Editorial

Type
Editorial

Overland was founded with dual commitments to literary quality, and to publishing and fostering diverse writers. At the widest extremes of certain kinds of argument these priorities can be placed into a false dichotomy, and made to seem mutually antagonistic,…

Type
Essay
Category
Climate politics
Environment

The invisible sea

As my plane soars over the Northern Territory, I imagine the ocean has turned into desert, its skin inscribed with song cycles. Ribbed earth stretches into ochre dunes like the bottom of the sea, the hills puckering with naked-looking, coppery scars. Darker blooms jut fractally into the dry, tessellating scales and the sandy plains are dotted with poppyseed vegetation.

Type
Essay
Category
China
Family

Libations

My mother calls her arrival in Australia ‘the years of hell’. In one story, she worked at the dry cleaners for a thousand unbroken days. By happy accident, she never left. Thanks to Bob Hawke’s tearful tribute, she stumbled into citizenship after 1989, the winner of a grisly scratchcard along with some forty thousand other Chinese. To this day, she votes Labor.

Type
Essay
Category
University
Work

Hopeless labour

At a certain point in the new political era of this century (and millennium), the peculiarly political branding of hope became inextricably bound up with the concept of work. Not only in the US, but also in Australia. After all, hope seemed to lead away from both a racially segregated America and the jingoism that characterised the Howard era, towards a more inclusive idea focused upon relentless productivity and individualised pursuit.

Type
Short Story Prize
Category
Judges' report
Neilma Sidney Prize

Judges Notes for Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize 2020

Of the many stories we read, ‘The Case of G: A Child Raised by Trains’ was easily one of the most original takes on the travel theme. Framed as an article for an academic journal, Dearborn’s story follows the case of an impoverished child found living among trains. One of those trains in fact—the 6.55 am from Greenhill Station—the young girl has taken to calling ‘ma’.

Type
Short Story Prize
Category
Neilma Sidney Prize

The Case of G: A Child Raised by Trains

Readers of this journal will be aware that there have been numerous historical instances of children discovered in the care of creatures as varied as chimpanzees, wolves and elephants; and, of course, many more unverified accounts exist, from the case documented by Professor Oskar König in ‘The Bat Boy of Bersenbrück’ to the unlikely tale of the Lithuanian girl who was rumoured to have grown up within a hive of bees.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Anchor point

The ground against her back, Leila has her eyes on the sky. Not long ago it was watercolour blue, milky and pale and full of cotton-ball clouds; now blue is draining from it and the air is cooler. Her fingertips feel icy. She reaches an arm towards her backpack, still there on the dry leaves.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Why green when silver

Around that time I’d spend most Saturdays on the couch watching television. And around that time my younger brother had a habit of nagging me. He’d pull my sleeves or kick my feet and make demands. I tried not to be harsh with him, for my mother’s sake, but also because I didn’t want to damage his view of me.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

The wild red herbivore

There’s only one road out of the mountains and that plays on their minds. There’s an air strip and a dam. Poor options if the Wild Red Herbivore, driven mad by wind, comes raging and ripping and wrecking its way through the forest. It’s savaged this forest before, leaving scars and stags—dead standing trees.

Type
Poetry Prize
Category
Judith Wright Poetry Prize
Poetry

book of hours

this is the poem from my dream I say / office hours are a myth / publishing poems is money for nothing / the supermarket is both under and over policed / today the first thing I said was ‘shut up’ (cat) / possible upsides to a pandemic include the death of musicals / possible downsides include the personal essay / publishing poems is printing money but the money is bad /

Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

after life

after the fact / they will position / our limbs heads and feet so they are pointing north-south / east-west / west-east as if to greet the dawn / or watch the setting sun / or shun forever the light

Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Customs declaration

1 Beginning our descent with a banking turn of phrase and amusement park views. Arm doors, arm holes. Jingoistic chit-chat in the fouled cabin air. Exiting Economy through the refuse of Business: eye-masks and fine print. Leaf-blowers on Lime St,…

Type
Poetry Prize
Category
Judith Wright Poetry Prize
Poetry

book of hours

this is the poem from my dream I say / office hours are a myth / publishing poems is money for nothing / the supermarket is both under and over policed / today the first thing I said was ‘shut up’ (cat) / possible upsides to a pandemic include the death of musicals / possible downsides include the personal essay / publishing poems is printing money but the money is bad /