Item #122440 Barjai. A Meeting Place for Youth [Number 10 to Number 23]. 'Barjai'.
Barjai. A Meeting Place for Youth [Number 10 to Number 23]
Barjai. A Meeting Place for Youth [Number 10 to Number 23]
Barjai. A Meeting Place for Youth [Number 10 to Number 23]

Barjai. A Meeting Place for Youth [Number 10 to Number 23]

Brisbane, Barjai Publishing Service, 1943 to 1946.

Octavo (various sizes, with the last one quarto), 14 issues, with pagination ranging from 8 to 44 pages each issue; later numbers contain illustrations (one a tipped-in colour plate).

Stapled wrappers (Number 23 stapled drop-title); Number 13 chipped and lacking the rear wrapper; Number 19 split at the spine and a little torn and chipped; covers of other issues with minor chips, tears and marks; acidic paper of several issues rather tanned; Number 11 a little tidemarked; ownership signatures in several numbers; overall, in very good condition.

Single copies of this short-lived literary journal are scarce; lengthy runs such as this (which includes two of the early mimeographed issues) are decidedly rare. The subtitle changed over time, from 'A Meeting Place for Youth' (Numbers 10-13), to 'The Youth Literary Magazine' (Numbers 14-17), 'Creative Youth' (Numbers 19-22), and finally, 'The Magazine of Creative Youth' (Number 23).

'In 1943, Barrett Reid and Laurence Collinson were completing their high school education at Brisbane State High School, South Brisbane. Concerned that Australia's youth were not adequately represented by contemporary literary magazines, they founded the "Senior Tabloid". Five issues later, the name was changed to "Barjai", a magazine offering a publishing opportunity exclusively to writers under the age of twenty-one. Initially a small, type-written publication, "Barjai" was professionally printed from 1944, going through several changes of size in its short life.

Reid and Collinson attracted an enthusiastic group of young writers to "Barjai", organising regular meetings at the Lyceum Club where guest speakers such as Judith Wright, Tom Inglis Moore and Paul Grano were heard. At these meetings members were also given the opportunity to read and discuss their own work. To encourage new work, writing competitions were conducted, employing judges such as C.B. Christesen and Rex Ingamells.

In addition to Reid and Collinson, other contributors to "Barjai" included Grace Perry, Thea Astley, Cecel Knopke, Barbara Patterson and Mary Wilkinson. The age of each contributor was clearly displayed and the range of ages often appeared in editorial comment. An idea of the poetic influences on this group of young writers is revealed in the poll conducted to find the most popular poets of their subscribers. The top three were Christopher Brennan, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Robert Browning. The only other Australian writers included among a large group of English poets were Rex Ingamells and John Shaw Neilson. But, despite the popularity of poets who employed traditional forms, "Barjai" welcomed and encouraged experimentation.

By 1946, the energy of the "Barjai" group was beginning to weaken. Laurence Collinson had moved to Sydney and others had left for teaching posts outside of Brisbane. In addition, "Barjai" experienced fiscal difficulties when the long-term financial support of the medical practitioner and patron of the arts Dr J.V. Duhig was withdrawn after he experienced tax problems. Unable to afford production costs, the editors reverted to a less expensive broadsheet format for the twenty-third number. But after failing to pay the printer for this number "Barjai" faltered, winding up production in 1947' (AustLit). Loosely inserted in Number 16 is an autograph letter signed by Edgar Castle, one of the contributors, dated 13 January 1945: 'My Dear Phyllis, Something for you to laugh at! I have established quite a favourable reputation as a writer for BARJAI, but I have no faith in their opinion, myself. Sincerely, Edgar'. [14 items].

Item #122440

Price (AUD): $600.00

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