Antipodes: A North American Journal of Australian Literature was founded in 1987 as the journal of the American Association of Australian Literary Studies, itself founded the previous year. Both institutions are products of the Hawke era, when the still-simmering question of Australian identity and the Australian film boom of the early 1980s created an ideal state for Australians to be interested in (and to help fund) US literary culture’s own nascent interest in Australia.
From the beginning, it had no problem attracting prestigious contributors. A.D. Hope, Peter Carey, Les Murray, Thea Astley, Rosemary Dobson, and Mudrooroo were all featured in early issues. Even Patrick White consented to be profiled, though not formally interviewed, by our gentlemanly founding fiction editor, Ray Willbanks. Paul Kane, our poetry editor, has always made sure we are vitally engaged with the best and most exciting Australian verse. The journal continues to publish biannually, with most space devoted to refereed academic essays, but also including fiction, poetry, book reviews and the most recent addition – creative non-fiction, a hybrid genre in which regular contributors such as Ouyang Yu, Elizabeth Bernays, and the ‘Trans-Tasman’ figure Stephen Oliver have excelled.