Journals & magazines
Broadly Speaking: Ann Goldstein and Mary Norris
What's it like to devote your whole working life to language, as a literary translator or as an editor?
To find out, we're joined from New York by two brilliant bilingual friends, both of whom have shaped the linguistic landscape in distinctive ways. Ann Goldstein and Mary Norris met as young copy editors at the New Yorker magazine. Norris went…
The Wheeler Centre
Writing in Exile: PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer
Sami Shah, Samah Sabawi, Mammad Aidani and Roza Germian at the Wheeler Centre
Writers and journalists are often among the first citizens targeted and punished by autocratic leaders. With creeping authoritarianism and instability in many regions around the world, it's an increasingly dangerous time for writers of all kinds.
On the eve of PEN International's Day of the Imprisoned Writer, we held a special panel event as part of our Writers in Exile series to discuss old and emerging threats to literary freedoms today.
Host Sami Shah welcomed back the three writers who have shared their personal stories of exile – journalist Roza Germian, playwright Samah Sabawi and playwright and poet Mammad Aidani – for the last conversation in the series. They discuss their own experiences and their knowledge of press and literary restriction in their respective home countries – as well as the role Australia can and should play on the international stage with regards to protecting and protesting the freedom of writers here and overseas.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.
Mirror Mirror: Beauty, Body Image and the Self
Bri Lee's Beauty is a deeply personal treatise on body image, discipline and perfectionism. For this discussion, hosted by Lee herself, we'll take the essay as a jumping-off point for a broader conversation about beauty standards in the 21st Century.
Our panellists will consider the beauty lies we tell ourselves and each other, and explore the impossible standards amplified through…
Writing in Exile
‘As a Kurd, I was stateless until I became an Australian, and Australia is the only official home I have, because Kurdistan does not exist on a map.’
Journalist Roza Germian lived through war for most of her childhood. In 1991, when Germian was 10, she was one of more than one million Kurds who fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq following…
The Wheeler Centre
PEN Lecture: Fragile Minds
Journalism is at its second crossroads in two decades: not one of means, but of privilege. The loss of major revenues has made the press fragile, both economically and also in terms of self-reflection. At this year’s PEN Lecture, Schwartz Media editor-in-chief Erik Jensen will make the case for a serious reckoning across the profession; a re-evaluation of standards of ethics and objectivity.
‘I am asking for us to consider the impact of what we report and how we report it. I am saying the ethical bar we are clearing is not set high enough. Our code of ethics needs to be rewritten, and not by people who look like me.’
In 2019's PEN Lecture, Jensen asks how the media can change itself to keep up with a society that has already changed. Then, he joins Arnold Zable in conversation.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne and PEN Sydney.
The Wheeler Centre
Susan Orlean: Stranger Than Non-fiction
Susan Orlean at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Susan Orlean writes, writes, writes. For readers of the New Yorker, she’s a must-read – a staff writer since 1992, now part of the furniture. She’s scattered a trail of bylines through Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Boston Globe, Esquire, Vogue and more. The Spike Jonze film Adaptation was based on her bestselling book The Orchid Thief; Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of the author.
At least part of Orlean’s charm lies in her genuinely omnivorous curiosity. ‘I’m perfectly happy knowing nothing about the subject,’ she explained in a Washington Post interview. ‘In fact, that’s usually much more appealing to me.’ Her features – and books – have covered umbrella inventors, orchid poachers, Twitter phenomenon @Horse_ebooks, backyard chickens. A ten-year-old boy. A German Shepherd that became a movie star. An obscure rock band called The Shaggs. Most recently, in The Library Book, she has written about the unsolved 1986 fire that engulfed the Los Angeles Public Library.
Over decades, she has taken readers into places their minds have never wandered – sometimes, to places right in front of them. For our Mayhem series, this giant of American non-fiction looks back on her legendary career, and its eclectic subjects, in conversation with Sarah Krasnostein.
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The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
Why does ‘i’ come before ‘e’, except after ‘c’? Mary Norris and Jane Caro
For a long time, literary magazines have been the lifeblood of books, writing and ideas. With Harpers in trouble, the recent hiatus of Heat, and the whole industry in flux, here’s an overview of good reading on the subject.
We begin with a mythbuster. The myth is that a literary magazine or journal is less likely to survive in the marketplace than a…
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