Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 15, 2022

Heat Literary Journal, Series 3, No’s 1 & 2, edited by Alexandra Christie

As regular readers know, I’m not great at keeping up to date with the current affairs journals that I subscribe to so I’m only a spasmodic subscriber to literary journals.  The revival of Giramondo’s Heat Literary journal after an absence of ten years, however, is an ‘event’.

What follows is from the Heat Website:

About HEAT

HEAT is a controlled intensity. Noise is our enemy, and rubbish, and imposture. We stand for a simple integrity. And for writing which is committed, passionate, innovative and adventurous.

HEAT is a distinguished Australian literary journal renowned for its dedication to literary quality, and its commitment to publishing innovative and imaginative poetry, fiction, essays, criticism and the hybrid forms.

The first issue of HEAT was published in July 1996, in the wake of the Demidenko Affair, in which an Australian author of English background posed as Ukrainian in order to gain credibility for her Holocaust-inspired novel. The anger provoked by this hoax accounts in large part for the magazine’s name, and a commitment to the publication of genuinely diverse writing.

The aim of the magazine has always been to publish innovative Australian and international writers of the highest standard. Fifteen issues were published in the first series, from 1996 to 2000, with internal design by Toni-Hope Caten and covers by Harry Williamson. It was followed by the new series of HEAT, designed by Harry Williamson, with twenty-four issues published between 2001 and 2011. The editor for the first two series was Ivor Indyk. (Source: Heat)

And now we have Series 3…

HEAT Series 3 Number 1 (February 2022)

The first issue comprises:

  • Only one refused  non-fiction by Mireille Juchau (a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece which you can read online, click the link).
  • Special Stuff, a chilling piece of dystopian fiction by Josephine Rowe (who I learn from the intro is in New York researching a new novel, hurrah, I loved her novel!)
  • Five Poems, a themed group of moving poetry about losing parents, by Sarah Holland-Batt.  Update, the next day: I had wondered if there was a personal dimension to this group of poems but hesitated to suggest it.  This article at The Guardian confirms that Holland-Batt was grappling with her father’s last years with Parkinson’s Disease. (The article is not paywalled, but you need to register to read it.)
  • Brief Lives, fiction featuring a group of strangers holed up in what they hope is a refuge against bushfire, by one of my favourite authors, Brian Castro.  As usual, he made me laugh despite the dire situation of his characters.
  • Death Takes Me (trans. Sarah Booker and Robin Myers) , fiction by Cristina Rivera Garza. TBR

HEAT Series 3 Number 2 (April 2022)

The second issue comprises:

  • Ludic Literature, an essay by British novelist Helen Oyeyemi about playfulness in writing. Yes, I had to look up ‘ludic’, it just means ‘playful’, and if Gingerbread is anything to go by, that’s Oyeyemi’s style.
  • Unlock to Ride by another of my favourite authors, New Zealand writer Pip Adam.  I saw e-scooters for the very first time in Auckland, where they make perfect sense in the hilly terrain. The piece is, of course, about more than e-scooters.
  • Min-Min is a piece of flash fiction from the winner of the 2018 Patrick White Award Indigenous poet Samuel Wagan Watson.  It features a man like an animal caught in the headlight of something unstoppable…
  • Sit Down Young Stranger is a change of scene for Luke Carman whose collection An Elegant Young Man was set in Western Sydney.  Set in the Blue Mountains and featuring a young musician in distress, it showcases his skill in creating atmosphere.
  • Three poems from Melbourne poet Michael Farrell — though the middle one looks more a three page paragraph to me which just goes to show that I know so little of contemporary poetry that I don’t even have the vocab to describe it.  I have a new book called Actions & Travels: How Poetry Works which I am hoping will address this and my other deficiencies in respect of appreciating modern poetry.  Apropos of appreciating poetry, Sydney poet Felicity Plunkett quoted Alice Oswald today in her Twitter feed, and I’m quoting it here just because I want to remember it:

Poetry is danced language which means, when you’re writing it or reading it, you mustn’t rush to the end to find out what it means, but every line, every phrase, every word is an end in itself.

  • Allen, by a writer unknown to me: Ren Arcamone, a Sydney writer currently in Iowa.  This is a taster, which I really hope is going to make its way into the novel she is working on:

Phil and I have a make-believe housemate — we call him Allen.  Allen is a real jerk.  Allen never cleans the bathroom, leaves the fan when no one’s home, and only half-empties the dishwasher.  Allen lets the laundry stay out on the line so long that all our jeans are sun-faded, and he alone is responsible for the murder of our beloved houseplant, Fernie Sanders.  He never vacuums.  He never takes the dog for a walk. (p.77)

Heat Series 3, edited by Alexandra Christie, Giramondo Publishing.

  • Number 1:  February 2022, ISBN 9781922725004, pbk., 102 pages, artwork by Ben Juers.
  • Number 2:  April 2022, ISBN 9781922725011, pbk, 92 pages, artwork by Naminapu Maymuru-White

You can subscribe to Heat here, or find individual issues in good bookstores.


  1. I saw these at the NLA bookshop last week and was so tempted to buy them, but I didn’t. You’ve increased the temptation. I love the idea of these magazines, so I should suppprt them.


    • Well, with your love of short stories, I think you’d especially enjoy them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d not heard of this. I have all I can do to get through Womankind magazine, my monthly Australian photography and World Literature magazine. I will look and see if Fullers shop has this. I might leaf through it. As an aside Hobart is trialling e-scooters and the letters to editor in the paper are written by people all jumping up and down madly thinking how they will destroy the city and wipe out our population. Such a fuss. I’d buy the magazine just to read that article.


    • LOL I’d say we’re in more danger from some of our elderly folks on their mobility scooters – I suspect that they’re driving them on the footpath the way they used to drive their cars on the road — and all we can do is get out of their way!


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