New Tamba is a lockdown jewel

By John Lewis

The latest edition of Goulburn Valley Writers’ biannual magazine Tamba is a treasure trove of reflections and reactions on events before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 60 pages, the autumn-winter 2020 edition of the long-running magazine is larger than usual, which editor Pat Patt said was a sign of the quality of sbmissions.

“We felt that we had plenty of good work to print and we could afford the extra costs, so it was a good time to be generous,” Ms Patt said.

Inside the 66th edition, readers will find stories and poems from regular Goulburn Valley writers such as Creagh Manning, Robyn Black, Eileen Torney, Brendan Darveniza and many more, as well as contributions by interstate writers.

The edition kicks off with a delightful reflection on the colours and deeper message of autumn by Beverley Mathews whose late husband Alan was a much-loved regular contributor to Tamba and a former editor.

Ms Patt said there were also poems on this year's devastating bushfires and a thoughtful piece on the impact of COVID-19 by Shepparton writer Jan Braham.

She said GV Writers Group members had not had a face-to-face meeting since February, but had held online meetings to keep in touch.

“But of course they aren’t as satisfying as sitting around together, sharing our work and the good company,” she said.

Ms Patt said while lock-down had been an ideal time to write for some, for others it had been a challenging period.

“It will be very interesting to see what writing comes out of this situation. Hopefully we will have lots of isolation-inspired submissions for our next issue of Tamba.

“Many people who love to write have been only too happy to be stuck at home alone, but it has also been a worrying time, which can impair thinking and therefore writing,” she said.

● The new edition of Tamba is available for $10 at Collins Booksellers on Maude St and at Shepparton Art Museum when it re-opens. People can also order a copy online through the writers’ group website

Local libraries also receive a copy each.