It’s that time of year now when life is at its roundest, the dough of the long days risen and heavy. In such conditions, it’s easy to register richness, abundance, and fruition as wholly delightful things.

            To leaven can, indeed, be delightful—but, as this issue has reminded me, to think of it only in this way has a bit of a hellish ‘jobs and growth’ vibe. In offering such a reminder, our contributors’ works have both refracted many ideas of what it could mean to leaven, and acted as leaven: the catalyst which brings about new forms, be they forms of understanding, of seeing, or of feeling.

            This issue of The Suburban Review is served up to you inside Shani Nottingham’s deft and delightful cover design—made, like much of Shani’s work, using repurposed plastic bread tags. The cover is perhaps our most literally bready contribution to the issue, though it makes of its materials something totally new and other.

            Inside, we begin with two poems from Stella Theocharides, who leads us ‘Where the flannel crosses—I mean / where the plaid kisses’, and where tides, temperatures, and chests rise and fall. We then follow Eloise Grills into an ‘ever-fuglier hall of mirrors’, in an illustrated essay which reflects with generous ambivalence on the practice of life modelling, both historically and in Grills’s experience over a decade.

            Emilie Collyer’s ‘The Pitch’ writes the body fermenting up and away from itself. Often, in putting together issues of TSR, we find traceable connections between works where we wouldn’t expect them (keep your eye out for two unrelated mentions of Grease, which surprisingly seems to be back in the zeitgeist) ; Collyer’s treatment of art history, of the body, and of power—which should of course be read on its own terms—is also a lucky harmony to Grills’s work. ‘The Pitch’ is illustrated by Linda Ogonowski, whose ‘Revolt of the “Abject” Body’ rewards long looking at its surrealistic, deft, and hilarious vision of the revolting body in 1940s Melbourne.

            We received many submissions for this issue dealing with pregnancy, gestation, and childbirth, of which Amy Howard’s ‘Where they purr’ is an outstanding example. Howard’s story rises to sharp revelation of the dependence and the defiance which can ripple through family life. David Tarafa’s comic ‘Last Days’ also pictures companionship, love, and loss. With a playful strategy and a reparative sensibility in hand, Tarafa finds a kind of leaven in the form of the comic itself, and in the work of creating it.

            Reflecting on disenfranchised grief and representations of violence on film, Joshua Sorensen’s ‘Dissolve Cut’ asks what might be made in the aftermath of a rupture in community life. Janet Jiahui Wu’s poetry suite ‘Blood Yeast’ is wide-ranging without compromising on power of vision. It explores a full array of risings, from the theatres and theatrics of war to the image of a dog who ‘jumps up in the air and takes the handle of the leash’.

            As the protagonist in Miriam Webster’s ‘Skylight’ traverses the streets and the skies, they recall flooding like that which has affected much of the country in the past year. With this, we might be reminded of the many parts of our world and our climatic systems which rise with the temperature, carrying us along at pace and oftentimes threatening to engulf us. This ‘round’ time of year, the summer, can also be difficult and dangerous. We wish our readers and community a safe season—and a bit of the nice kind of abundance, too. 

ERIN MCFADYEN
DEPUTY EDITOR

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