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2 June 2024


Online Book Launch for Below Ground by Sandra Arnold

Below Ground will be launched on the Flash Bomb streamed live from New York City.

Saturday 13 July 10.00am (NZ time) 

Friday 12 July 6.00pm (EST - USA time)  

Contact Sandra Arnold at for information on how to access the link. 

About the book

Below Ground features 77 flash fiction stories that explore the themes of social dislocation, bullying and disconnection through childhood, adulthood and old age, as well as the ways in which healing, and connection may be found. 

In her frank, cleverly constructed prose, Sandra delves into a side of humanity that she finds intriguing. ‘I chose these themes because of situations I’ve observed, and I’m always interested in the different ways that people react’, she says. ‘Some people are permanently damaged while others become stronger.’ 


2 June 2024


Drew Piserra, Fassbinder: His Movies, My Poems (Anxiety Press, 2024)


Anxiety Press has recently published Pisarra's adventurous new collection of poems inspired by the late German Auteur's astonishing filmography. 

Advance Praise for Fassbinder: His Movies, My Poems:

"This book is a party in poetry, a wry, sly burst of beauty, attitude and art. Pisarra crosses from introspection to extroversion, always gazing through the lens of creative license, insight, wit and love."

– Monica Drake, The Folly of Loving Life

"This collection is a tour-de-force as the poetry flows with theatrical bravura and the narratives explode with erotic obsession (and poignancy). With this work, Pisarra has created a fearlessly inventive

‘cinephrastik,’ a lyrical homage to a major filmmaker from the 20th century." – Regie Cabico, A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex

"In Pisarra’s Fassbinder, the psyche is set free, punching its way through a paper partition, holding a bouquet of fluorescent daffodils. Here is a poet unafraid. Here is a poet who frames stanzas like a

cinematographer would. Here is a poet who can light a match with his teeth. Listen to the sound of a camera clicking behind each chiseled line—listen and watch out!" – Julie Poole, Bright Specimen


27 May 2024


Margaret Bradstock, Alchemy of the Sun (Puncher & Wattmann, 2024)


Alchemy of the Sun is a book about journeys. Sent to ‘open up the country’, ignorant of Aboriginal strategies for coping with the terrain and climate, many of the desert explorers failed, some dying in the attempt. Today’s battle is with man-made climate change and its after-effects, an ongoing fecklessness that has disturbed the delicate balance of elements and environment.


These poems seek to challenge the mindset of ‘conquering’ the land, and offer instead the opportunity of mediation with the forces that shape the planet and our lives.

29 March 2023

If you live in SE Queensland, do go along to Avid Reader in WestEnd tonight (29 March) for the launch of Rosanna E. Licari’s new poetry collection, Earlier 

6pm for 6.30pm. A drink is available on arrival. NB: bookings are essential (click on link).

Phil Brown, Arts Editor of the Courier Mail, writes "Rosanna Licari's poetry is as fecund as the natural world she writes about'. Cassandra Atherton, Professor of Writing and Literature at Deakin University, writes "Earlier is a 'bristling corpus' of extraordinary poetry, deeply rooted in intersectional environmentalism ... a wonderland of poems where 'The seed forms and anticipates / the unfurling dance / of germination'".

The book is available at the launch, and also via Ginninderra Press.

At Meniscus we are always delighted to celebrate 'our' authors' successes. Keep those cards and letters coming! 

3 January 2023

Meniscus volume 10, issue 2 achieved live status shortly before Christmas 2022, getting on board just as the doors closed. We failed to write a news item to that effect, but this means we can ask this post to do double duty, and wish you all the very best for 2023 at the same time as (belatedly) announcing the new issue.

Meniscus contributors continue to do excellent work within and beyond our journal. 

Deniz Agraz writes to let us know that his short story, "The Golden Bracelet" (pub. Meniscus vol 8/2) won the 2022 Woollahra Digital Literature award: congratulations, Deniz!

Murzban F Shroff's new book, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, was published in 2022 by Astrophil Press. The blurb reads, in part: “Drawing on the terse intensity of a play, the sparkling wit of a stand-up comedy, and the insights of a thought-provoking novel, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy reflects the triumph of a spirit that refuses to let up on humor and quick thinking in the face of intense personal adversity. It is a book about friendship, perseverance, and duty. Most importantly, about life’s late but redeeming powers.”  Congratulations to you, too, Murzban!

