Welcome to the 2020, 16th edition of The Quarry, ‘This Moment In Time’ — scroll down for the links to the issues short stories, poetry and creative nonfiction. The theme was inspired by the devastating events of this year—the Australian bushfires and the worldwide pandemic, Covid-19, that has spread rapidly across the globe. Since submissions closed, there has subsequently been the #blacklivesmatter movement escalating after George Floyd’s murder by a policeman in Minneapolis, and protests in Australia about the more than 450 deaths in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody. In no other time in our lives has there been such turmoil in the world, and for this reason the editors of this issue, coming out in mid-June 2020, was compelled to invite writers to engage with this moment in time.
We invited current creative writing students and alumni to submit fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and visual images that respond to the theme, ‘This Moment In Time’. Works could be pieces about these current events, or even a time in the future or past, but essentially the work was to be based on a feeling or an idea about a moment in time which created impact.
We’ve had an incredible number of high-quality submissions from local and international students and graduates. In this issue you will read poetry, memoir and fiction which respond to Covid-19 and to the bushfires, in local and international settings. International graduates Tara Crowl and Hiroki Kurosage write from the USA and Japan with poems about living in isolation. Jamie Derkenne offers a comedic speculation on a local bushie’s encounter with President Trump, Susan Gallagher shares her day-by-day Covid-19 diary, Amanda Midlam writes about the devastation of the fires in the far south coast of NSW, and Jonathan Sing-Tuck Chang writes about the racism spurred-on by the pandemic. Other works explore the notion of being in a particular moment in time, such as Aylish Dowsett’s prose poem, ‘Yellow’ and Alice Maher’s haibun, on the Japanese social phenomenon of self-isolation.
This edition is bought to you by four Master of Creative Writing students, completing their capstone unit: Zach Bui, Karen Johnston, Pavleen Arora, and Susannah McAlwey. We have worked with The Quarry’s Managing Editor, Associate Professor Jane Messer, whose insightful feedback and guidance throughout this project has been invaluable. We would also like to thank Sofia Johansson for the issue’s beautiful cover artwork. We encourage you to watch the short video interview with some of the issue’s writers: Jacqui Greig, Lauren Forner, Jonathan Sing-Tuck Chang, Jodie Ramodien, Aylish Dowsett, Elizabeth White, and Swarna Pinto.
For everyone who submitted a creative work, thank you. This final selection by the seventeen contributors is a testament to the high calibre of writing that the Macquarie University students and alumni have to offer.
Please enjoy, stay safe, and may the rest of 2020 be brighter for us all.