Our Picks: Sydney Writers’ Festival

Julia Tsalis, Program Manager
Interesting people talking about why they love reading and why they think its important, what’s not to love about that. Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz, Stuart Kells (a book trade historian), Glory Edim (founder of the Well-Read Book Club), and Tara Westover (raised by Mormon survivalist parents she has written a memoir about her struggle to educate herself) all in conversation with Australian author Ashley Hay (The Railwayman’s Wife). I’m unfamiliar with half of these panelists, but that’s one of the things I love about a festival — discovering new writers.
Why We Read, Friday 4 May, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

I’m sorry that I won’t be able to get to hear Alexis Wright in conversation with Geordie Williamson as I’ll be at our event, Forest for the Trees. Alexis has just won the Stella Prize for Tracker, her extraordinary book about the visionary Aboriginal leader and political thinker, Tracker Tilmouth. She will be in conversation with the very well read and erudite, Geordie Williamson so it will be a fascinating discussion.
Alexis Wright: Tracker, Thursday 3 May, 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Red Room Poetry have put together a brilliant event combining art and poetry. Three poets will perform work in response to the Art Gallery of NSW’s exhibition of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. The Red Room has long established itself as organisation that brings poetry into unexpected places in surprising and delightful ways, this event will not doubt do that.
Poetic Threads: The Lady And The Unicorn, Saturday 5 May, 9:00 am — 10:00 am

Annie Zhang, Communications Intern
Four excellent female writers will grapple with the silencing of marginalised voices and the myriad ways in which politics shape power and opportunity. This event will certainly yield some affecting personal insights that will challenge audiences and offer nuance to a contentious topic. The Personal is Political panel is part of the All-Day YA program and takes place at Riverside Theatres Parramatta on May 5.
The Personal is Political, Saturday 5 May, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Jane McCredie, Executive Director
I’m really looking forward to hearing Kim Scott speak. I recently read his extraordinary, rule-breaking novel, Taboo, which Scott himself describes as “a trippy, stumbling sort of genre-hop”. It’s a truly original and very thought-provoking work about the fraught process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous in this country.
Kim Scott: Taboo, Friday 4 March, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Sherry Landow, Membership & Development Officer
The next book on my TBR pile is Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius, so I can’t wait to hear her discuss fictional villainy at this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival. I’m intrigued about how these concepts link up to her novel, which is a speculative take on Australia’s colonial history and was recently shortlisted for the Stella Prize.
Claire G. Coleman: Fiction, Villains and the Nature of Evil, Friday 4 May, 11:30 am – 12:10 pm

Aurora Scott, Communications & Project Officer
I’m a fan of the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba. Sydney Writers’ Festival have an interesting line-up of sessions there on Monday 30 April, including, Kim Scott talking to poet/critic Caitlin Maling about his latest book Taboo, author/translator Dias Novita Wuri discussing her project on WWII ‘comfort women’ with author/editor Zoya Patel, and Eddie Ayres in conversation with the excellent poet/academic Kate Fagan.
Dias Novita Wuri: Feminist Perspectives, Monday 30 April, 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Kim Scott: Taboo (Blue Mountains), Monday 30 April, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Music, Gender and Transformation with Eddie Ayres
, Monday 30 April, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The NSW Writers’ Centre is presenting a one-day seminar on publishing and writing in Australia, Forest for the Trees, at the 2018 Sydney Writers’ Festival. Find out more and book here.

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