Issue 43 of The Lifted Brow Out Today!

 
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Check your mailboxes, check this link, or check the shelves and counters in all good bookstores for the bursting colours on Power Paola’s cover for Issue 43, because it’s officially out today!

We’re stoked you can all finally read the wonderful winning pieces of both the Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction and the inaugural Liminal Fiction Prize inside Issue 43. These accompany a fresh spread of thoughtful essays, fiction, translations, commentary, criticism, poetry, and so many pages of comics and illustrated work.

 
 

Here’s what’s inside Issue 43:

  • the winning piece from our 2019 Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction, ‘TRETINOIN’ by Jean Bachoura and Flatwhite Demascus;

  • the winning piece from the inaugural Liminal Fiction Prize, ‘Bad Weather’ by Bryant Apolonio;

  • Alison Whittaker and Nayuka Gorrie talk literary prizes and the responsibility of being black writers;

  • Jordy Rosenberg in conversation with Stella Maynard and Eilish Fitzpatrick about Confessions of the Fox, the history of trans surveillance, and the pleasure of being read to;

  • Ana Maria Gomides considers race, queerness, and personal histories through the careful lens of seeing and being seen;

  • Maddee Clark discusses architecture and urban spaces in the context of First Nations sovereignty;

  • memoir by Sydnye Allen about Albury–Wodonga, casual racism and our concepts of borders;

  • Paula Abul on queer desire, race, and the joy of drag king performance;

  • brand new realist fiction from Sam Pink that follows the mundane duties and acerbic conversations of a caterer at a wedding, revealing the unexpected beauty in our most trivial and consequential moments;

  • vinegary short fiction by Victoria Manifold that delights in its insalubrity;

  • arresting fiction from Aude, translated by Cristy Stiles, on the pursuit of silence;

  • new poetry from Saaro Umar, Eunice Andrada and Elyas Alavi;

  • columns: Antonia Pont’s ‘Thinking Feeling’ column about the ethics of the trigger and how to deal with triggeredness, Michael Dulaney’s ‘Environment’ column about the solidarity to be found the Whyalla steel industry and the wonders of the cuttlefish, Aimee Knight explores the traumatic heart of dark tourism in her 'Pop Culture' column, and Benjamin Law and his mum Jenny’s ‘Law School’ sex+relationships advice column;

  • a special ‘By Numbers’ feature using numerical data to investigate pet ownership in Australia;

  • and new comics and visual art by Miles Howard-Wilks, Margot Ferrick, Han Teng, Antoine Orand, Matty Kaye, Thu Tran, Rebecca Scibilia, Arts Project Australia, Haein Kim, Nadia Ingrid, Casey Jarman, Ilana Bodenstein, Meg O'Shea, April Phillips, Lizzie Nagy, and Shae San Sim.

 

A big thanks to our incredible contributors, columnists, editors and all the staff and interns at The Lifted Brow for making this issue come together. And, of course, a warm thank-you and ENJOY to our wonderful readers and subscribers. You complete us. ◆

Issue 43 of The Lifted Brow out next week!

 
 
 

A very exciting new issue of The Lifted Brow is out imminently. How imminently, you ask? Next Monday. Why is it exciting? There will be not one but two prize-winning pieces available to the public to read for the first time inside.

‘TRETINOIN’, the winner of The Lifted Brow & RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Non-fiction, by Jean Bachoura and Flatwhite Damascus will feature in Issue 43, as well as the inaugural winner of the Liminal Fiction Prize, Bad Weather’, by Bryant Apolonio.

 
 

We’ve just got the first copies back from the printers today, and Power Paola’s cover art is even more vibrant and beautiful in person. Inside the cover of Issue 43, you’ll also find:

  • Alison Whittaker and Nayuka Gorrie talk literary prizes and the responsibility of being black writers;

  • Jordy Rosenberg in conversation with Stella Maynard and Eilish Fitzpatrick about Confessions of the Fox, the history of trans surveillance, and the pleasure of being read to;

  • Ana Maria Gomides considers race, queerness, and personal histories through the careful lens of seeing and being seen;

  • Paula Abul on queer desire, race, and the joy of drag king performance;

  • Maddee Clark discusses architecture and urban spaces in the context of First Nations sovereignty;

  • memoir by Sydnye Allen about Albury–Wodonga, casual racism and our concepts of borders;

