We begin this edition with a warm thanks to all members of the Overland community who joined us in June for the launch of our previous edition and of our (long-awaited) digitised archive. The evening’s rich literary readings and discussions reflected the innumerable better worlds conceived and argued during Overland’s decades of publication. In the background of those celebrations, the work of commissioning, editing and proofing continued, and so from our end at any rate, this edition resounds with reflections of the fateful lessons and uncanny serendipities of time, pocketed with story and feeling. Bill Gammage, normally a historian of epic proportions, muses here in his essay “An Incident at Passchendaele” on the poignance of private coincidence in the shadow of sweeping epochal events.

As this year’s referendum on the Voice to Parliament approaches, certain reactionary mythological tendencies of the Australian historical consciousness are rearing their ugly heads, and we’re proud to publish a response to Geoffrey Blainey’s dubious July editorial against the Voice by the Aboriginal writer Barry Corr.

Jen Craig’s exploration of metafiction and gender in Scott McCulloch’s recently published novel Basin weighs the formal nuances and semantic after-effects of abjection. While Scott Robinson’s work of speculative philology, “The Earth is Still an Urne unto Us”, examines the techno-fix of carbon sequestration through a futural lens, as a mythological sacrifice to capitalism’s chthonic gods. Dan Disney’s aphoristic essay “grave sites” persists in a theme, reading modern Australia’s various attempts to write its own organic mythology through its obsessive funereal rituals.

Whatever else it is, cultural memory is made by the way we write it, as Heather Taylor-Johnson’s poem of intricate negations, “Nothing out of the Ordinary”, ironically reminds us:

in fact I’ve completely forgotten about it so I
almost didn’t write this poem, but then I thought none of us deserved it, nothing
extraordinary happened, I mean no-one even died.

In Solidarity

Evelyn Araluen & Jonathan Dunk

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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