Local, national and international writers have contributed prose and poetry in this twenty-eighth year of continuous publication of fourW. David Gilbey has been the chief editor of this annual anthology of new writing and graphics from Booranga Writers’ Centre for two decades now.
Last Saturday poet Michele Seminara, the managing editor at Verity La, launched this year’s publication, fourW twenty-eight, deftly weaving together the work of selected authors upstairs at Gleebooks in Glebe Point Rd. Then David invited the authors present that afternoon to the microphone to each read from their work in this year’s publication.
My personal favourites were Andy Kissane’s love poem, ‘Caught’ in which a would-be lover awkwardly negotiates the natural world. Elanna Herbert’s ‘Road to Gallipoli: between Cappadoccia and Pamukkale’ which had those assembled feeling the forty degree heat. And Biff Ward’s reading from her searing story of sailing ‘To the West’, fresh from a residency at Booranga.
Some of the writers at Riparian have been published regularly in fourW over the years. This year Louise D’Arcy and Dorothy Simmons have short stories in fourW twenty-eight.
Louise D’Arcy’s wry ‘Alex and Max Go For A Walk’ tells the story of a grown man deciding to keep the dog his girlfriend just gave him, and, at the same time, to end the relationship with her. Louise writes,
‘Say thanks but no thanks. He’d say you can put back your dried flowers and scented candles around the bath, and I’ll keep Max’ (p. 39).
Dorothy Simmons’s vivid account, ‘In Your Face’, short listed for best fiction, is about sexual harassment, in this case of a young art teacher, and raises the question of how best to re-educate boys. Dotti writes,
‘She closed her sketchbook and stared at him. Think. Think. No, don’t. Remember. Remember what nearly happened. Just report the little mongrel and get rid of him’ (p. 156).
My poem ‘after Horses‘, an ekphrastic response to a favourite in the MAMA collection, shows Fairweather doing an all nighter in his studio. Then fast forward some fifty years to where his painting hangs on the gallery wall.
At Riparian we look forward to the 2018 issue of fourW in a new format due to the funding cuts announced in David’s editorial.
To purchase a copy of fourW twenty-eight, click here.
fourW is short for Wagga Wagga Writers’ Writers. Wagga Wagga is an inland city in NSW in Eastern Australia.
Links and further reading