  • brand new realist fiction from Sam Pink that follows the mundane duties and acerbic conversations of a caterer at a wedding, revealing the unexpected beauty in our most trivial and consequential moments;

  • vinegary short fiction by Victoria Manifold that delights in its insalubrity;

  • arresting fiction from Aude, translated by Cristy Stiles, on the pursuit of silence;

  • new poetry from Saaro Umar, Eunice Andrada and Elyas Alavi;

  • columns: Antonia Pont’s ‘Thinking Feeling’ column about the ethics of the trigger and how to deal with triggeredness, Michael Dulaney’s ‘Environment’ column about the solidarity to be found the Whyalla steel industry and the wonders of the cuttlefish, Aimee Knight explores the traumatic heart of dark tourism in her 'Pop Culture' column, and Benjamin Law and his mum Jenny’s ‘Law School’ sex+relationships advice column;

  • a special ‘By Numbers’ feature using numerical data to investigate pet ownership in Australia;

  • and new comics and visual art by Miles Howard-Wilks, Margot Ferrick, Han Teng, Antoine Orand, Matty Kaye, Thu Tran, Rebecca Scibilia, Arts Project Australia, Haein Kim, Nadia Ingrid, Casey Jarman, Ilana Bodenstein, Meg O'Shea, April Phillips, Lizzie Nagy, and Shae San Sim.

Lucky subscribers will be the first to receive their copies in the mail. As always, Issue 43 will also be available in all good bookstores from September 2nd. Or you can pre-order through us! ◆

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2019 Experimental Non-Fiction Prize

 
 

Last month we revealed the longlist for The Lifted Brow & RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Non-fiction. It is a prize that aims to unearth new, audacious, authentic and/or inauthentic voices from both Australia and the world. Now the shortlist is ready and we’re thrilled to unveil it right here, right now!

Before we do, huge congratulations go to our outstanding longlisters below, who made narrowing the shortlist a difficult task:

  • Warwick Newnham - ‘The Mash’

  • Katerina Bryant - ‘Where is my Mind?’

  • Catie Gorman - ‘The Boy’

  • Steph Jurusz - ‘Our Origin Story’

  • Sarah Vincent - ‘What Should I Call This?’

  • Ursula Robinson-Shaw - ‘Art Monstering’

  • Sophia Small - ‘How Long Can She Hold Her Breath’

  • Teri Hoskin - ‘To Nourishment’

  • Kathryn Hummel - ‘Jhor’

  • Tess Pearson - ‘What Sprouts at the Fissures’

  • Jean Bachoura - ‘TRETINOIN’

  • Oliver Reeson - ‘Body Language’

  • Carly Stone - ‘Big Think’

  • Soren Tae Smith - ‘Unexpected Inconveniences’

We are delighted to say that the following pieces have made the shortlist:

  • Katerina Bryant - ‘Where is my Mind?’

  • Catie Gorman - ‘The Boy’

  • Sarah Vincent - ‘What Should I Call This?’

  • Sophia Small - ‘How Long Can She Hold Her Breath’

  • Tess Pearson - ‘What Sprouts at the Fissures’

  • Jean Bachoura - ‘TRETINOIN’

  • Oliver Reeson - ‘Body Language’

  • Carly Stone - ‘Big Think’

A massive congratulations to those shortlisted! And thanks again goes to our judges Timmah Ball, Chris Kraus and Quinn Eades.

The winner will be published in Issue #43 of The Lifted Brow at the beginning of September. Subscribe now to our magazine to be one of the first to read the winning entry.◆

The Lifted Brow x Emerging Writers’ Festival: Issue 42 Launch

 
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The Lifted Brow Issue 42 is here and our friends at Emerging Writers Festival are throwing us a party! Celebrate with a dazzling night of dreamy poetry, surreal storytelling and wholesome laughter.

Issue 42 has arrived just in time for hibernation. Featuring a meditation on im/mortal bodies and their relationship to fear, nature, and spirituality by Mira Schlosberg; Léa Antigny on motherhood and fragility in the face of climate disaster; Benjamin Law and his mum Jenny Phang’s ‘Law School’ sex advice column; a beautiful poetry section guest-curated by Elena Gomez and a special series on libraries featuring Eileen Chong, Ruby Pivet, Nathan Sentance, Vanessa Giron, and Sumudu Samarawickrama.