And Oisín Breen's new collection, Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín, has just been published by Beir Bua Press. Alan Gillis, professor of modern poetry at Edinburgh University, says, "The work here is strange and startling – you are never sure where you are, or what is coming next. The poems stretch on to widen the possibilities of what a poem can be. Yet there is a grounded authenticity and emotional surge to the writing." Congratulations, Oisín!

We're standing by to receive your submissions for Meniscus 11/1 (subs close late February), and look forward to all the writing this new year will bring. 

 30 June 2022

The first issue of Meniscus for 2022 is now launched, just before the first half of the year disappears on us. Thanks to all for your patience; it's a fabulous issue, and we are confident you will enjoy it. 

Thanks also to the redoubtable Shane Strange of Recent Work Press, who does all the layout and design; and to the AAWP for continuing to support the journal.

Many of the contributors to Meniscus have gone on to publish books, often containing work that first saw light in the pages (okay, on the screen) of Meniscus. This issue we celebrate two of our writers.

Emma Timpany's Three Roads (her second collection of short stories), was published in April this year by Red Squirrel Press.  See @EmmaTimpany, and more details at:

Geoffrey Heptonstall's Sappho's Moon (another second collection, this time of poems)  can be checked out and purchased at, or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other worthy bookstores.

Congratulations to both brilliant authors!

11 January 2022

We're very pleased to bring you two news items. 

The first is to note a change in the International Advisory Board: we acknowledge with deep gratitude the contributions of Diane Fahey and David Morley over the past (almost) ten years, and while we will miss them sadly, we all know that writers must have time and space to write, and will be looking forward to their new publications. We happily welcome new Board members Eugen Bacon, Stephanie Green, and Alvin Pang. All have fine profiles as writers and editors, and we look forward to the insights they will bring to Meniscus and its future. Their brief biographies can read under the Advisory Board tab.

The second item is to note new publications by Meniscus author Desmond Francis Xavier Kon (Zhicheng-Mingdé). His new book, titled Depth of Field: My Guided Journal for Self Healing, was published by Penguin Random House, and can be purchased from Amazon

He has also co-edited a web anthology with Eric Tinsay Valles. Titled A Given Grace: An Anthology of Christian Poems, it was specially produced to commemorate the Philippine Quincentennial and Singapore Bicentennial of Catholicism in 2021. Featured at the Catholic200SG Festival Luminary Art Exhibition, this free-access web anthology features 100 contributors from across the world, with some 300 poems included. 

Eric and Desmond will be co-editing another e-anthology, Finding God in All Things, a more intimate offering, to mark the Canonization Quadricentennial of St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius of Loyola on 12 March 2022. Also freely available to readers everywhere, it will feature the stellar poems of Daniel Reardon, David Craig, Gerard Garrigan, Kimberly K. Williams, Lois Roma-Deeley, Marjorie Maddox, Maryanne Hannan, and Paul Mariani, among other eminent voices.

9 January 2022

It is always an enormous pleasure to see authors who have had work published in Meniscus put together a full collection of their work, and we do love to spruik them and their achievements. The most recent of these (that we know about) is Lake Malibu and other stories, by Su-May Tan. It is, she tells us, a debut collection of stories about escapism and migration, mostly set in Malaysia and one in Melbourne, and published by Spineless Wonders as a result of being a finalist in the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award 2021. More details at, and congratulations to Su-May. 

2 January 2022 

Volume 9, Issue 2 

And finally, the second issue of 2021 goes live; our apologies again for being so late to get this out, but we have been wrestling with the new website and its functions. If you notice anything not working, do please let us know and we will attempt to make repairs. 

We hope you will enjoy the latest issue; Professor Cassandra Atherton (Deakin University), a noted prose poet, joined Meniscus editor Paul Hetherington to produce this volume; and it includes a special section on ekphrasis, organised by Curtin University writers.  

20 October 2021

We would like to apologise for Meniscus being offline for some weeks; it has been migrated across to a new location, and some rebuilding was required. Thank you for your patience; and for those of you who have a Facebook account, do please keep an eye on the Meniscus page, which provides advice about changing situations. 

