Issue Thirteen is available now from our website. Please support our work and check out the journal today.
As I pack boxes and clean this tiny rental like it’s never been cleaned in the past six years, preparing to farewell Sydney and return to my home in Brisbane, it seems appropriate that our thirteenth issue buzzes with a strong sense of place, particularly in the non-fiction. The cover photograph, taken at La Perouse early on a late summer morning, the first to really feel like summer might end and give way to autumn, stands as a tribute to one of my favourite cycling routes—albeit one that has to be ridden at dawn before the cars that rule Sydney’s roads regain their dominance. Tincture Journal was born in this tiny Kings Cross unit, but its electronic nature and online communities have always allowed us to garner writers from all across Australia and the globe. Long may this continue! In 2016 we’re finally offering yearly four-issue subscriptions at a discount price, so please do head online and subscribe (tincture-journal.com/subscribe) if you haven’t already.
Our poetry editor Stuart Barnes brings us a fine selection of poems, as always, from new and returning contributors alike. The suburbs preoccupy. David Stavanger’s commanding poem ‘Life Is(n’t)’ begs to be read aloud: “Open the blinds to see the neighbour’s dirty laundry / Accept hot tears from strangers”; Mark Ward’s ‘Resisting Existence’ takes place on “our cluster of streets; / a cul-de-sac, a hamster’s wheel / distant in the pale morning”; while Rebecca Jessen’s ‘field officer no. 302’ opens by proclaiming that “the suburban dream is a kookaburra perched on your wheelie bin”. As a special treat we also have an interview with Alison Whittaker and two poems from her new collection Lemons in the Chicken Wire.
In the non-fiction, Elizabeth Caplice oscillates between Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as she explores “The Geography of Time”, with memories awoken through her ongoing battle with cancer. Elizabeth’s poignant and urgent writing has appeared in a number of Australian journals and websites, and I feel honoured to be publishing this piece while also pondering the function of place in the DNA of Tincture Journal. K. W. George also writes of illness, and the resulting inversion of the mother-daughter relationship in “Read to Me”. Ellin Williams reflects beautifully upon an area that I’ve never visited in “The Kangaroo River: Landscape Stories” and Peter Papathanasiou has contributed a piece on the unfolding refugee disaster in Northern Greece, one that puts Australia’s refugee policy into dismal perspective.
We have lots of great fiction, as always. Whether it’s the supernatural horrors from return contributor Deborah Sheldon, or the domestic ones explored by both Grace Heyer and Maria Arena, there is nothing boring here. Philip Keenan returns to Tincture Journal with a strange story from the town of ‘Little Farley’, and Wayne Marshall brings humour and alien Fish-Men to the page while pondering ‘Our Year Without Footy’. As always, there’s too many to mention! Huge thanks to my fellow prose readers Kirby Fenwick and Michelle McLaren for helping to select these great stories, and welcome to Ellen Spooner, who will join us reading submissions from the next issue onwards.
To start 2016 we have a new column that will unfold through all four issues this year. Emerging writer Megan McGrath is exploring early-career literary jealousy and using interviews with successful debut authors to harness it in a positive way. Megan McGrath is the author of the novella Whale Station (Griffith Review 46) and was a winner of the 2015 Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards alongside Issue 12 and 13 contributor Rebecca Jessen. We’re lucky to have them both! So, read on …