Reason #1 to subscribe to Overland, as told by our Poetry Editor, Toby Fitch


It is a privilege and an honour to enter another year of working as poetry editor for Overland, and I’d like to acknowledge the team of readers who help me sort through the thousands of poems we receive each year. In every issue of Overland, alongside essays, creative non-fiction and fiction, you’ll find up to ten pages of poetry.

The poems featured, by established and emerging poets alike, are some of the best new poetry being written in Australia, and certainly some of the most politically engaged. In recent issues, you can read ecopoems, poems of the working class, poems by migrants, poems evincing Indigenous rights, poems that critique racism, sexism, capitalism, neoliberalism and the nation state, and poems that experiment with form and syntax, including visual poems. Though, of course, the poems are not limited to any of these categories.

In the last two to three years, we have expanded our poetry offerings by publishing a poem online every three weeks in our Friday Poem series, the latest of which was our fortieth, ‘Class act’ by Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn. The series generally features longer topical works, and has included the likes of John Kinsella, Ellen van Neerven, Omar Sakr, Ursula Robinson-Shaw and Jill Jones. We also recently published a special online edition, ‘Poetry in Lockdown’, featuring new work written during the Covid-19 lockdowns by twelve poets, which I co-edited with Melody Paloma, and Overland plans to publish more poetry special issues in future.

Our annual Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets (enter the competition here) is into its sixteenth year and will be judged this year by Pam Brown, Lachlan Brown and myself. The prize continues to unearth new poets and poems of the highest quality. The 2021 winners – ‘are you ready poem’ by Ender Baskan, ‘the national debt’ by Gareth Morgan, and ‘stones’ by Lillian Rupcic, all published in issue #246 – were brilliant. One line in the context of Baskan’s existential poem about work – ‘but how do we live if we dont make art’ – continues to revolve in my brain, as it articulates something I’ve always felt deeply but not always had the words for. Poetry does this to you in simple and complex ways.

In January 2022, we published Groundswell: The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New & Emerging Poets 2007–2020, which contains all the winners and place-getters of the first 14 years of the prize (a sonnet of years), from Evelyn Araluen and Dan Hogan to Astrid Lorange and Alison Whittaker, plus new poems that show the trajectory of the winners’ poetry since featuring in the prize, and an introductory essay about the significance of the prize and Judith Wright’s legacy. It’s a wild anthology that presents a unique survey of new poetry in twenty-first century Australia.

To keep up with all the poetry (and everything else) Overland publishes, subscribe!

– Overland Poetry Editor, Toby Fitch

If you support the literary pages and spaces we make, show us by subscribing, renewing or donating during this one very important week.

Anyone who subscribes, renews or donates by Friday 11 November goes into the running for three truly astounding prize draws – the major prize draw, the daily prize draw and the regional prize draw!

An annual subscription – which includes four print issues, the daily online magazine, invitations to subscriber events, discounted entry to Overland competitions, and other opportunities and giveaways – is just $60 full and $45 students/unwaged.

Speaking of prizes, we are extremely thankful to our generous friends and supporters who made this year’s Subscriberthon possible! Read about them and their work here.

Major prizes

MAJOR PRIZE ONE

What’s in this major prize?

The Pentax PC-55 35mm Point and Shoot Camera + 35mm film from FilmNeverDie

MAJOR PRIZE TWO

What’s in this major prize?

A Jordaan Step Through Bike from LEKKER Bikes

Today’s daily prize is …

What’s in this prize?

A HUGE collection of titles from Subbed In + Subbed In mug and t-shirt:

  • apocalypse scroll like it was normal by kenji kinz
  • Sexy Tales of Paleontology by Patrick Lenton
  • In The Drink by Emily Crocker
  • If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams by Eloise Grills
  • blur by the by Cham Zhi Yi
  • Uncle Hercules and other lies by Patrick Lenton
  • The Naming by Aisyah Shah Idil
  • The Hostage by Šime Knežević
  • When I die slingshot my ashes onto the surface of the moon by Jennifer Nguyen
  • Girls and Buoyant by Emily Crocker
  • Parenthetical Bodies by Alex Gallagher
  • HAUNT (THE KOOLIE) by Jason Gray
  • wheeze by Marcus Whale

A collection of Going Down Swinging back issues

A 1-year PBS Proud membership and merch pack, including a tote bag, badges and stickers

Three A4 prints from Vietnamese-Australian print artist (and issue cover artist) Hop Dac

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

Regional prizes

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

What’s in this prize?

