Expanded writing

Archipelagos of Grief: Crises Partially Digested

July 12th, 2023

The Expanded Writers Collective on Snail Trails of Grief. A commissioned essay by the Sydney Review of Books (SRB) and non/FictionLab have brought writers together to help revitalise our ways of being and thinking in the Project: The Collective.

Archipelagos of grief: crises partially digested.

25, 081 words written by eight women over one year. A shared on-line document, a camaraderie of regular zooms. Beyond us, and through us: much personal and collective grief. One day, we took our words to several types of snail. Then we became-snail and nibbled at the mass of words, digesting fragments, leaving trails; collectively oozed slivers of everyday grief.


What Remains?

What Remains?

What Remains?


I recall the story of a snail told to me by an artist once, who was making a work investigating the fragmentary nature of memory, and the human habit of incoherent recollection. She was filming a speculative portrait of an elderly man aimlessly wandering about an abandoned building. One day as she was filming, a snail serendipitously passed through the frame. Delighted by the rogue guest she zoomed in to capture its tentacles guiding its lone trajectory. On viewing the final draft, the commissioning funders were adamant that the snail scene must be deleted.

I have many questions, about the slivery reckoning.


Clusters of snails conspire in the absent space of our letterbox.
A myriad of gribbles live in the understory.


<<CONTINUE READING  the ENTIRE essay, as is promised a work  of expanded writing – you are encouraged to read the entire work at this URL >>> 

The Expanded Writers Collective is: anxious. sick. relieved. stressed. resting. working. grieving. so enjoying this process. a coven. a girl band. a support network. friends. settlers. immigrants. fluid. riffing. sonorous. multiple. not playing solo. a reader. a chorus. one of many voices. feeling more comfortable calling myself an artist. a collective. Yoko Akama, Martina Copley, Linda Dement, Pia Ednie-Brown, Anna Farago, Maria Griffin, Nancy Mauro-Flude, Lucinda Strahan.

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