Writing his SWAG column-cum-editorial for Overland’s twenty-first issue in 1975, our founding editor Stephen Murray-Smith cheerfully reflected that despite the magazine being thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to make its four yearly issues at the time—we can sympathise on that last score, Steve—he had known the deep satisfaction of building a collective work of art with a community of sympathetic minds. Sending Overland’s 250th issue to print today, and after several years on the job ourselves, we share a small part of that satisfaction, together with a sharpened sense of wonder that this stubborn sanguine journal, born in the teeth of sectarian quarrels in the mid-century socialist movement, has not merely survived so long, but thrived so sanguinely. Like our irascible forebear, and the many wonderful editors since, we’ve had the immense pleasure of working with the brilliant, fierce, inventive and irrepressible writers for which Overland exists. In this issue’s essays we’re delighted to publish the iconoclast Louis Armand reflecting on the late great John Tranter, Jeff Sparrow on the elite capture of progressive ideas, Dallas Rogers on the politics of cartography and Fiannuala Morgan on the shifting character of landscape in Australian writing, and as always, some of the best Australian fiction and poetry. But as Murray-Smith wrote all those years ago, ‘a magazine, like a story, should try to live what it believes, and not go on about it’. So we are pleased to take this occasion to launch two new Overland initiatives: our City of Melbourne–supported project to digitise Overland’s 250 editions of excellent writing with new replies from Melbourne writers, and a partnership with energy cooperative CoPower to promote the discussion of sustainable energy, community organising, climate and the environment. Across these two projects we join our commitment to understanding our history, and focusing on priorities for the future.

Bugalwan, in solidarity, and here’s to the next 250 editions,

Evelyn and Jonathan

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a Goorie and Koori poet, researcher, and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her Stella-prize-winning poetry collection DROPBEAR was published by UQP in 2021. She lectures in Literature and Creative Writing at Deakin University.

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Jonathan Dunk

Jonathan Dunk is the co-editor of Overland and a widely published poet and scholar. He lives on Wurundjeri country.

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Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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