Lucy McAllister
Dept of English
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand

Deep South v.2. n.3. (Spring 1996)

Copyright (c) 1996 by Lucy McAllister

Welcome to the third issue of Deep South for 1996, which marks the debut of a number of writers from Otago, Canterbury, Wellington, and Massey Universities in New Zealand, as well as submissions from around the world. Deep South is now under the official, protective wings of the English Department at the University of Otago. Thanks to the much-needed funding, the future of Deep South is ensured for another academic year. All editorial staff and contributors involved are thrilled.

This issue also marks my Editorial debut into the electronic realm of journalism. When I arrived at Otago University in 1988, fresh from high school, my only experience in publishing and journalism was as Editor of the school newspaper. Fear and heavy work loads deterred me from submitting any work during my Under-Graduate years.

In 1995 when I was writing my MA, Deep South was created by Post Graduate students eager to have their work published and I saw an opportunity to rekindle an interest in writing. I was a poetry sub-editor and occasional writer, beginning somewhat timidly, with a book review and one or two poems written when I was an under graduate. When I was appointed Technical and Administrative Editor in September 1996, I was delighted.

I enjoy writing and always have done. My most recent and completed 'project' has been a Masters thesis entitled "Poetic Response to the Visual Arts: An analysis of New Zealand Women Poets". My interest in 'shared imagery' and art, was inspired by a sculpture at the Women On Women art Exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 1993. The sculpture, named Icon, symbolises many things: as a large, equilateral triangle it is strong and symmetrical; as a series triangular compartments it is a treasure chest or display case; as a series of inter-connecting lines and segements it evokes a "quilt" or a "web".

Recently I attended a seminar by Jayne Loader, the "wacky 'wench' from Waxahachie" held at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art. Loader is currently involved in web writing and has her own web site Public Shelter and column 'WWWench'. As the seminar progressed I was reminded of the power of the image of a web or quilt as a symbol of 'connections' and 'spaces'. Loader fired with enthusiasm, showed the seminar group the varied facets of her web writing - ranging from the anti-nuclear, to the environmental, to sexual themes. Loader also emphasised how writing for the web, is not only the promotion of your own information but also the creation of connections to other sources. Loader uses 'links' to other web sites to enhance her writing and makes ironic connections which reflect her self-confessed weird sense of humour.

As a departmental journal Deep South exists to publish post-graduate work. Deep South is also about forming connections with other readers and writers the world over. Loader proved to me that writing on the web can be just as loud, just as effective and more powerful than many other forms of media - the web is by definition, "world-wide".

My current project is a series of essays and articles on the works of J G Ballard. A Science Fiction issue of Deep South is planned for March (approx) 1997. We welcome submissions on this theme - prose, poetry, articles, reviews and commentaries.

Write a letter to The Editor.