Issue Twenty Editorial, by Daniel Young and Stuart Barnes

Death Note

Tincture Journal has been running for five years now, and the December 2017 issue will be our twentieth, so it’s with very mixed feelings that we’re announcing that this issue will also be our last. Some of you may have seen this coming, since we quietly removed the ability to purchase subscriptions from the website a few months ago; some of you may be surprised we lasted this long (I know I am!); and some of you may be disappointed at seeing an Australian literary journal fade away into history.

On a personal note I’m pleased and proud of everything we’ve achieved in the past five years, but this begs the question: why end it? I wrote back in the beginning that I’d basically started Tincture Journal on a whim, with no idea of the quantity or quality of submissions we’d be able to attract, how many readers there would be for an Australian e-book literary journal, or how long it would last. I’m pleased to be able to say that Tincture Journal has surpassed my expectations on all levels. While it started as a whim, finishing it is not so easy, and it is still difficult to put it into words. Let me try.

Tincture Journal in its current form takes an immense personal toll: time, emotions, brain-space. Financially, over time, we’ve managed to keep things running and grow and maintain a healthy subscriber base without any external funding support. However, the reality of this is that it discounts the many hours of volunteer work from myself, our poetry editor Stuart Barnes, submissions readers Kirby Fenwick and Michelle McLaren, and our former proofreading and editorial assistant Jessica Hoadley. To be clear, we’ve all been very happy to do this work: it has been rewarding, joyful, and has given back to us immeasurably. I’ve had the opportunity of working with writers of all levels, all of whom I respect dearly, and I’ve had so many talented people trust me with their work. So while there are sacrifices, they come with rewards; but short of scaling back my day job, I didn’t feel like I had the time to continue for another five years.

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Issue Eighteen Editorial, by Stuart Barnes

Stuart Barnes is the poetry editor of Tincture Journal. His first collection Glasshouses (UQP, 2016) won the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was commended for the 2016 FAW Anne Elder Award, and was shortlisted for the 2017 ASAL Mary Gilmore Award. He’s translating Imma Tubella’s Un secret de l’Empordà into English. He tweets @StuartABarnes.

In last issue’s editorial, Daniel Young wrote about his “recent preoccupation with landscape metaphors”, and while writing this editorial it was impossible for me not to be preoccupied with landscape: Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall as a category four system on 28 March near Airlie Beach, approximately 480 kilometres north of Rockhampton, where I live. Subsequently, the Fitzroy River flooded, peaking on 6 April at 8.75 metres.

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Stuart Barnes, interviewed by Daniel Young

Daniel Young interviewed our poetry editor Stuart Barnes for Issue Sixteen of the journal to celebrate the release of his debut poetry collection Glasshouses.

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DY: Thanks for being a part of out interview series, and congratulations on the recent publication of your debut collection, Glasshouses. Could you start by telling us a bit about your background and how you started writing poetry?

SB: Thanks very much, Daniel. Chuffed to be here, chuffed that Glasshouses is out in the world.

I was born and grew up in Hobart, where as a kid I met poet and librettist Gwen Harwood, who encouraged me to read and to write poetry. In 1996 I moved to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University (I majored in Literature). Towards the end of 2005, severe anxiety and mild manic depression peaked; my boyfriend at the time gave me several notebooks in which, at his suggestion, I wrote everything that dropped into my head—none of it poetry. I started to write poetry seriously, i.e., confidently, ambitiously in 2009. I moved to Rockhampton in 2013, which is when I became Tincture’s poetry editor (thanks!), with three close friends who grew up here. In 2015 my manuscript The Staysails won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, resulting in the publication of Glasshouses (UQP, 2016).

DY: Can you remember when and where your first poem was published? What was it about?

SB: 2009, in MCV (Melbourne Community Voice), in Letters to the Editor. It was a criticism of a very short-lived club that drew, in my opinion, a very pretentious gay crowd; somehow the men who established it monopolised Melbourne’s best house DJs! In 2007 the very long-running, diverse and inclusive Q&A (Queer & Alternative) closed and, much to my horror, Melbourne’s queer scene’s golden age disintegrated. In 2000, a kind of poem (three lines, not a haiku) accompanied my then-boyfriend’s RMIT assignment. In between this and 2009, I penned lyrics for an electronic ballad written by a friend of that boyfriend and me.

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