Skip to content
January 6, 2014 / Southerly



Just how innocent are our writing positions?

Are the words we write a life-giving or a life- taking tool? Does writing induce action or take the place of it? What are the moral responsibilities of the writer? From the ‘animal turn’ in the writings of Blanchot and Heidegger to the presentation of the controversial ‘B. Wongar’ as a key writer of the animal, several contributors to this issue have taken these and related questions into the arena of writing and the species barrier, to consider our shortcomings in the way in which we write about non-human animals, what we might do about these shortcomings, and just why it is that we must do it. Others examine the problems and potential of the “new lyric” in Australian poetry, the possibility that language is itself in some measure a mode of abjection, or the way contemporary critical theory desensitises us and makes us the unwitting servants of “saturation capitalism”. Stunning new poetry and short fiction, too, from some of the most established voices in Australian writing, and some of the newest.

Lies and deceptions under scrutiny – and the lyre in some masterful hands…




Stuart Cooke, [Revised] Thoughts as/on Cumulus 23
David Brooks, The Fallacies: Theory, Saturation Capitalism and the Animal 47
Emily Finlay, On the Value of Anthropomorphism 74
Meera Atkinson, Animal Poetics: Singing the Scorched Tongue 114
Susan Pyke, Bovinity 134
Claire Nashar, “as the new / gets newer”: rethinking the possibilities of a new Australian lyric 153
Maya Mulhall, Approaching Abject Language 169
Patrick Condliffe, Woman, Echidna, Man, Dingo: Bio-political Subjectivity and Ethics in the Animals of B. Wongar’s Fiction 183


Christine Townend, The Body on the Railway Line, Jaipur; The Dalai Lama’s Brother’s Dog 11
Pam Brown, A Second Ago 45
Beth Spencer, Carnage 61
Luke Beesley, Figures in Frame 72
Jason Grossman, Secret Agent 94
David Brooks, Silent Night 112
John Kinsella, Mouse Plague 122
Michael Farrell, A Lyrebird; Wider Questions of Social Life 131
Fiona Hile, The Gates of Headley Grange 144
Kevin Densley, The Wilful Murder of Constable Samuel Nelson by Johnny Dunn of Ben Hall’s Gang, Main Street, Collector, New South Wales, January 26, 1865 151
Phillip A. Ellis, Reading the Pacific at Night; On Poetry, but Not Other Arts 165
Stuart Cooke, When Are You Coming Back 167
Micaela Sahhar, 8 Asa Street 181
Tom Lee, Profundity 182
Richard Tipping, Writing on Electrons 195
Jean Astbury, Bird 206
Corey Wakeling, The Dog 208


Kim Hunt, Totaranui 17
Peter Dawncy, Those Lonely Hills 42
Francesca Sasnaitis, Pigeons, Patterns and the Quincunx 64
Mark Berriman, Animal Farm Redux (excerpts) 97
Moreno Giovannoni, The Percheron 146
R.W. Young, A Clear Conscience 198


John Watson on Les Wicks, Sea of Heartbreak 210
Mark O’Flynn on Philip Hammial, Detroit, and Jordie Albiston, The Book of Ethel 215
Gretchen Shirm on Evie Wyld, All the Birds, Singing 220
Michael Farrell on Randolph Stow, The Land’s Meaning: New Selected Poems, ed. John Kinsella 224
Kate Livett on Gillian Meares, Foal’s Bread, and Charlotte Wood, Animal People 230


And in the Long Paddock


John Bennett, Real Fables
Melissa Boyde, Cultural Myths and Open Secrets
Angela Rockel, Owl
Christine Townend, The Cat Experiment


Susan Adams, Slow Bleeding
Chris Brown, The Nocturnal Ceremonies
Michael Farrell, Character
Alison Gorman, January Water Dragons
John Kinsella, Birth on the Road to Gubbeen
Frank Russo, Ponsonby Road Menagerie
Corey Wakeling, Ombudsman Reader


Hettie Ashwin, Roadkill
Teja B. Pribac, Fishy Feelings
Roo Stove, Vagrancy Act 1966
Milly Vranes, Heat


Jal Nicholl, of Matthew Hall, Hyaline, and Rebecca Law, Lilies and Stars
Sarah Day, of Jane Williams, Days Like These
Claire Nashar, of Lionel Fogarty, Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land
Bonny Cassidy, of Tracy Ryan, The Argument and Unearthed


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: