A Postcard from Townsville, Australia

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’day! Welcome, cobbers, to Townsville week! Townsville, for those not knowing, is a small, Australian coastal city of some 150,000 people, in the tropics, just on 1,300 miles north of Sydney as the galah flies, adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. We do more here, though, than lounge about watching the coral. Townsville is far from the Woop Woop; we have a vibrant, thriving arts community, including some masterly writers of multifarious ilks.

For the next six days, Dr. Hurley’s brew for tedium will be concocted in, yes, paradise Down Under. Hettie Ashwin tells it like it is living on a boat in Townsville harbour; South African-born Martha Landman brings a cosmopolitan sensibility; Stephen Ryan spins a dinkum Aussie bush yarn; Shaun Allen takes us to a strange, dark, violent place; yours truly, ever immodest, proffers another poem; and, lastly, Lori Hurst, the President of Writers in Townsville Society, (or WITS), presents the first part of a two part tale that is richly redolent of bygone north Queensland.

Forget your cares; forget those stupefacients. While I’m brewing the billy, ready yourself to go a-Waltzing Matilda—or, if you’re a sheila, to go a-Pashing a sheepshagger who’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock—with a ridgy-didge, six ingredient Aussie elixir for your every malady…