Going Down Swinging #33 launch: Interview with Geoff Lemon

, by Bethanie Blanchard - Crikey Weekender

Amongst all the many panel discussions, debates, and ‘in conversations’, the Melbourne Writers Festival is the site of launches for new and established literary magazines. MWF has hosted the Big Issue Fiction Edition, Seven Stories, Veranda and Above Water to name just a few. The closing night of MWF tomorrow will see the launch of the latest issue of Going Down Swinging in a night of performances from some of Melbourne’s best spoken-word artists at the Toff in Town. I asked co-editor Geoff Lemon a few questions about the edition, and what we can expect at tomorrow night’s launch.

Can you talk about the ethos of GDS – how does it differ from other journals?
Basically that we don’t really see ourselves as a journal anymore. The annual print anthology is still a core part of what we do, but we also stage performance events, hold parties, record and release audio work, make multimedia publications, have an online publishing arm, and commission substantial new works across several fields. The GDS umbrella covers writers, visual artists, performers, musicians, filmmakers, animators, digital programmers, book designers and sound artists.
Our major launches, for instance, are as important as the anthologies being launched, because each launch features the debut of at least one commissioned long-form performance piece, written for GDS by a performer we admire. We then search out opportunities to stage several commissions at once at other places around Australia. Equally, digital publishing lets us include the moving image, programming, interactive text and any number of other options. Almost any art can now be anthologised.
The ethos behind all this is one of putting the audience first. We don’t want to publish based on notions of worthiness, or laying claim to a refined sensibility. We find artists and writers who we think are amazing and clever and above all entertaining, and then we aim to bring them to an audience. As simple as that.
Full story at Crikey Weekender

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