Brisbane Writers Festival announces 2019 program

Over 160 internationally renowned writers and thinkers will descend upon the River City in early September, for the 57th Brisbane Writers Festival.

From the 5th to the 8th of September, workshops and panels will take over several venues across Brisbane. As well as the usual mix of family friendly, YA, and adult events, there will also be a specific focus on First Nations storytellers, tying in with the UN Year of Indigenous Languages.

“The written word hasn’t always been the primary way to tell a story,” says Festival 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. At Brisbane Writers Festival this year we are privileged to present some of our most compelling and evocative writers and storytellers from our First Nations including Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko and Claire G. Coleman. Acknowledging difference and understanding how we can use stories to connect to one another is at the heart of this year’s program.”

The festival will kick off with a huge celebration at the State Library of Queensland, fronted by Danzal Baker aka Baker Boy. The Indigenous Australian rapper, dancer, actor and visual was named the 2019 Young Australian of the Year and is an advocate for Indigenous Australian communities. Joining Baker Boy will be writer, actor and comedian Steven Oliver, poet Omar Sakr, and Australian slam stars Solli Raphael and Melanie Mununggurr-Williams.

A highlight of the 2017 festival, immersive experience Angel’s Palace will return to Maiwar Green for 2019. Inspired by Alexis Wright‘s Carpentaria, the Gordon Hookey designed dome will once again be open to festival guests, inviting them to experience performances and installations created by Indigenous playwright Alethea Beeston.

Love YA will also return, taking over Brisbane Square Library on the Saturday for a full day of free YA focused programming. LGBTQ+ authors including Alison Evans and Benjamin Law head up the line-up, which focuses on community, responsbility, and the universality of love.

Families with younger children are also well represented, with the Word Play program offering a huge selection of events for school age readers. Keep an eye out for several free events featuring Nevermoor and Wundersmith author Jessican Townsend.

“It’s an enormous privilege to bring such a diverse program of thinkers and writers to Brisbane each year. I hope that our local reading and writing communities will come out in force to be part of the big conversations on offer and support a culture embracing literacy and difference in our state,” Pollock says. “This is an incredible opportunity to hear from the people with nuanced insight into the fast-changing world that we all share. I invite you to join us and have your say.”

For the full program of events, please check out the BWF website.
Daily and full weekend passes are available, as well as individual event tickets.

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Jodie Sloan

Rogue academic, philosophical sloven, and earnest scribbler. Likes: Stiff drinks, good books, and the musical stylings of Frank Sinatra. Also likes: Pop culture, feminism, and excessive use of CAPSLOCK.