Courtney Herron, a 25-year-old woman who grew up in Melbourne, was murdered in a ‘horrendous’ attack in Melbourne’s Royal Park last weekend. The explicit details of her murder have yet to be revealed, including the exact cause of her death, but they appear too horrific for widespread media coverage. Her body was left in the park, near where Parkville, North Melbourne and Flemington meet, behind the infamous grey–white logs, which look somewhat ominously like enormous bones—an apparent attempt by her killer to hide his awful act. Nevertheless, Herron’s body was found by some Saturday morning dog walkers, and a man […]
Courtesy and gratitude bounced around social media last Sunday as the Albanese shadow ministers thanked their leader for his allocation of portfolios. Returned to opposition, they all expressed their ‘honour’ to serve and their ‘excitement’ for having been chosen.? Most were ‘delighted’ and ‘grateful’.? Some were ‘thrilled’ and others, of course, were ‘passionate’ about their responsibilities.? One welcomed the ‘opportunity to enhance our economy’.? Another was just ‘really happy’. Are any of these people angry? Is defeat so palatable? By Monday, having settled the vital question of who is to be Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Albanese […]
Seventy five years ago, in mid 1944, two Australian poets in their twenties perpetrated—with gleeful malice aforethought—a hoax on a 21-year-old modernist whose star was rising faster than theirs. When it was revealed it went viral by wire from Sydney to London to New York and parts east and west. The English modernist Herbert Read stood up for the poetic qualities of the doggerel and in retrospect it would be seen to have anticipated both sound and found poetry. Orson Welles recorded a recitation of it. Jazz musicians composed to it—James McAuley, one of the perpetrators, was himself a good […]
Of all the things an author can admit to, ‘I haven’t been reading,’ is among the most shameful. A writer who doesn’t read is the literary equivalent of a skinny chef: untrustworthy, their tastes and motives questionable. Admitting to not reading feels equal to outing myself as an imposter. ‘Why should anybody read my work, if I’m not reading?’ I wonder, when I find myself in a reading slump. ‘Why write at all?’ Yet the relationship between reading and writing isn’t always a harmonious exchange of language, ideas, and inspirations. At times, my reading-self and writing-self seem like conjoined twins, […]
In a 2016 Meanjin essay one of this country’s most celebrated writers, Alexis Wright, asked us a fundamental question in relation to storytelling and the role of the writer. ‘What happens when you tell somebody else’s story?’ she asked, in a thoughtful piece of writing that did not demand that white Australia not engage with the story of Aboriginal people (as some have concluded). In addressing the question, Wright asked of each of us, Aboriginal and ‘settler’ both, that we give deeper consideration to the act of telling stories and take greater responsibility for the decisions we make as writers. […]
After your world ended for the third time, you walked. The gold ring on your right hand heavy and the blue band around your left wrist even heavier. ‘Rip-off fitbits’ was how Intisar had described them three years ago, as the two of you sat on the couch in the living room of your then new apartment, staring down at your clasped black hands.
From a young age, names preoccupied me. As a child I didn’t like my name and I would often daydream about changing it. Na’ama (in Hebrew, ????) was too heavy for me.
We sat on the porch that winter and
talked of murder, imagined bodies trapped
beneath the breaking crust of the field.