th November 2016 to 14th January 2017. Send to Interviews and reviews are commissioned by the editor.


In the subject header of your email include the genre and the title of your piece, for example, ‘Short Story: The Girl in the Photograph’, and a 40 word bio in your email.


Please submit up to three (3) poems at a time,
Please cut and paste poems into the body of the email,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
Short story or creative non-fiction:

Please submit not more than one (1) short story or creative non-fiction piece per submission period,
Please include title, word count and your name in the header of your attached document,
Maximum word length is 5,000 words,
Submit as .doc or .docx file,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
StylusLit is a non-profit organisation and is unable to pay contributors.

The StylusLit Team

Poetry Editor and publisher:
Rosanna Licari was the publisher and founding editor of Stylus Poetry Journal from 2002 to 2010. She was also a co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival from 2002 to 2003. She completed her Master in Philosophy in creative writing (poetry) at the University of Queensland. Her collection, An Absence of Saints won the 2009 Thomas Shapcott Prize, the Anne Elder Poetry Prize and the 2011 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2010/211 Mary Gilmore Prize. In 2015, she won the inaugural Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Poetry Prize for her poem, ‘The Wait’. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Short stories and creative non-fiction editor:
Andrew Leggett is a Brisbane writer and editor of poetry, fiction, reviews and interdisciplinary academic papers. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from University of Queensland and has recently completed a doctoral thesis in creative writing (a novel In Dreams and its exegesis on the place of dreams in the novel and the cinematic work of David Lynch). He edited the Australasian Journal of Psychotherapy from 2006-2011. His collections Old Time Religion and Other Poems (1998) and Dark Husk of Beauty (2006) were published by Interactive Press.

Review editor:
Alison Clifton has reviewed poetry anthologies, chapbooks, and collections for M/C Words, Cordite and the Australian Poetry Journal. She holds a First Class Honours degree in English from the University of Queensland and her thesis was a formal analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Her doctoral thesis in English Literature from the University of Queensland explored the work of the late British poet, Geoffrey Hill.


Our president-elect appears to enjoy the rococo, too, but it is the wrong kind of rococo: not delicate craftsmanship as a blow to misogyny, but the gilding of every conceivable surface, the flaunting of a wealth he has used to hurt others, as a boastful public spectacle. Trump represents the end of liberalism, the end of self-restraint and public kindness delivered through flawed, long-lived institutions, at least on a national scale. The social contract of Paul Wellstone and Richard Rorty, of A. Phillip Randolph and Eleanor Roosevelt, and for that matter of Barack Obama, seems all torn up.

It is possible to imagine human progress—to imagine that we can make things better—and it is possible to imagine historical continuity—a future along the same lines as the recent past—but it is no longer possible for me to hold in mind both things at once. Nor is it possible for me to imagine that our institutions, long held up by tacit norms of professionalism and ethics, are likely to heal themselves. “Most of the American public,” writes international relations scholar Dan Drezner, “either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the norms that Trump is breaching,” no more than they care what a sonnet can be.

By Stephen Burt; more at Boston Review


Issue forty-three, the southern spring 2016 issue of Otoliths is now live & available. Read it here.