What better way to celebrate than with a heart-warming night of words! Beloved comics artist Rachel Ang tells stories from her dream journal; multidisciplinary artist and writer Heather Joan Day bewitches us with her darkly funny tales; poet Darlene Silva Soberano enchants with words like music and Morgaine van Wingerden brings the vitality of Melbourne’s underground Slam scene to our festival stage. We are so lucky! Curated by three editors from The Lifted Brow - Bridget Caldwell, Paula Abul and Manisha Anjali.

Kiss the winter blues away with good company and good writing. We will be waiting for you on Friday 28 June at Brunswick Mechanics Institute for an 8.30pm start. Grab yourself a copy, sit back and enjoy the  dreamy live storytelling. This event is free and accessible. More deets here.

 
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INTRODUCING OUR GUEST ARTISTS:

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RACHEL ANG

Rachel is a comics artist from Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been published by The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Going Down Swinging, Scum and The Stella Prize. She is a co-editor of Comic Sans, a new anthology of excellent Australian comics. She makes this with her friend Leah Jing McIntosh. Her first book, a graphic novella called Swimsuit, was published in December 2018 by Glom Press and shortlisted for a Ledger Award. You can find her website here and she tweets at @drawbyfour.

 
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HEATHER JOAN DAY

Heather Joan Day is a mouthy trans woman of colour, multidisciplinary artist, musician, writer, and practising witch living in Melbourne on Wurundjeri Land. Her poetry and short memoir has been published by God Is In The TV Zine, Sea Foam Mag, Ibis House, Scum Mag, and Plaything Magazine. As Heather Joan, she makes what she calls “transsexual gothic grunge pop” and her debut EP, titled Songs For Vince, is a collection of love songs written for/performed with her fiancé. Follow her on Instagram @heatherjoanofficial and on Twitter @emo_flowers.

 
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DARLENE SILVA SOBERANO

Darlene Silva Soberano is a Filipino poet. Their work has appeared in Mascara Literary Review, Australian Poetry, and Cordite Poetry Review. They were also a participant in Toolkits: Poetry with Express Media in 2017. You can find them on Twitter @DRLNSLVSBRN.

 
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MORGAINE VAN WINGERDEN

Morgaine is a Melbourne based poet and spoken word artist. She has featured at a number of poetry events across Australia and the US and was a member of the only Australian team to compete in the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. You can follow her on Instagram @morgaine.nova.

Brow Books To Publish Jade Lillie’s ‘The Relationship is the Project’

 
 
 

As reported over at Books + Publishing, we at Brow Books are very happy to announce that later this year we’ll be publishing The Relationship is the Project, a vital book and new resource that aims to help practitioners, artists and cultural workers better engage with community-based projects.

We’re beyond thrilled to be partnering up with creative producer Jade Lillie to realise this book – Jade has commissioned and curated all the contributions as part of her 2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship.

The book is co-edited by Kate Larsen, Cara Kirkwood and Jax Jacki Brown, and will feature chapters and provocations from thought-leaders across Australia’s arts, cultural and community sectors.

The Relationship is the Project includes:

  • Genevieve Grieves on working in First Nations cultural contexts;

  • Caroline Bowditch on access and ableism;

  • Dianne Jones, Odette Kelada and Lilly Brown on Racial Literacy;

  • Ruth De Souza and Robyn Higgins on cultural safety in the arts;

  • Daniel Santangeli on engaging queer communities;

  • Adolfo Aranjuez;

  • Alia Gabres;

  • Anna Reece;

  • Eleanor Jackson;

  • Esther Anatolitis;

  • Fotis Kapetopoulos;

  • Lenine Bourke;

  • Lia Pa’apa’a;

  • Paschal Berry;

  • Rosie Dennis;

  • Samuel Kanaan-Oringo;

  • Tania Cañas;

  • co-editor Kate Larsen;

  • and Jade Lillie herself.


“From ‘CCD’ to ‘CACD’ to old-fashioned ‘community arts’, not having a shared terminology around community-engaged practice means we have not had a united message, voice or set of principles for this work,” Lillie says.  “Community engaged practice is a way of working in deep collaboration with artists and communities to develop an outcome that is specific to that community. In community engaged practice, the most important element of the work is to develop and nurture the relationships. It requires a level of personal investment, time and communication to create the best possible environment for that relationship to grow and flourish. The relationship really is the project.”

