Poetry in Lockdown

In the first half of 2020, Overland received a small grant to help the magazine provide writing and publishing opportunities during the pandemic lockdown, part of a broader scheme by Creative Victoria to save the arts sector when so many jobs and gigs completely disappeared for so many artists. ‘Poetry in Lockdown’ is one outcome of this—a standalone poetry special issue containing new work by twelve poets from across Australia. In commissioning these new works we imposed no theme on the poets. However, with the pandemic as background to all our lives, it is impossible not to read the poems in that context. Collating these poems has been a salve for us. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have. 


Eunice Andrada — kulani 
Tony Birch — Waiting for a train with Thelma Plum
Andrew Brooks — Excerpt from ‘salt’ 
Mark Cayanan — Stillbirths wrapped in newsprint 
Michael Farrell — Leaves to the imagination
Adalya Nash Hussein — October monthly
Neika Lehman — The well
Jazz Money — The new place
Leah Muddle — A spiral (or certain themes revisited)
Emily Stewart — Sky updates / blue platform
Dženana Vucic — 500 words towards feeling: or, all my poems become war poems
Panda Wong — Cemeteries on google earth: a suite of poems


Read the rest of Poetry in Lockdown, edited by Toby Fitch and Melody Paloma

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Toby Fitch

Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor, a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Sydney, and the poet behind RawshockBloomin’ NotionsWhere Only the Sky had Hung Before and, most recently, Sydney Spleen. He is the editor of the poetry anthologies Best of Australian Poems 2021 (co-edited with Ellen van Neerven) and Groundswell: The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New & Emerging Poets 2007–2020.

Melody Paloma

Melody Paloma is a poet and researcher based in Naarm. She is a MFA candidate at UNSW and the author of Some Days (SOd, 2018) and In Some Ways Dingo (Rabbit, 2017).

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