The International Literary Quarterly

August 2009


Shanta Acharya
Evgeny Baratynsky
Mary Caponegro
Peter France
Aamer Hussein
Edie Meidav
Ian Patterson
Mori Ponsowy
Jem Poster
Joan Retallack
Fiona Sampson
John Stauffer
Judith Taylor
Karen Thornber
Stephen Wilson
Leslie Woodard

Issue 8 Guest Artist:
Kenneth Draper RA

Founding Editor: Peter Robertson
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Rosemary Ashton
Leonard Barkan
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jill Dawson
Junot Díaz
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Edith Grossman
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
Molly Haskell
Beatriz Hausner
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
John Kelly
Mimi Khalvati
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Suzanne Jill Levine
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Alberto Manguel
Marina Mayoral
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Susana Moore
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Caryl Phillips
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marina Warner
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Jeff Barry
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Three poems by Judith Taylor  


Investigators' Notes

Hooded men, they told us, well above the ground
on the far side of the hedge, and moving a strange way
– not walking, not on bikes.
City boys, they had never seen a man on horseback:
it was weird, they said,
and they left the Muir as quietly as they could.
We hardly needed to ask them where
– beside that old stone, the one with the funny writing.
And they seemed to us to be genuinely spooked.
I suppose the village kids
might have put them up to it – but then,
how much would the village kids know?
All this time, and nobody talks about
the religious wars, or the ambush
on the east road. The government’s man;
his daughter, who survived it;
or the men who rode the carriage down,
who refused to answer the court when they were taken
– unabashed, as if
it was something to the greater glory.
In the end, it was their side
who won. And on the Latin stone
at the scene, they’re named as martyrs.


Late Saturday morning, December

The light is low and sidelong.
It warms some of the grey flowers in the curtains
pink and yellow, but only some.
We can see a sliver of white sky
and we know outside the frost is lying
undisturbed in places daylight hasn’t been for days
– in corners, under edges, behind trees.
It’s pale, with a sheen like finery.
It’s all set to unbalance us.
We wish we had held a bonfire on the shortest day
and told the sun how we loved
her brassy, forward style.
Now we wait as she sidles - hunched, hung-over –
around the edges of her stamping-ground,
smoking a fog, trying
not to meet the public eye.
We hope she’ll be back again;
that nothing will keep our red-hot mama down.
But for now we lie long in our little warmth, reluctant
to commit ourselves to the smooth world
she wishes she had not embraced:
the suave, pearly surfaces that tempt us on
to take another step, the one
that betrays us.



From a dream: Strathmore
is colonised by Australians
of Scots descent. A taciturn folk
who keep themselves to themselves:
and yet at any turn of the road now
– in the middle of berryfields, grain,
dairy pasture – you might happen
upon a cattle-station,
tin roofs
and white verandahs shadeless
under its bony eucalyptus trees.
It is trapped in a well of its own
harsh conditions, the only dust for miles
clagging it, and the air shimmering
over it, and nowhere else.
It ignores you.
The lean dogs and the fierce
recalcitrant horses never stir.
If you watch for long enough,
then maybe you’ll see
the farm woman, in cotton frock and apron,
move behind the screens;
or the man, shaded under his hat, emerge
and ride away.
But they never greet you
and they’re never seen
about, in the sway of barley, down
the raspberry lines. They don’t remember
what it is
to have near neighbours: fading through,
they work their distant, underlying Australia
where the herds scatter in scrub
as far as the red horizon.
What could they have to say to you?
Could they tell you how they were fetched
here, their hard lives intruded
into this cold, suspiciously lush place
in the old country? Or how you
appear to them: a mirage, perhaps,
they have more sense than to follow?
No telling
which of you sought the other out, or where
this is, that your eyes almost meet
again and again. Is it your dream, or their own?