A $50 voucher for The Book Cow bookshop

A 1-year membership for ACT Writers Centre

A selection of titles from Ultimo Press, including:

  • Cold Coast by Robyn Mundy
  • In the Time of the Manaroans by Miro Bilbrough
  • Home and Other Hiding Places by Jack Ellis
  • My Heart is a Little Wild Thing by Nigel Featherstone
  • Pain and Privilege by Sophie Smith
  • Brother Alive by Zain Khalid
  • My Friend Fox by Heidi Everett
  • When Things are Alive They Hum by Hannah Bent
  • Love & Virtue by Diana Reid
  • Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens by Shankari Chandran
  • Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl
  • A Kind of Magic, by Anna Spargo-Ryan

A collection of Giramondo titles, including:

  • Sun Music by Judith Beveridge
  • The Dancer by Evelyn Juers
  • Bon and Lesley by Shaun Prescott
  • How to Be Between by Bastian Fox Phelan

NEW SOUTH WALES

What’s in this prize?

Three wheel-thrown-pottery classes and one practice session to learn throwing, trimming and glazing clay
at The Pottery Shed

A 1-year membership for Writing NSW

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

A $30 voucher for Bookshop by Uro

A pack of great books, including:

  • What the Fuck Is This by Celeste Mountjoy (Pan Macmillan)
  • What Fear Was by Ben Walter (Puncher and Wattmann)
  • Iris by Fiona Kelly McGregor (Picador Australia)
  • Enclave by Claire G. Coleman (Hachette)

NORTHERN TERRITORY

What’s in this prize?

A $150 voucher for Red Kangaroo Books

A 1-year membership to NT Writers Centre

A collection of UQP titles, including:

  • Tell Me Again, by Amy Thunig
  • Desi Girl, by Sarah Malik
  • True Friends, by Patti Miller
  • Here Be Leviathans, by Chris Flynn
  • Bone Memories, by Sally Piper

A Clothing the Gaps reusable coffee cup and stickers

An Overland t-shirt

A bottle of Monceau non-alcoholic pet nat

QUEENSLAND

What’s in this prize?

A 1-year membership for Queensland Writers Centre

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

A $30 voucher for Bookshop by Uro

Clothing the Gaps stickers and book

A copy of Groundswell, edited by Toby Fitch

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

What’s in this prize?

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

A 1-year membership to Writers SA

A collection of titles from Transit Lounge, including:

  • T by Alan Fyfe
  • Sweeny and the Bicycle by Philip Salmon
  • Revenge: Murder in Three Parts by S. L. Lim
  • Telltale by Carmel Bird
  • Tokyo Midnight by Kip Scott
  • Night Blue by Angela O’Keeffe
  • The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou
  • Hydra by Adriane Howell
  • Moon Sugar by Angela Meyers
  • The Signal Line by Brendan Colley

A $30 voucher for Matilda Bookshop

An Overland t-shirt

TASMANIA

What’s in this prize?

A 1-year membership for Tasmanian Writers Centre

A $100 voucher for Du Cane Brewing co.

A 1-year subscription to Island magazine

A $50 voucher for Hobart Bookshop

A copy of Groundswell, edited by Toby Fitch

Clothing the Gap stickers

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

VICTORIA

What’s in this prize?

3 x $125 vouchers for ClayTalk (Montsalvat) ‘clay taster’ pottery classes

 $500 worth of home energy efficiency advice and improvements from CoPower

A $50 voucher for Hill of Content Bookshop

A $30 voucher for North Melbourne Books

A $30 voucher for Bookshop by Uro

A 1-year membership for Writers Victoria

1 bottle of Noisy Ritual wine

A bottle of Monceau non-alcoholic pet nat

A copy of Groundswell, edited by Toby Fitch

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

What’s in this prize?

A collection of titles from Fremantle Press, including:

  • Paradise (Point of Transmission) by Andrew Sutherland
  • Blue Wren by Bron Bateman
  • Second Fleet Baby by Nadia Rhook
  • Minds Went Walking: Paul Kelly Songs Reimagined curated by Mark Smith, Neil A White and Jock Serong
  • Try Not to Think of a Pink Elephant: Stories of OCD by Martin Ingle
  • The Glass House by Brooke Dunnell
  • Eye of a Rook by Josephine Taylor

A 1-year subscription to Westerly

A $30 voucher for Bookshop by Uro

A bottle of Monceau non-alcoholic pet nat

An Overland t-shirt

NEW ZEALAND

What’s in this prize?

A $25 Unity Books voucher

An Introduction to Creative Course Online (6-week course) with a personal one-on-one tutor from The Creative Hub, valued at $NZ 496

A 10-trip pass to Auckland Writers Festival ’23 (Digital)

TAKE ME TO THE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS!

Editorial Team

Natasha Batten has been an editorial assistant at Overland since 2012. She works by day as a production coordinator for a client publisher in Melbourne. Natasha prefers stories to warm and haunt her in equal parts. All the light we cannot see, A little life, and The glorious heresies are some of her recent favourite reads.

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.


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