Why a literary journal? More specifically, why a print journal? The question arises because Overland has now become more a project than a particular format. Overland publishes online, with new content appearing most days. It hosts events and forums throughout the country, at literary festivals and elsewhere.
I have been homeless twice, both times with small children. Both times I had nowhere to live for more than a month, and was offered a roof by friends. Because I had somewhere to go, it didn’t occur to me to think of myself as one of the ‘homeless’. I was just me, in trouble.
Every addicted reader has a secret story about why they read and how they started and what reading meant to them as a child, a secret often disguised in adulthood as some odd and frankly unbelievable story about being carried away on the wings of imagination.
In preparation for an overseas trip, I’ve been packing up my books. As I take them from the shelves, I discover titles I’d long forgotten. The process is nostalgic. Books are like songs: they transport us instantly back in time. They can evoke images, thoughts, feelings gone but still residing somewhere within us.
In the months after submitting my PhD, I entered a series of fun runs and half marathons, partly because sport enabled me to forget about my thesis, but mainly because running cheered me up.
Late last year, a think tank called the Australian Security Research Centre (ASRC), whose staff includes former members of ASIO and the US Department of Defense, announced a new short story competition called ‘Australia’s Security Nightmares’, inviting ordinary-ish Aussies to submit terrorist plans as pieces of fiction. The competition’s goal, according to the editor’s preface by Dr Athol Yates, was ‘to produce a set of short stories that contribute to a better conception of possible future threats and help defence, intelligence services, emergency managers, health agencies … [et al.] to be better prepared’.
The fight over abortion in Australia’s Deep North.
Earlier this year, the remains of Ned Kelly were buried in a small graveyard in north-east Victoria. But the skeleton that was laid to rest 130 years after the bushranger’s execution was missing a skull. What happened to Ned’s head?
In the distant days of high school art history lessons, I learnt about the practice of patronage in medieval Europe. A wealthy duke would hand over a bag of florins to the local master craftsman who would then labour to produce a suitably religious artefact, such as an altarpiece in triptych panelling or an elaborate silver chalice.
Italy’s The Five Star Movement and the lure of internet ‘solutionism’.
Established by Churchill and Labour minister Hugh Dalton in 1940, the SOE was designed to encourage and facilitate espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in Nazi-controlled Europe and to aid local resistance movements.
It is just water going up and going down,’ the captain said in his thick French accent. By that stage I was familiar with the going up and down, but water isn’t just water when it’s being churned up by the wind in one of the most inhospitable oceans on Earth. It is a force of destruction.
Should freelance writers be organising? If so, how?
Last night he woke to squall thunder and the thud of something falling and he thought one thing – ‘snow’ – and fell asleep again, forced himself asleep so he wouldn’t wake and worry about what fell and what might break in the night.
Lockhart was lost. He crossed a border of shade to stand in the sunlight, looking around for a sign. At every step the coins in his pocket jangled. He was in the habit of carrying loose change about him to throw to beggars.
P “Like the fly pest in summer time, it simply had to come…” – FLGOFF (later FLTLT) John Harvey ‘Jack’ Newnham, RAAF WOP/AG No 418163. b. 26 Feb 22, Wangaratta,Vic. 454 Sqn – 24 Jun 44 -– 1 May 45
Sitting in the primordial light of jungle each day
I placed a finger on my forehead,
then on my chest where the bullet would strike.
As we move (crawl? march?) through this poem
I suggest that we all carry black umbrellas because
(though you may not have noticed) it’s raining
objects, all of them unspeakable.
On the radio at waking
someone from London explains
it was the Interbank rate that was manipulated
the break and enter of a flock of shearwaters migrating
across a frozen cube of air
caught by a storm,
split from the harbour
The men talking
on the porch in the pool of light.
‘Our lady of blessed acceleration, don’t fail me now’
The Blues Brothers
A bright day, but a cold day, Wind gusting thought and memory Across the continent, and away Across the world. My thoughts Are not my thoughts but given, Only, I may misspeak them. Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen dies In Tuonela, with snarling…
The swallows refuse to assist
My eye’s dismissal, tip toeing in the air
Like the minnows, suspended in the stream
swings from a clothes line,
this crazed squirrel in a t-shirt so
Wall Street domesticated and feral
An oriental tree hangs
over an aluminium
carport; souped up