I’ve subscribed to Voiceworks for over two years now, and the literary magazine always features some of the best of Australia’s young writers. However, I absolutely fell in love with the most recent issue, Issue #88, Translate. My interests in writing and foreign languages collided with the theme of this latest issue and I read it straight through from cover to cover.

Voiceworks is a magazine for young Australian writers under 26 years of age, published by Express Media. The magazine is a wonderful stepping stone for young writers and provides fantastic opportunities for these writers to see their name in print.

While the standard of writing and design is always high, the latest issue was absolutely brilliant.  It was the final issue from editor Johannes Jakob, before he handed the reins over to new editor Kat Muscat, and he definitely left the magazine on a high note.

On my initial flick through the magazine, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw one of my favourite poems, ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost, translated into six different languages over a double page spread, from Japanese to Norwegian. I first discovered Frost’s poem in high school and the words struck such a deep chord with me I can still remember the first time I read the poem. It won’t be long before this double page spread is hanging over my writing desk.

There is also an interview with literary translator Chris Andrews. I also found this piece particularly engaging, as being a translator is something I’ve considered as a career path. It was really interesting to read the different aspects of this work, and the problems and challenges encountered in accurately translating someone else’s work into another language.

Maryam Tayyaba’s non-fiction piece ‘The Linguistic Adventures of a Pakistani Hybrid’ is another gem of a read. It is about her experiences growing up as a Pakistani Australian, focusing mainly on the time her family spent three years living in Pakistan when she was a teenager. Tayyaba writes with such conviction and contemplation and really manages to articulate the challenges of growing up in the midst of two different cultures and languages.

As far as fiction was concerned, I loved Jack Vening’s short story ‘In Transit’. It is an example of just how good young Australian writing can be.

While the latest issue of Voiceworks is dedicated to the theme of translation, this issue proves that the topic is something which speaks and inspires young Australian writers.

Voiceworks, quarterly publication


Print edition, $10

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