Issue 5 | Summer 2023

Welcome to issue 5, intrepid travellers.

As the mercury worm creeps let us be your quicksilver messengers.

Now hold on to your hats because our feature interview is a special treat. It gives us a genuine thrill to present here the final interview by the late, great Antigone Kefala, a giant of Australian literature. Recorded only weeks before her death in December of last year, Kefala is in conversation with author and academic Vrasidas Karalis and poet-artist Anna Couani, reflecting on the turbulent life that shaped her distinctive and influential voice as a writer of poetry and prose.

In short fiction, Shokoofeh Azar shares a rapturous chapter from her next, highly anticipated novel, while Maha Sidaoui and Seth Robinson offer, respectively, quirky romance and political satire biting in more ways than one.

And in a wonderfully playful personal essay, Vrasidas Karalis muses on the almost untranslatable genius of Patrick White.

Polyglossic image-sounds abound through our poetry kaleidoscope: We are chuffed to have as our feature poet legendary rebel-without-a-pause π.ο. who lays it down with an eye-scream BOOM of tongue-collisions that melt concrete—Indrani Perera sings a translingual litany of lost home-never-had fusing Sinhala and English text and sound—Emilie Collyer speaks unspoken shadow of burning bed grief, laying ourselves as immigrants to rest in stolen land “steeped in blood and silence”—our first international poet of the issue, Kellie Yukiko, is witness to fleeting lifelines, anticipates absence and loss, and seeks her place among those already gone—

Luoyang Chen resides in the organic moment-sensation-identity as they unfold, unravel, fold in on themselves and shatter, leaving words to reassemble ghosts—this absence, disconnection and loss turns towards nihilist ennui in Dimitris Miheloudakis, our second international poet, and Ling Toong, each showing how labour contorts language / twists the hands [of time], tongue, text . . . ever / solidarity / for- [ ] thee / fare / well.

Reviews you can use: Shirley Le’s debut novel Funny Ethnics is so bright that novelist Hoa Pham has to wear shades to talk about its refreshing cool-eye-view of diaspora, community, family and finding your own twisted way around and through their horizons­­—and journalist-poet Dean Kalimniou takes up the threnodic threads of Vrasidas Karalis’ memorial Farewell to Robert to reveal a weaving of traditions at once visceral and transcendent, which turn the katabasis of grief upwards, towards the redemption of the beloved.

Among the Chaos we find diaspora scholar Andonis Piperoglou, who shows us the nexus where he writes and travels.

Happy reading, folks, and see you in issue six!

Kalliope X