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Journeys : MNJ Aug Sep 2011
‘The island’ for me is almost synonymous with Island: I arrived in Tasmania in January (along with my husband and two young children) to take up the role of editor w ith the literar y journal of that name. This was a move not just of place but of profession – exchanging work as a producer w ith ABC Radio National for my first love, books and writing. On an earlier adventure, canoeing through the Amazon with a Peruvian guide and a motley assortment of live animals, the novel I had with me was knocked overboard when one of the chickens escaped its cage. Crime and Punishment sur vived its dunking – damp and delicate but still readable. The chicken, meanwhile, took its chance to flee the cooking pot and headed off downstream. Along with revealing the unexpected courage and aquatic talents of chickens, this incident brought home to me the elegance and versatility of books. Given that many of us now live surrounded by iPhones and laptops, it may seem there is less and less need for the printed word. But there is something special about a book – not only because it is technology that can survive river immersions (and has no need for batteries), but because books offer an experience that cannot be replicated on a computer screen, and certainly not in a tweet! When we hold a book in our hands we are stepping outside of time, giving ourselves over to the writer’s imagination and ideas. It’s a very intimate and personal relationship. As editor of Island, I now have the happy challenge of bringing together a whole range of writing to create a unique book four times a year. Island is a Tasmanian institution – it recently celebrated thirty years of publishing the best established w riters and most exciting new voices, particularly Tasmanian ones. It’s a foundation of the literar y landscape here, a state that is home to some of the nation’s finest writers – Richard Flanagan, Danielle Wood, James Boyce, Robert Dessaix, and the latest Australian/ Vogel winner, Rohan Wilson. The winter Issue of Island takes as its theme another, albeit more recent, Tasmanian institution – David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art. In this issue my old boss, the broadcaster Phillip Adams, reminisces about his experience of collecting (though he counts himself as small beer by Walsh’s standards); curator Juliana Engberg writes about MONA’s place in the history of private museums; and poets Kathryn Lomer and Karen Knight (both recent winners in the Tasmania Book Prizes) respond to individual MONA artworks. There’s also a short stor y by David Walsh himself. In what I believe is a sign of good civic health, the two most critical essays come from local writers – art critic Peter Timms and the philosopher John Armstrong. John My slice of the island Sarah Kanowski In Tasmania today 52 August / September 2011
Jun Jul 2011
Oct Nov 2011