Otoliths 43 features work in a variety of styles & a variety of media from Jesse Glass, El Habib Louai, Scott MacLeod, Maria Damon & Alan Sondheim, Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo, Cecelia Chapman, Pete Spence, Kyle Hemmings, Heath Brougher, Volodymyr Bilyk, George McKim, Nicole Pottier, John J. Trause, Sanjeev Sethi, Ian Ganassi, Jim Leftwich, Willie Smith, Philip Byron Oakes, Mary Claire Garcia, Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy, AG Davis, Peter Ganick, differx (Marco Giovenale), Jim Meirose, Mark Roberts, Olivier Schopfer, William Repass, Texas Fontanella, Michael Gottlieb, John W. Sexton, Edward A. Dougherty, Eric Hoffman, hiromi suzuki, Simon Perchik, John M. Bennett, Ivan Argüelles, Scott Helmes, John Xero, Pat Nolan, Andrew Topel, Daniel John Pilkington, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Raymond Farr, Lakey Comess, Bill Dunlap, Christopher Barnes, Robert Okaji, Jeff Bagato, Nico Vassilakis, Mitchell Garrard, Keith Higginbotham, Fabrice Poussin, Richard Kostelanetz, Sabine Miller, Meeah Williams, sean burn, Louise Landes Levi, Brendan Slater, Oscar Towe, Tom Beckett, Mark McKain, Jürgen O. Olbrich, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Jorge Lucio de Campos, Eileen R. Tabios, Andrea Mason, Joe Balaz, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Jacqueline M. Pérez, Owen Bullock, Roger Mitchell, Steve Dalachinsky, Jeff Harrison, Aurélien Leif, Holly Day, Stephen Vincent, Carol Stetser, nick nelson, Seth Howard, Taylor Leigh Ciambra, Poornima Laxmeshwar, Hamish Spark, Márton Koppány, Alicia Cole, Cara Murray, bruno neiva, Jack Kelly, Mark Cunningham, Massimo Stirneri, Matt Dennison, Olchar E. Lindsann, Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Darren Marsh, Nika & Jim McKinniss, Natsuko Hirata, Tony Beyer, Edward Kulemin, John Pursch, Irene Koronas, Darren C. Demaree, nick-e melville, Josette Torres, Shloka Shankar, Piotr Kalisz, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Bob Heman, Garima Behal, Paul T. Lambert, J. D. Nelson, Michael Brandonisio, Eddie Donoghue, Katrinka Moore, Indigo Perry, & Marilyn Stablein.

Also, the print parts of Issue forty-two are now available from The Otoliths Storefront. “Apologies for the price of Part 2, but, unfortunately, 288 pages of full color doesn’t come cheap. Issue forty-three will be available by the middle of November.”

“Finally, a plug for the new book by Alberto Vitacchio, Landlessness, in which the Pequod becomes a vessel engaged not only in a search for Moby-Dick but also in an exploration of American literature. Extracts have appeared in a couple of issues of Otoliths, & the entire is now available through Amazon.”


Issue forty-two, the southern winter 2016 issue of Otoliths is now live & available.

This issue is dedicated to Ed Baker, who, sadly, died in March, & contains work from Cecelia Chapman, A.A. Kostas, Texas Fontanella, Matthew Moffett, Philip Byron Oakes, Nathan Spoon, Jack Galmitz, Michael Ruby, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Jared Chipkin, Dion Farquhar, Richard Kostelanetz, Adam Phillips, Jürgen Olbrich, Kyle Hemmings, Sanjeev Sethi, John M. Bennett, Baron, Diane Keys, Thomas M. Cassidy, Felino A. Soriano, Mansee Dhapola, Gregg Williard, Daniel de Culla, Marco Giovenale, Ben Egerton, David Felix, Simon Perchik, Philip Hammial, Olivier Schopfer, J. I. Kleinberg, dan raphael, David J. Kelly, Willie Smith, Howie Good, Joel Chace, Tara Roeder, Scott MacLeod, Glenn R. Frantz, Melwin Rathod, Karen Neuberg, Jessie Janeshek, Chris Wells, AG Davis, Kevin Rabas, Annette Plasencia, Karl Kempton, Jim Leftwich, Catherine Vidler, Steve Dalachinsky, Mary Kasimor, Lakey Comess, Shataw Naseri, Márton Koppány, Linda King, Stephen Nelson, Wayne Mason, Marcello Diotallevi, Pete Spence, Eileen R. Tabios, Anne M Carson, Stephen Emmerson, Anne Elvey, Brendan Slater, mwpm, Clara B. Jones, Jake Goetz, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen & Maria Damon, Tim Pilgrim, John Pursch, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Ed Baker, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Izzy Lamb, Jeff Harrison, Joe Balaz, Raymond Farr, Mark DuCharme, sean burn, Massimo Stirneri, Eeva Maria Karhunen, hiromi suzuki, bruno neiva, Seth Howard, Marcia Arrieta, Jeff Bagato, sylvie anomie, Joseph Cooper, Natsuko Hirata, Jesse Glass, Edward Kulemin, Caleb Puckett, Charles Wilkinson, Cherie Hunter Day, Bob Heman, Mercedes Webb-Pullman, Gian Luigi Braggio, J. D. Nelson, Paul T. Lambert, Ricky Garni, Michael Brandonisio, Mary Ellen Derwis, Joseph V. Milford, Katrinka Moore, Spencer Selby, Indigo Perry, Shloka Shankar, Tom Brami, Garima Behal, & Dale Wisely.


