Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Gangway Magazine: Spotlight on Expatriate Literature

There are heaps of literary journals online, but few that bind together two countries as different as Austria and Australia. While the first is a small, mountainous and often rainy inland territory in the heart of Europe, the latter is a vast, mainly flat and rather arid sea power taking up the whole continent of Australia. They are also separated by the greater part of the globe and people in my native Austria speak predominantly German, whereas the official language in Australia is English. Hence the idea to bring out a joint literary journal doesn’t actually seem near at hand – except that it was an Austrian emigrant, Gerald Ganglbauer of Gangan Publishing, who conceived and created it. 

The bilingual Gangway Magazine, edited in Sydney and Perth on the one hand and in Vienna and Graz on the other, went online in 1996 and up to this date forty-five issues of it have appeared which can all be easily accessed directly from the homepage. The declared focus of the literary journal is on short stories, poetry, essays and experimental prose including such that uses the interactive possibilities of the internet from the ‘old’ and the ‘new world’ in German and in English (and/or the respective translations), but also some visual art has been included from the start. Since 2012 the contents are supplemented by specials on music and culture. The other main columns of the magazine are news, reviews of books and literary journals, and authors’ interviews

The individual issues of Gangway Magazine are dedicated to different themes and use to come out irregularly about two weeks after the deadline of the call for submissions. The initial idea of the founder was to give bilingual writers from Australia and Austria a medium for publication, but for the past ten years the magazine has been open to expatriate writers worldwide (irrespective of their nationality) whose work is available in English or German either in the original or in translation. Literary texts are accepted only following a call for submission. However, magazine articles, interviews, reviews and special features can be submitted any time according to the submission guidelines. Also people who would like to be pro bono guest editors are welcome to apply. 

The scores of webpages that have gone online since the creation of Gangway Magazine are archived and preserved in the PANDORA Archive of the Australian National Library. For the convenience of readers who are looking for someone or something in particular the site offers a comprehensive as well as comfortable search-by-keyword function and several indices which are accessible through the sitemap. To keep in touch with the community news are published on facebook and via twitter. 

Gangway Magazine is an interesting online resource which definitely deserves a closer look and some time to read.

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