Meniscus vol 9 issue 2 (2021/2) is currently being prepared, and is expected to be live before the end of the year. We are very chuffed to have been able to maintain the journal now over the best part of a decade, and thank the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, which has provided so much support; the members of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, who have put money and human effort behind the journal; and of course you – the contributors, subscribers and readers. We're grateful to all of you.

8 July 2021

New books

A number of Meniscus contributors have published collections of their poetry or short fiction, and we are always delighted to hear about it.

We don't publish book reviews in this journal, but will do what we can to let others know about your excellent work.

This month there are two fine books out, and we are excited to see these, and offer heartfelt congratulations to the authors.

Poet Richard James Allen is publishing his first novel, More Lies, with Interactive Press in Brisbane, Australia. This is a comic crime thriller about an author who writes themselves and their readers in and out of a series of outrageous heists, gun point confrontations, international spy scenarios and performative flourishes, before finally revealing the emotional truth that fuels their beautiful lies. Anton Enus of SBS says: "Richard James Allen takes the world of Raymond Chandler – the mysterious murder, the femme fatale, the world-weary observer – and turns it on its head. We end up with a funny, provocative novel that shakes up how we think about reality." You can secure a copy in print or e-book format at

Murzban F. Shroff's book, Third Eye Rising—a collection of ten full-length stories—was published earlier this year by Spuyten Duyvil, an independent house in New York. Based on Murzban's travels to the villages of India, the collection explores issues such as caste, dowry, female-exploitation, child apathy, displacement, migrant identities, and personal loss. Some of America’s leading writers, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz and the NBA finalist and New York Times book reviewer Madison Smartt Bell, have endorsed the work with a glowing blurb. You can read the blurbs here: Recently, the book featured on the Esquire list of Best Books of 2021; this, along with several Nobel Prize – and Pulitzer Prize-winners.

Volume 9, Issue 1

Thanks to all concerned, the new issue of Meniscus is now live, and we send our apologies for the slow progress of this issue. It goes live as the world continues to wrangle the coronovirus and to think about finding ways to reconnect with each other, both locally and internationally. To a significant extent it has been the contributions of creative practitioners in writing, music, dance, film et al, who have given their time and product free, that has helped so many people cope with the exigencies of lockdown and social distancing; and we are reminded of that enormous and generous effort as here in Australia we are going back into lockdown. Our imaginations, our empathy and our understanding of the affordances of word, phrase, image, line and story will continue to matter as we humans creep back into what is likely to be a new normal; but a new normal that will still consume and delight in good writing.

Volume 8, Issue 1

Contributions to this issue have been coming in during a remarkable, often catastrophic, period of history. For us in Australia, the catastrophes have included drought, fire, flood, hail; for all of us in the world, the event of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has devastated our nations, our cities; and in some cases our social circles. The editing and production of this issue took place at a distance with editors, readers and typesetters all working from home, in social isolation. This collaborative activity helped break down loneliness; the reading of these creative expressions, many of them responding to or inflecting the external disasters, created a sense of deep empathy, vivid community. We extend deep thanks to all the writers and readers who have participated in the making of a new issue of Meniscus. There is a special section to this issue, specifically focused on the impact of the pandemic, that is produced in parallel with a special issue of the AAWP's other journal, TEXT. This is the product of the initiative, The In/Completeness of Human Experience, the brainchild of the AAWP's chair Julia Pendergast, and we commend both the Meniscus and the TEXT elements to you.

Volume 7, Issue 2

is very close to being available: we expect to invite readers to this new issue within a week. The editors for this issue have been working assiduously since submissions closed, but with over 1,000 individual works to read and consider, it has necessarily been a slow and difficult task. On a practical front, it may be that we shall have to review our policy regarding simultaneous submissions. Selecting pieces is a time-consuming process, which also involves careful editorial attention. It is therefore frustrating when choices turn out to have been placed elsewhere. We are of course sympathetic to the author’s perspective on this (being authors ourselves!), but we do need to ensure that a viable system is maintained, and it may even help authors if a stricter numerical limit were to be placed on submissions. A single, well-worked and thoroughly edited story is likely to impress more than a problematic bulk.

