The Political Imagination

Southerly 73-1 cover_Layout 1

At the core of this issue of Southerly – its first section – is a collection of essays originating in papers delivered at The Political Imagination: Contemporary Diasporic and Postcolonial Poetries, a conference held at the City Campus of Deakin University on 12th and 13th April 2012. This collection has been edited for us by Ann Vickery and Ali Alizadeh, of Deakin and Monash Universities respectively, and is presented to our readers in the clear sense that it reflects a significant development in literary criticism, poetics, and literary theory.

In the rest of the issue we present, with thanks to Alan Gold and Kate Lilley, our fiction and poetry editors, Southerly’s usual selection of the best of new Australian poetry and short fiction, from established authors as well as from writers relatively new to the scene, and a generous selection of reviews of recent Australian poetry and fiction, edited for us by Toby Fitch and Kate Livett, our reviews editors. These selections are extended in The Long Paddock, our free to the public online component. The Long Paddock has become a more and more integral part of each issue of Southerly. Please make sure that you peruse it!

Now and again, for all the best of our editorial efforts and intentions, a gremlin will strike. It has been brought to our notice that “And I wanted to be”, a poem by Kerry Reed-Gilbert on page 177 of our issue A Handful of Sand, guest edited by Ali Cobby Eckermann and Lionel Fogarty, was misattributed to Trevor Deshung. We apologise to both Kerry and Trevor for this error. I would hope that it goes without question that we take all the care we can to represent out contributors faithfully, poets, fiction writers, essayists and reviewers alike (whether or not we agree with all that they say!).

David Brooks




Ann Vickery and Ali Alizadeh, The Political Imagination: Postcolonialism and Diaspora in Contemporary Australian Poetry 7
Lucy Van, “Why Waste Lines on Achille?”: Tracing the Critical Discourse on Postcolonial Poetry through Untimeliness to the Present 22
Lyn McCredden, (Un)Belonging in Australia: Poetry and Nation 40
Ali Alizadeh and Penelope Pitt-Alizadeh, Metapolitics vs. Identity Politics: (Re-)Radicalising the Postcolonial 57
Timothy Yu, On Asian Australian Poetry 75
Ania Walwicz, Cut Tongue and the Mechanism of Defence 89
Danijela Kambaskovic, Breaching the social contract: the migrant poet and the politics of being apolitical 96
Adam Aitken, A poetics of (un)becoming hybridity 123
Michael Farrell, An “Infinitely Flexible” Space: Reading Michael Dransfield’s “Courland Penders” poems through the Neobaroque and Dobrez’s theory of “the Pouch” 138
Peter Minter, Archipelagos of sense: thinking about a decolonised Australian poetics 155


Peter Boyle, Towns in the Great Desert 170
Danijela Kambaskovic, Belgrade Sunday Lunch 172
Luke Fischer, Tübingen 173
Louise Crisp, Washout–Briar–Gulch 175
πo, 33 3333 182
Adrienne Eberhard, Chasing Marie Antoinette All Over Paris 183
Liam Ferney, I Live Off You 184
Matthew Spence, In Collection 185
Vaughan Rapatahana, Home in j. pineda 186
Geoff Page, Horseback 188
John Tranter, Nitrile 190


Angela Rojter, A Small Piece of White Cloud 191
Stephen Orr, Extract from An Australian Wake 198
Rachel Leary, God’s Lost Sheep 210
Jeremy Fisher, Ready to dance 218
Louise D’Arcy, The Spiny Freshwater Crayfish 221


Jal Nicholl on Michael Farrell, open sesame and Jennifer Maiden, Liquid Nitrogen 230
Tim Grey on Michael Brennan, Autoethnographic 237
Marilla North on David Brooks, The Conversation 242
Nicola Themistes on Keri Glastonbury, grit salute and Jill Jones, Ash is Here, So are Stars 247
Kate Livett on Marion May Campbell, konkretion 251
Sam Franzway on Vikki Wakefield, Friday Brown 256
Josh Mei-Ling Dubrau on Jacqueline Wright, Red Dirt Talking 260



And in the Long Paddock…


Peter Boyle, poems 7 and 8 form Towns in the Great Desert
Danijela Kambaskovic, De Vita Sedentaria; Power
πO, Hymie
Adrienne Eberhard, The Hand
Peter Sweet, Wall Flower
jenni nixon, ships of dreams
Barnaby Smith, Grazing at Colo Heights
Ross Donlon, Manly Boys 


Jane Downing, Chance Encounters


Ali Jane Smith on Corey Wakeling, Goad Omen
Michelle Borzi on Diane Fahey, The Wing Collection: New and Selected Poems, and Mark Tredinnick, Fire Diary
Gretchen Shirm on Richard Flanagan, ‘And What do You do, Mr Gable?’

Note: Further content will be added to this issue of The Long Paddock in the coming weeks.

2 thoughts on “The Political Imagination

Comments are closed.