There are very few non-academic, practitioner-led resources on this topic currently available, so we are very excited to be a part of bringing such a vital project into the world.

We can’t wait to share more with you all in the coming months!

 
 

Brow Books to Publish Duanwad Pimwana's ‘Bright’

We at Brow Books team are excited to announce that we are to publish Duanwad Pimwana’s exuberant and melancholic novel Bright, translated from the Thai by Mui Poopoksakul. Bright is the first novel by a Thai woman to appear in English. It is out this month in the United States through Two Lines Press.

Bright will be out in Australia in June, but you can pre-order it now. Here’s a sneak peak of our cover:

 
 


About the book:


Five-year-old Kampol’s father tells him to sit on the kerb and await his return. The confused boy does  as he’s told, he waits and waits, until eventually he realises  his father may not be coming back.  In his parents’ absence, Kampol is adopted by the community and raised on rotation by the local adults.

Flea markets, the search for a ten-baht coin, pet crickets eaten for dinner, bouncy ball fads, and loneliness so merciless that it kills a boy’s appetite: Duanwad Pimwana’s urban vignettes form an off-beat and myth-like coming-of-age story about an unforgettable young boy and the community surrounding him.

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About the author:


Duanwad Pimwana is a major voice in contemporary Thai literature. She won Southeast Asia’s most prestigious literary prize, the S.E.A. Write Award, in 2003 for her novel Bright and she is also the recipient of awards from PEN International Thailand among others. Acclaimed for her subtle fusing of magic realism with Thai urban culture, she has published nine books. Bright is her first novel to be translated into English, and Arid Dreams is her first collection of stories.

Born to farmer parents, Pimwana attended a vocational school and started off as a journalist at a local newspaper. She is one of only six women to have won the Thai section of the S.E.A. Write in its thirty-seven-year history. Known for fusing touches of magic realism with social realism, she has published nine books, including a novella and collections of short stories, poetry, and cross-genre writing, and is currently working on a political novel. She often draws inspiration from the fishing and farming communities of her native Chonburi, a seaside province on the Thai east coast, where she now lives with her partner, the poet Prakai Pratchaya.

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About the translator:


Mui Poopoksakul is a lawyer-turned-translator. She grew up in Bangkok and Boston, and practiced law in New York City before returning to the literary field.  She is the translator of Prabda Yoon’s The Sad Part Was (2017) and Moving Parts (2018),  both winners of a PEN Translates award. The Sad Part Was was also shortlisted for the UK Translators’ Association First Translation Prize. She previously guest-edited the Thailand issue of Words Without Borders, and her work has also appeared in various literary journals, including Two Lines, Asymptote, The Quarterly Conversation, and In Other Words. She is based in Berlin.

Praise for Bright:

Bright  is an authentic portrait of a working class community in Thailand, written in a remarkably clean prose style and with profound compassion. Duanwad Pimwana’s bittersweet novel reveals glimpses of the inner life of Thai culture in such an entertaining and jocular manner that one can’t help but absorb its social realist ingredients with pleasure and ease. With Pimwana’s contribution, contemporary Thai literature is stronger, and I believe that this wonderful translation of one of her best works will prove to be seminal for Thailand’s place in the literary world.”

Prabda Yoon, author of  Moving Parts 


“Duanwad Pimwana has a knack for finding the gap between who we are and who we’d like to be, and deftly inserting her scalpel there. Across the villages and cities of Thailand, her characters exist in a state of constant anxiety, unable to fit in but having nowhere else to go.”

Jeremy Tiang, author of  State of Emergency 


“Pimwana’s enchanting debut (the first novel by a Thai woman translated into English) captures the vivid life of a small Thai child abandoned by his family. ... Readers will enjoy Kampol’s antics, the colorful side characters, and glimpses of Thai culture in this melancholy-tinged but still exuberant novel.”

Publishers Weekly

Brow Books signs Jamie Marina Lau's next two novels

 
 
 

We at Brow Books are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have signed up two more novels by Jamie Marina Lau, author of Pink Mountain on Locust Island. Brow Books has secured world rights to both books, with the first, Gunk Baby, to be published in 2020, and the second, Fuji, to be published after that.