Volume 7, Issue 1

We are very pleased to announce that new issue of Meniscus is now live, with contributions from authors from around the world, and from both regular contributors and voices that are new to us. The Cultural Fund 'Best Prose' prize has been shared between Chris Muscardin's short story ‘The Dream Dispels on Waking’, and Jenna Heller's flash fiction ‘Haere rā’; and 'Best Poem' is awarded to Kathryn Hummel’s ‘Gentillesse’.

As advised in late 2018 (see below), for the first time the editors nominated a number of the poems, short fictions and flash fictions to two highly prestigious venues: the Best Small Fictions, and Pushcart Prize. We are thrilled to announce that Heather McQuillan's 'A post-traumatic god' was selected for the Best Small Fictions 2019. After issue 2 this year, we will again selected individual works from 2019 for nomination to these prizes, so we encourage you to send us your best work for possible consideration by the judges of these two agencies.

Thanks to all contributors, both those selected and those whose works we were not able to publish on this occasion; thanks to guest editor Sandra Arnold, whose keen eye and deep knowledge of flash fiction so richly supports Meniscus; and thanks to the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund for their generous financial contribution.

We invite you to follow Meniscus on Facebook: @meniscusAU; and check our Submittable page <> for dates of submission to the next issue, and other publication options.  

Nominations 2018

For the first time, Meniscus is nominating works to external prizes: to the Best Small Fictions 2019, and the Pushcart Prize 2019. The editors and guest editors involved combed through the 2018 issues, and have nominated the following:

Best Small Fictions:

A post-traumatic god - Heather McQuillan

Lost and found - Erica Plouffe Lazure

The taste of snow - Paul Beckman

And then the stars too did sing - Gayelene Carbis

Old woman and fox - Frances Gapper

Pushcart Prize:

Radon: Results of Adolescent Over-Exposure to Decay - Rebecca Barnstein

White Rabbit Obscura - Chantelle Bayes

Evridiki - Dominique Hecq

This Old Thing - Jo Morrison

The Story as We Know It - Chris Muscardin

One Sip, Then - Marco Yan

We aim to select works for these and other prizes in the coming years, so please keep your submissions rolling in.

Volume 6, Issue 2

The editors are very pleased to announced that this volume of Meniscus is now live. Our thanks to guest editor Sandra Arnold, who took carriage of the flash fiction submissions.

For this issue's Best Prose piece, the prize was shared by Heather McQuillan for ‘A post-traumatic god’, and Erica Plouffe Lazure for ‘Lost and Found’. Elanna Herbert’s ‘Aubie: Kokoda: 1988’ was selected as the best poem in this issue.

We were overwhelmed by both the number and the quality of submissions to this issue, and look forward to seeing what comes in for Volume 7, Issue 1. Next year, 2019, is the final year of the funding, generously provided by the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, which pays the winning authors; and we are assiduously seeking funding to pay authors in 2020 and beyond.

Volume 6, Issue 1

This issue of Meniscus, guest edited by Sandra Arnold and Deb Wain, is now live. The winners of this issue's Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund are Victor Billot, 'Location, location' (for poetry) and Jo Morrison, 'This old thing' (for prose). The issue begins with these two works, and ends with Ruth Armstrong's prizewinning story, 'Paper cranes' (winner of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Australian Short Story Festival award. In between is a fine collection of poems and stories. Thanks to the guest editors, contributors, and readers for their constant support of this literary journal.

Volume 5, Issue 2

This volume went live in November, and contains some remarkable and exciting work.

The 'winners' of the second Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund awards for 2017 are Ella Jeffery for her poem 'Varnish'; and the judges couldn't decide between Ira McGuire's 'Life in Fragments' and Deb Wain's 'A Platter of Antipasti', so they shared the prose award.

Volume 5, Issue 1

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has generously provided three years of funding for Meniscus, on the condition that for each issue, the editors select what they consider to be the best prose piece, and the best poem, each of which is given a fee / prize of $1,000. We are very grateful for this support; but we do regret that at present we have not been able to secure funding to pay the other contributors. Keep an eye on this page, and if we're able to find a sponsor or patron, we will swiftly make that known.

The 'winners' of the first Copyright Agency awards for 2017 are Eugen Bacon, for her story 'Honey Gone Sour', and Helen Moore for her poem ‘A Legacy, Mother’s Day’. 

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