Published 7 August 20129 August 2012 · Writing Audio Overland Maxine Beneba Clarke With Audio Overland, a major Australian literary journal has found its way to publishing a literature previously beyond its scope. That there is a new venue for great Australian literature is something for all writers to celebrate. That the literature in question is aural text, in a country where so few opportunities exist for the creators of aural poetry to be recognised in terms on par with their less vocal poetic comrades, makes the occasion all the more significant. As for my part as editor, what an honour to set an ear – the repeat button, a dreamspace, a headspace – to the soundtrack of spoken word in this country, if only a slice of it. The final poems in Audio Overland differ considerably in tenor and delivery, length and lyric, tone and theme. Taken as a collection there is something, perhaps evasive at first listening, which connects them all: Qian’s tale of the two-cultured tongue, Jackson’s curt cut-through of the lies hidden behind suburban weatherboard domesticity , Solah’s blood-fingered boys escaping over the barbed wire like it’s nothing, like it’s nothing, Jacky T’s small town anti-anthem, Whelan opening the hotel room door to Hutchence’s surreal rock ‘n’ roll death, the levee breaking in Nicholls’ relationship post-script. There is something refreshingly, unavoidably, unpretentiously and unpatriotically snap-shot about these pieces which leave me feeling that Australia’s forked and winding narratives, and indeed contemporary Australian poetry, are on fine, fierce and honest lips. In Omar Musa’s apocalyptic ‘What Will Be Left of Us?’, various versions of our history battle it out for prominence on the deserted streets backdropped by a collapsing city scape. Racist speeches by Alfred Deakin and Edmond Barton / backflip over school textbooks with dick jokes in the margins. Among the devastation, Musa concludes, what will be left of us? This will. Listen to the issue. Maxine Beneba Clarke Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016. More by Maxine Beneba Clarke › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays 3 First published in Overland Issue 228 26 May 20238 June 2023 · Writing garramilla/Darwin Lulu Houdini We sit in East Point Reserve and look at how the gidjaas, green ants, make globe-like homes out of the leaves — connected edges with fibrous tissue that I later learn is faithful silk. Safe inside. Why isn’t it safe outside? I pick up the plastic around this circular lake cause this is the way […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 23 February 202324 February 2023 · Writing From work to text, and back again: ChatGPT and the (new) death of the author Rob Horning Generative models extinguish the dream that Barthes’s Death of the Author articulates by fulfilling it. Their ‘tissue of signs’ seems less like revolution and more like the fear that AI will create a recursive postmodern nightmare world of perpetual sameness that we will all accept because we no longer remember otherwise or how to create an alternative.