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BWF 2019 program announced; first authors for MWF named

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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.

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.

The first guests for the Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) have also been announced.

Sonic Youth co-founder and author of the memoir Girl in a Band (Faber) Kim Gordon, Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, and Black Lives Matter activist and author DeRay Mckesson are the first three international guests named to appear at this year’s MWF, which runs from 30 August to 8 September.

MWF artistic director Marieke Hardy said each of the guests ‘is a trailblazer’. ‘Kim Gordon revolutionised alternative music and changed perceptions about women in music,’ said Hardy. ‘Deborah Lipstadt interrogates antisemitism on a global scale, while DeRay Mckesson puts his heart on the front lines in the war against racism. We open ourselves up fully to hear their stories and their passions; what they fear, what they hope for and what they love.’

Each of the three guests will also take part in the Antidote Festival at the Sydney Opera House, which runs from 31 August to 1 September.

This year’s MWF will be held at State Library Victoria (SLV), after 10 years of being based at Federation Square. The festival precinct will include the Wheeler Centre, the Capitol Theatre and other nearby spaces.

The full MWF program will be announced on 10 July. For more information, see the MWF website.

These news story first appeared in Books+Publishing. Books+Publishing is Australia’s leading source of print and digital news about the book industry, keeping subscribers up to date with the latest industry news, announcements, job advertisements, events, trends and more.

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