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Issue 7 Theme: The Eco Issue

with Guest Editor Michael Aitken


To a certain extent, writing about ecology has always been an aspect of human written traditions. How the world around us functions, and how we fit (or don't fit) with that function are central questions of science, philosophy, art, and religion. More recently the wider awareness of the threats posed to the world by human activity have added a greater sense of urgency and significance to those questions, and to our need for answers. 

In issue 7 we're asking for writing that engages with those enduring problems, as well as welcoming work that critiques or problematises the way that people typically conceive of ecologies and ecological writing. For example, the outline above places human beings very much at the centre of our own ecologies, both as inhabitants and as existential threats. Can we use writing - an intrinsically human activity - to meaningfully engage ecological notions without prioritising the human? And can such writing produce useful outcomes? 

Other considerations could include the etymological implications - 'eco', which derives from the Greek oikos, 'household', 'living place' or 'home', is not only present in ecology (literally 'discussion [or theorising] of (the functioning of a) home') but also in economy ('knowledge of how to manage a household'). The connections in Western traditions between ideas about the places where things live and the 'efficient'/appropriate management of such places are deeply engrained. Who (and what) do we include/exclude when talking about ecopoetics? Whose home? And managed by whom? What, for example, are the eco(nomic) implications of referring to people living outside as 'homeless'? Or to consider the non-human, what more are we saying when we describe a species as 'invasive' to an ecology/economy? When are these terms sympatico, and at what points do they diverge?


Please make sure you follow our revised submission process.


Please make sure you read the submission guidelines and the Authora values before sending us your work.

Issue 7 submissions close February 28, 2023 11.59pm AEDT.







Michael Aiken is a grateful four-time recipient of a unique & delightful child. 

He is a graduate of the University of Wollongong's undergraduate program in Writing and also completed honours in English Literature at UNE, with a thesis investigating interactions between built and organic environments in the poetry of contemporary US poet August Kleinzahler.

He is neurodiverse and has successfully applied that strength to a 13 year career in the NSW security industry, before switching to strategic communications in health and education. 

Since 2019 he has been the owner and manager of Garden Lounge Creative Space, a specialist poetry bookstore and licenced cafe in Newtown, Sydney. 

He is the author of two collections of poetry - A Vicious Example (GPP 2014), which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Kenneth Slessor Prize for poetry, and The Little Book of Sunlight and Maggots (UWA 2019). In 2016 he was awarded the inaugural Australian Book Review Laureate's Fellowship in order to write his verse novel Satan Repentant (UWA 2018), under the mentorship of David Malouf. 

Photographer: Xander Black

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