The 60th anniversary Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) is a city-wide celebration of more than 200 events taking place over six huge days from 3 – 8 May.
From suburban restaurants to Valley nightclubs, the BWF 2022 shares stories ranging from the intimate to the epic, told by unique voices from across Australia and the Pacific.
BWF CEO Sarah Runcie said the 60th anniversary program was curated with input from guest curators Ellen van Neerven, Benjamin Law, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Michaela Kolowski and Rhianna Patrick and combined BWF fan favourites alongside a range of new initiatives.
“Alongside the return of Word Play and In Your Suburb, we are excited to launch three new parts of the program at this year’s Festival,” Ms Runcie said.
“Our Country of Focus initiative presents a lavish program of more than 30 Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika talents, most of whom are new to BWF audiences.
“Whether it’s spoken word poetry of New Caledonia, vital feminist writing from Samoa, or pocket poetry from Papua New Guinea, we have so much to inspire literary adventuring,” Runcie said.
Another program debuting at BWF 2022 is Brisbane as a Storied City, curated by Nick Earls, which pairs 10 superb writers and poets with the places they have drawn inspiration from.
Highlights include a banquet dinner with Benjamin Law (The Family Law) at Sunnybank’s Landmark Restaurant; Yumi Stynes in conversation with Pig City writer Andrew Stafford at iconic music venue The Zoo; and a special presentation of Clare McFadden’s The Flying Orchestra, featuring Queensland Youth Orchestra, at Brisbane City Hall.
Rounding out the new experiences is a program exploring the intersection between books and visual arts, including the Book Design Exhibit, Books by Artists and Concrete Poetry Exhibit at the State Library of Queensland.
The six-day Festival also sees an expanded special event series, including a Mother’s Day High Tea at Customs House with bestselling author Sally Hepworth and Those Two Girls’ Lise Carlaw and Sarah Wills, plus a special picnic event for families, Bluey on the Green, featuring Brisbane’s most famous residents, Bluey & Bingo, live at South Bank Parklands.
Additional Festival highlights include bookend events First Word and Last Word by one of Australia’s finest Indigenous writers, Tony Birch; the Brisbane debut of internationally-renowned writers’ battle royale Literary Death Match at The Princess Theatre; and acclaimed actor Bryan Brown in his Festival debut to discuss Sweet Jimmy, his first collection of crime fiction short stories.
Adding an extra chapter is the Festival’s new smartphone app, bringing Brisbane’s local anecdotes, yarns and story snippets to life as users visit the very places they occurred.
Word Play, BWF’s program for students from Prep to Year 12, returns with workshops and presentations from 3 – 6 May and Word Play Online, a diverse, curriculum-driven suite of video resources.
The free Love YA returns to Brisbane Square Library on 7 May with author panels, games, giveaways, book signings and workshops spanning genres from fantasy and romance to horror and graphic novels.
In Your Suburb returns in 2022 with renowned authors visiting Brisbane City Council Libraries across the city for a series of free events.