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The land that is now called Australia has always been home to hundreds of languages. Post-invasion, English was instated as the language of governance and power, but referring to Australia as an ‘English-speaking’ nation erases both the cultural and linguistic diversity that existed long before the first English speaker landed here, and the multitude of new languages migrants from around the world have brought with them since Australia’s creation.

About the project

This project aims to provide a space to showcase some of the linguistic complexity that resists and persists in Australia today. Multilingual people often engage in what is referred to as ‘code-switching’, which means using two or more languages at the same time in the same piece of communication. Most of the time, this multilingualism is discouraged, seen as demonstrating a lack of proficiency, considered a ‘pollution’ of the dominant language (English), and so on.

This space is different.

Here, multilingual writers can mix their languages with English to their hearts’ content. The work we publish demonstrates the linguistic, aesthetic and creative reach of multilingual writing and seeks to interrupt, enhance, challenge, and generally complicate, the flow of English.

We will focus on multilingual poetry for the first issue, but hope to expand into other forms as we develop.

All poetry will be available online as text and as audio files. Translations and glossaries will be provided at the poets’ discretion. All work remains the property of the named author.

Issue 1

Issue 1 is now live!

Submissions and enquiries

Submission is via email and open only to multilingual folks living in Australia. (If you’re Australian but live overseas, get in touch.) Priority will be given to work by Indigenous/First Nations writers.

You can find examples of multilingual poetry here.

Please address all emails and enquiries to editor [@] australianmultilingualwriting [.] org. Do not send your submissions to this address.

Please read the submission guidelines carefully before submitting work.