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BWF 2019 program announced

The program has been announced for the 2019 Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF), which runs from 5–8 September.

Over 160 writers will appear at the festival, which in recognition of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages will explore the ways in which Australia’s traditional custodians convey story. First Nations guests include authors Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko and Claire G Coleman, actor and author Uncle Jack Charles, and rapper, dancer and actor Danzal Baker aka Baker Boy.

Baker will headline the festival’s opening night celebration at the State Library of Queensland, along with writer, actor and comedian Steven Oliver, and poets Omar Sakr, Solli Raphael and Melanie Mununggurr-Williams.

International guests include British author Jasper Fforde, US-based novelists Ann Weisgarber, Joanne Ramos and Karen Thompson Walker, American poet, sociologist and author Eve L Ewing, and American feminist journalist Gemma Hartley.

Local guests attending the festival include Benjamin Law, Clementine Ford, Ashley Hay, John Marsden, Jane Caro, Richard Glover, Rosalie Ham, A S Patrić, Steven Carroll, Lucy Treloar, Melina Marchetta, Kristina Olsson, Hedley Thomas, Jessica Townsend, Maxine Beneba Clarke and former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Special events at this year’s festival include an installation by Brisbane designer Anna Spiro based on Jessica Anderson’s novel Tirra Lirra by the River (Pan), and a 7.5-metre dome called Angel’s Palace. Decorated with original artwork by Brisbane artist Gordon Hookey, Angel’s Palace will host an ‘immersive literary experience’ inspired by Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria (Giramondo), featuring performances created by Indigenous playwright and theatre maker Alethea Beetson.

‘The written word hasn’t always been the primary way to tell a story,’ said BWF CEO and artistic director Zoe Pollock. ‘Indigenous Australians have been yarning, weaving, painting, singing and dancing the stories of this land for thousands of years and right up into our present day … Acknowledging difference and understanding how we can use stories to connect to one another is at the heart of this year’s program.’

BWF’s schools program, Word Play, runs from 3–6 September and features guests including teacher librarian Megan Daley and children’s authors Karen Foxlee, Jessica Townsend, A J Betts, Jenna Guillaume, Oliver Phommavanh, Lili Wilkinson and Will Kostakis. A day-long YA program, Love YA, will run at Brisbane Square Library on Saturday, 7 September, and features writers Claire G Coleman, Alison Evans, Benjamin Law, Jax Jacki Brown and Michael Earp.

To see the full program, visit the BWF website.

(Pictured: Angel’s Palace.)


Category: Festivals Local news