Celebrating the publication of Issues Five of Backstory and Other Terrain.
One of the many things that keep me very busy during the year is my role as Managing Editor of Backstory and Other Terrain, two peer-reviewed journals belonging to the Writing Department at Swinburne University. We have just released our issues five. I am very, very proud of these issues. Our theme was Migration: To be an artist means never to avert your eyes. I read this quote by Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa many years ago and took it to heart; as a writer, I am committed to act as a witness to the realities of my world. In our issues five, other writers and visual artists show this same commitment, powerfully making a stand about what is currently going on in our world.
Here’s a taste of Expectations by Mohammad Ali Maleki, a poet originally from Iran who now writes from within Australia’s prison camp in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. His poem breaks my heart.
I don’t know what you are.
But I whisper your name like a lost child.
Freedom, set me free from this prison!
This prison made by fellow human beings.
I am a rain drop
waiting to join the sea.
look how my brain is frozen.
A spider web has surrounded my thoughts.
Smoke and dust sit on my mind;
my heart is surrounded by hatred.
They made a cage in my throat —
But they left this voice and enough breath to speak my truth.
I do hope you take time to have to a look at these two great journals.