Meanjin-Autumn3D-267x300One of Australia’s longest-running literary magazines, Meanjin, may soon be forced to shut down after being told on Thursday its application for funding had been rejected by the Australia Council.

The magazine, which began publishing in 1940, has received commonwealth funding since 1961, first through the Commonwealth Literary Fund and then from 1974 through Australia Council.

The magazine had applied for $95,000 a year over a four-year period. It remains funded until the end of the year, after which editor Jonathan Green said, “there’s nothing”.

By Monica Tan; more at The Guardian, 12 May 2016

Infinite snark: who’s afraid of the Melbourne literary scene?

Sydney and Melbourne are fighting again.

Australia’s writing community loves nothing more than talking about itself and, in recent days, it has been transfixed by an incendiary article published in this quarter’s Meanjin. In “Getting Square in a Jerking Circle”, the Sydney writer Luke Carman delivers an extended jeremiad against the Melbourne literary scene.

In tones of considerable venom, Carman excoriates arts administrators in general and Melbourne’s City of Literature pretensions in particular. His targets are “the social climbers of the arts”: arts administrators at creative institutions – journals, festivals, funding bodies and hubs – working in that most notorious cosa nostra, “the Melbourne literati mafia”.

By Ben Eltham; more at The Guardian


Getting Square in a Jerking Circle

The Melbourne literati mafia may have little ‘real-world’ potency, but that’s not their game. Instead, they rely on an invidious power of suggestion that gnaws its way into the consciousness of young Australian writers. Their grim visage solidifies in the minds of our future writers, creating enough fog and smoke to overwhelm the victim and blind their common sense. In ‘Right Time, Right Place: How the Melbourne Voice Shuts Writers Out’, Jonno Revanche, an Adelaide-based writer, describes the influence of the ‘Melbourne Voice’ on wannabe writers. Confronting the amassed cultural capital of the ‘romanticised’ City of Literature as a young outsider with aspirations of making it in the world of letters, Revanche describes a common feeling of despair: ‘I would continually beat myself up over “not being contemporary enough”, and felt like my honest words simply weren’t valuable.’

Revanche’s account of the Melbourne voice’s ‘oppressive’ influence paints this literary clique-hole as a cultish cabal holding the country’s literary ‘stakeholders’ to ransom. It is an exaggeration of the power wielded by Melbourne’s lit mobsters, and since it played directly to the vanity of these anti-artists, they were quick to laude Revanche’s article as ‘an important and necessary provocation’—the usual descriptor the clique-lords use to describe any opinion piece with which they agree. By contrast, Brigid Delaney’s response piece in the Guardian, which suggested that the so-called ‘Melbourne Voice’ was a paper-thin mythological irrelevance perpetuated by an insular crowd of insufferable literary baristas, was dismissed by the anti-artists as a self-serving ‘think piece’—the descriptor typically used to delegitimise any opinion piece with which the anti-artists and their disciples disagree.

By Luke Carman; more from Meanjin: Autumn 2016