Southerly 79.3: The Way We Live Now


A collection of pandemic-adjacent writing, featuring new work by Claire Aman, Chris Andrews, Chris Arnold, Stuart Barnes, Vanessa Berry, Pam Brown, Pascalle Burton, Anne Casey, Julie Chevalier, Eileen Chong, Matthew Clarke, Josie/Jocelyn Deane, Shastra Deo, Lucy Dougan, Dave Drayton, Johanna Ellersdorfer, Blake Falcongreen, Michael Farrell, Liam Ferney, Toby Fitch, Angela Gardner, Jake Goetz, Elena Gomez, Melissa Hardie, Dan Hogan, Michael Stratford Hutch, Ella Jeffery, Rebecca Jessen, A. Frances Johnson, Jill Jones, Illawarra Climate Justice Alliance, John Kinsella, Harold Legaspi, Kate Lilley, Anthony Lynch, Julie McElhone, Julie Maclean, Sam Morley, Sandy O’Sullivan, Mark Peart, Patricia Pender, June Perkins, Π.Ο., Katrina Schlunke, Sophia Small, Beth Spencer, Lucy Sussex, Emily Stewart, Honni van Rijswijk, Catherine Vidler, Corey Wakeling and Alison Whittaker.


FREE, open access, read online, download here and/or print as you like.



The Way We Live Now is a special issue of Southerly edited by Melissa Hardie and Kate Lilley. In the spirit of Lauren Berlant, this issue tracks “the unfolding activity of the contemporary moment”: “a stretch of time in which one moves around with a sense that the world is at once intensely present and enigmatic, such that the activity of living demands both a wandering absorptive awareness and a hypervigilance that collects material that might help to clarify things” (Berlant, Cruel Optimism 4). The diverse work offered here, in Southerly’s first online-only issue, gathers “Australian” writing produced in many different places and circumstances. Heterogenous and singular in its contents, the layered contiguity of digital publication optimistically promotes the lateral and multitemporal formation of the commons, true to the big ambitions and longevity of this venerable “little magazine.” Our contributors dwell in and on the permeability of extreme and ordinary states, temporal confusion and disturbance, bringing genre to bear on forms of technological, linguistic, and psychical mediation, exposing Berlantian “impasse” in myriad ways. We are grateful to Create NSW for a grant to pay contributors at a particularly disastrous time for arts funding. Most of all, we are grateful to the brilliant contributors who have entrusted us with their work. We loved putting this issue together. We hope our readers love it too.

*Lauren Berlant. Cruel Optimism. Duke University Press, 2011.

This special edition is entirely open access and free. You may read it online, download and, if you wish, print and share it.

Click here to go to the digital issue and get a download link for a high quality print-ready issue, free!

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INTRODUCTION: Melissa Hardie and Kate Lilley

CONTENTS (Click for a printable PDF of the Contents pages, otherwise follow the links below to go direct to an item)

Chris Andrews: “Shufflemancy”
Chris Arnold: “offline”
Stuart Barnes: “Triolet on Receiving Email from C”
Pascalle Burton: “each one asks in fear, ‘will it be me?’”
Anne Casey: “The federal government has extended the international border ban until June”
Julie Chevalier: “rainy stay at home five visitors, max”
Eileen Chong: “Reason”
Shastra Deo: “Przewalski’s Horses Are Back in Belarus”
Lucy Dougan: “Down to the Corner”
Dave Drayton: “Return to Commute”
Blake Falcongreen: “Arcadia”
Michael Farrell: “In The Library”
Liam Ferney: “A Love Supreme”
Toby Fitch: “New Chronic Logics”
Angela Gardner: “Each Bending”
Jake Goetz: “Satellite Hearts”
Elena Gomez: “Zoe’s Catalytic Converter”
Dan Hogan: “How to leave work on time when working from home”
Michael Stratford Hutch: “Aerotropolis”
Ella Jeffery: “Nachträglichkeit”
Rebecca Jessen: “The New Year”
Jill Jones: “I can look—can’t I—”
John Kinsella: “Graphology Ratio 23”; “Condenser”
Harold Legaspi: “Cool Kids”
Kate Lilley: “Commons”
A. Frances Johnson and Anthony Lynch: “Zoom”
Julie Maclean: “Piffing Yonnies into the Post-Industrial”
Julie McElhone: “Nigh Times”
Sam Morley: “The algorithm says get tested”
Mark Peart: “April (interior)”; “Relapse”
π.o.: “On Us”
Katrina Schlunke: “Burning Cook”
Beth Spencer: “chronic kitty covid city”
Emily Stewart: “On pause / windswept”
Catherine Vidler: “Lost Matchstick Sonnets
Corey Wakeling: “The Gavel Foundation”
Alison Whittaker: “the poets are about to lie to you”


COVER: Catherine Vidler: Lost Matchstick Sonnet 16 (2021), Photograph, 14 cm x 16 cm



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