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Date: 1990-1994
Issue Details: First known date: 1990-... 1990- Island
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

When Michael Denholm returned to Tasmania in the late 1970s, he became involved in organising poetry readings. Discussions with poets and other writers led to a proposal for a new literary magazine to feature Tasmanian writers. With Andrew Sant and Tim Thorne, Denholm founded the Tasmanian Review, publishing the first issue in June 1979. In March 1981, the magazine was renamed Island Magazine, indicating a shift in editorial policy to produce a more national magazine.

Island Magazine published poems, short stories, articles, interviews, photographs and graphics. During the 1980s, the magazine exhibited a strong concern for ecological issues, supporting protests against the Tasmanian government's proposed damming of the Franklin River. But, reflecting the national character of the magazine, contributors during this period included Les Murray, Christopher Koch{n), Dorothy Green, Humphrey McQueen, Donald Horne, Frank Moorhouse, Gwen Harwood, Bernard Smith, Hugh Stretton, Tim Wintoni8), Olga Masters, Marion Halligan, John Forbes, Judith Beveridge2[), Geoff Page and Peter Porter.

In 1989 Denholm and Sant edited First Rights: A Decade of Island Magazine, bringing their term as editors of Island Magazine to a close. Cassandra Pybus was appointed editor and the magazine soon displayed the shortened title Island. During Pybus's term, circulation increased substantially and the reputation of the magazine grew to rival many of the older mainland literary quarterlies. But Pybus's editorial practices, which included employing non-Tasmanian guest editors, caused a conflict with members of the magazine's board who wanted to maintain a Tasmanian focus. In 1994 the board requested her resignation, ending Pybus's term in controversial circumstances, and prompting heated debates in mainland magazines.

Rodney Croome, a prominent Tasmanian gay rights activist, was appointed editor of Island after a short interim period. This coincided with mainland criticism that Island was fast becoming a parochial publication and did not deserve funding from the federal government. With the magazine in financial difficulty, the editorial board challenged this assertion, but, regardless, Croome followed an editorial policy that he later called 'Voicing the South'. In 1999, continuing financial difficulty influenced a 'strategic planning process' with the support of Arts Tasmania , resulting in a change of editorial policy to that originally voiced by Denholm and Sant: 'The two criteria which determine the selection of material for the journal are excellence and variety'. This policy was implemented by David Owen, who was appointed editor in late 1999.

Matthew Lamb was appointed Editorial Director and Features Editor in 2013, with Geordie Williamson as the fiction editor and Sarah Holland-Batt as the poetry editor. Geordie Williamson was replaced by Anica Boulanger-Mashberg as fiction editor in 2016; both Boulanger-Mashberg and Holland-Batt left their roles in 2019. Matthew Lamb left his role as editor in 2015.

In 2015, Island stopped producing an online edition and expanded its print run significantly. In late 2019, Island announced that it has not secured Arts Tasmania funding for 2020-2024, and would need to explore additional avenues for funding.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Recent Music and Events Ralph Wessman , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Communion Literary Magazine , December no. 12 2019;
On the Defunding of Island Magazine – and What It Will Mean for Tasmanian Writers Ben Walter , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , September 2019;

'In the general feedback from Arts Tasmania’s Organisations funding round this year, applicants were told that ‘claims that overstated the importance of … an organisation were seen to lack awareness of the context of an application.’' (Introduction)

From the Island Team 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Island , no. 157 2019; (p. 6-7)
'On a wet, cold, June afternoon in Hobart in 1979, a new literary magazine, the brainchild of Andrew Sant and Michael Denholm, was launched - by Gwen Harwood, no less. What started life as The Tasmanian Review soon became Island magazine. And here we are, forty years on, with the same philosophy that the editors articulated in their first editorial...' (Introduction)
Introduction Rosalie Martin , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Island , Special Issue 2017; (p. 2-3)
'I first met Matthew Lamb when he was the editor of Island magazine. He won’t like that his name appears in the first sentence of this introduction. And he won’t like that I’m telling the story of this wonderful collection of essays by starting with the story of him. He’s a guy who wants to be left alone to read.' (Introduction)
Editorial Matthew Lamb , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: Island , no. 142 2015; (p. 6-7)
Literary Periodicals Judah Waten , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 28 January 1984; (p. 13)

— Review of Island 1990- periodical (118 issues); Scripsi vol. 2 no. 2-3 Spring 1983 periodical issue ; Overland no. 93 December 1983 periodical issue ; Meridian vol. 2 no. 2 October 1983 periodical issue ; Meanjin vol. 42 no. 4 Summer 1983 periodical issue ; Meanjin vol. 42 no. 3 Spring 1983 periodical issue
Editorial David Owen , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Island , Autumn no. 100 2005; (p. 5-6)
David Owen comments on the achievement of 100 issues of Island.
Beggars on the Street of Thought Stephen Alomes , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Island , Winter no. 101 2005; (p. 26-31)
Stunned Reaction to Sacking Robert Hefner , 1994 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 19 June 1994; (p. 24)
'Island' at Sea after Editor Forced to Go Jane Sullivan , 1994 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 23 June 1994; (p. 19)
Found Stories of History Christopher Bantick , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 March 1997; (p. C11)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

ISSN: 1035-3127
Island Magazine and retains its numbering
27cm, 40-60 pages (1990-1995); 21cm, app 125 pages (1995-2003)
$5 (1990-1992); $7 (1992-1995); $7.95 (1995-1998); $8.95 (1998-2000); $10 (2000); $11 (2001); $11.95 (2002-2003)
Island home page archived by PANDORA:
Last amended 24 Sep 2019 07:43:30
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