The sixth issue of Peninsula Writing was perhaps the finest edition of them all. It was also the last. The magazine took on a theme approach for the first time, the Mahogany Ship, an almost mythical ship that had been sighted briefly half-buried in the sand dunes near Warrnambool that seemed to pre-date known European settlement.
This was the first cover that wasn’t by Gavin Duffy; a map of the Warrnambool sand dunes including the enigmatic site of wreck. Beyond that, the issue didn’t contain a lot of artwork.
The Mahogany Ship idea was an interesting choice, given that the Mahogany Ship history is located on the west coast of Victoria, a long way from the Mornington Peninsula. But the range of writing gathered together was significant.
The issue opened with Liam Davison’s fine story The Mahogany Ship, Melbourne poet Philip Martin generously allowed us to reprint his poem Dune Ship, which had just appeared in his own book, and he also wrote an interesting account of the genesis of that poem. followed by a poem by Judith Rodriguez The Mahogany Ship, Dune Ship on a Hot Day by Francis King, The Mahogany Ship by Warrick Wynne, Ship by Connie Barber, The Ship as Lover by Mary Chapman and The Mahogany Ship by Mimie F. Brown.
This was the first time in six issues that Liam Davison and myself had included our own creative writing in the magazine.
In the review sections we substituted the reviews for piece by Liam Davison: The Mahogany Ship in Australian Fiction
I think that issue five is the high point of the magazine, for the ideas and the quality of the writing and how the pieces bounce off each other, although you could argue that, for its artwork, issue four was the best.
There is no hint in this issue that it would be the last. In fact, the last page still seeks subscriptions. But it would be the final issue of this little magazine.
Below: Contents of Issue six
Below: The Editorial for Issue six.
Below: Poems by Francis King and Warrick Wynne
Below: Extract from ‘The Mahogany Ship’ by Liam Davison