This news is particularly exciting as it happens just ahead of next week’s announcement of the 2019 Stella Prize winner – Jamie’s Pink Mountain on Locust Island is shortlisted. Don’t forget: from now until the announcement on Tuesday night, you can get Jamie’s novel (as well as Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic, also shortlisted) at a 20% discount at our online shop.

We can’t wait to publish Jamie’s next two novels so that you can get them into your hands. We promise you that they’ll be quite unlike anything else you’ve read.

In Gunk Baby, we join Leen just as she opens an ear-cleaning and massage salon at the Topic Heights Shopping Complex. Soon she starts to notice increasingly odd behaviour around her, and also it seems that managers of other stores are being killed off. In nonstop prose, Gunk Baby takes aim at orientalism and the Zen movement, violence, fashion, and middle-class boredom.

Fuji is a novel of five interlinked parts, revolving around ‘The Centre’, an organisation responsible for recreational and therapeutic virtual reality, and also for holographic memory-keeping. Mothers, daughters, simulations, motorcycle gangs, : all are caught up in this story of paranoia, obsession, addiction, possession, and love.

 
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Photo credit: Leah Jing

Jamie Marina Lau (劉劍冰) is a 22-year-old writer and musician from Melbourne. Her debut novel Pink Mountain on Locust Island won the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Readings Residency Award, was shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize, the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, and was longlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. Her writing can also be found in various publications. She is currently studying film and literature, producing music, and working on more fiction.

 

Two Brow Books titles shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize

We are so delighted to share the news that two Brow Books authors, Jamie Marina Lau (Pink Mountain on Locust Island) and Maria Tumarkin (Axiomatic), have been shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize for their books.

As a small press that only published its first book in 2016, this double-shortlisting is incredibly exciting for us. We’re now holding our breaths until April 9th (a very long time to hold breath!) when the winner is announced. Until then, huge congratulations to our two authors, and deep thanks to The Stella Prize, and to this year’s judges.

 
 

“Lau’s dizzying prose is like a series of crazy neon-lit performance art as she dissects, with extraordinary effervescence, Monk’s teenage angst, her struggles to fit in with her school friends, their parents, her father and her unhappily married sister. Reading this book is the literary equivalent of riding a rollercoaster while listening to a virtuoso violin performance by a child prodigy. Simply stunning."

–from the Stella Prize judges’ report for Pink Mountain on Locust Island


Pink Mountain on Locust Island
: winner of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Readings Residency Award, shortlisted in the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize.

"I was really interested in writing about the transactions between people and of people as a 'product'. What was also very important to me was exploring the difference between choice and necessity of certain professions and lifestyles – especially unpacking the social, cultural and psychological obligations of professions which rely on giving their customers 'hope' – for instance, professions in entertainment, drug culture and religious/spiritual organisations. All this – and then how it ties in with diasporic communities too."

–from Jamie Marina Lau, in The Guardian

Jamie Marina Lau (劉劍冰) is a 22-year-old writer and musician from Melbourne. Her work can be found in Cordite, ROOKIE magazine, Voiceworks, the Art Hoe Collective and in Monash University’s 2016 anthology Futures. She is currently studying film and literature, producing music, and working on more fiction.

 

“Take anything you’ve ever known about how nonfiction is supposed to work and throw it out the window: Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic is an unwieldy, expansive beast that combines lyrical essay with psychological reportage. Axiomatic pushes the boundaries of nonfiction so far out that they will never recover, and in so doing develops an essay style that perfectly reflects the complexities of our era.”

–from the Stella Prize judges’ report for Axiomatic


Axiomatic
: winner of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, shortlisted for the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, longlisted for the Australian 2019 Indie Book Awards, shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize.

Maria Tumarkin is a writer and cultural historian. She is the author of Axiomatic and also three other acclaimed books of ideas: Traumascapes, Courage, and Otherland. All three were shortlisted for literary prizes; Otherland was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Award, NSW Premier’s Award and The Age Book of the Year. Tumarkin’s essays have appeared in The Best Australian Essays (2011, 2012 & 2015), Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Monthly, Sydney Review of Books, The Age, The Australian, and Inside Story. Tumarkin is involved in wide-ranging artistic collaborations with visual artists, theatre makers and audio designers. She was a 2013–14 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow in humanities and is a member of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s programming committee. Maria teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne.