True Crime

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Every contact leaves a trace. Locard’s founding dictum of forensic science can be taken to describe the complicated relationship between literature and true crime writing. As the genre of “true crime” becomes ever more prominent in Australian reading habits, its literary impact invites investigation. From Ned Kelly to Shapelle Corby, in a nation state founded in acts of dispossession, we track our way through some notable cases with an eye to the relationship between the poetic, the sensational and the everyday.


EDITORIAL – Melissa Hardie


John Tranter, Postcard from Ischia
Patrick Jones, Portrait
Justin Clemens, Blind Spot
Claire Gaskin, pollen wind
Cath Vidler, Arpeggio poem (1)
Joel Scott, Post Strut
Adam Aitken, The plein-air effect (after John Clare)
Geraldine Burrowes, clasped
Corey Wakeling, The Dentures
Fiona Hile, Courtly Love
Tim Grey, V1
Michael Farrell, Disapproval
Hazel Smith, Experimentalism
Hazel Smith, Slowly time is moving fences
Ali Alizadeh, Act #19
Ann Vickery, Circadian Rhythm and Epic Spin
Kate Lilley, Season’s Greetings


Marise Williams, Women’s work: The gender politics of the birth of organized crime in Australia
Peter Doyle, Detective writing: mapping the Sydney pre-War underworld
Rosalind Smith, The case of Frederick Deeming: the true crime archive as publication event
Michael Farrell, A Poetics of the Plough: Ned Kelly’s The Jerilderie Letter
Belinda Morrissey, A Palimpsest of Abjection: Brendan Sokaluk and the Burning of Churchill
Melissa Jane Hardie, Under the Sign of Schapelle: Passing Through Customs


Cassandra Atherton, Raining Blood and Money
Melissa Beit, Class


Karen Lamb, Republics of Letters: Literary Communities in Australia by Peter Kirkpatrick and Robert Dixon
Michael Farrell on Pete Spence, Perrier Fever
Tessa Lunney on Leah Swann, Bearings and Irma Gold, Two Steps Forward
Kate Middleton on Peter Steele, Braiding the Voices
Martin Langford on Philip Salom, Keepers; The Keeper of Fish: Alan Fish and Keeping Carter: M A Carter
Bonny Cassidy on Brook Emery, Collusion and Lisa Jacobson, The Sunlit Zone
Heather Taylor Johnson on Debbie Lim, Beastly Eye; Judith Bishop, Aftermarks; Michelle Cahill, Night Birds and Elizabeth Allen, Body Language
Geoff Page on Jean Kent, Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebook and John Foulcher, The Sunset Assumption

And in the Long Paddock…


Justin Clemens, the welt is fort island must blackberry you
Geraldine Burrowes, evening things up
Michael Farrell, A Writer’s Life
Adam Aitken, Ezra Pound in Mareuil
Tim Grey, Untitled
Ann Vickery, An Eye For an Eye


Ross Gibson, Collision Course
Kristen Davis, Postcards from the ‘Bondi Badlands’: Meditations on the scene of the crime


Kate Middleton on Lines for Birds: Poems and Paintings by Barry Hill and John Wolseley; and birdlife, edited by Nyanda Smith and Perdita Phillips
Melissa Jane Hardie on A Tragedy in Two Acts: Marcus Einfeld and Teresa Brennan by Fiona Harari

Cover – A man (possibly a detective) in a skirt at the Tivoli Theatre, 1945. Photographer unknown. NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive. Justice & Police Museum, Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales