In celebration of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages, the Brisbane Writers Festival 2019 program highlights our First Nations people as the original storytellers – from yarning and weaving through to painting, singing and the written word. Audiences can hear from the brilliant minds of Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko and Claire G. Coleman, as well as the incendiary talent and Young Australian of the Year, Baker Boy (also known as Danzal Baker). The latter will be headlining the festival’s huge opening party alongside fellow legendary wordsmiths Steven Oliver (A Chance Affair), Omar Sakr (The Lost Arabs), Australian slam poetry championships winner Solli Raphael and Indigenous slam queen Melanie Mununggurr-Williams.
A little further away from home, the Brisbane Writers Festival has managed to nab a huge roster of international talent – Jasper Fforde, Ann Weisgarber, Joanne Ramos, Karen Thompson Walker, Gemma Hartley and Eve L. Ewing are just a few of the big names rolling into town. Throwing it back to home soil for a second, there are even more beloved names to take in – think Benjamin Law, Clementine Ford, Ashley Hay, John Marsden, Jane Caro, Richard Glover and Rosalie Ham. As well as amazing authors, this year sees the return of the stunning Angel’s Palace on the Maiwar Green (you really have to see it to believe it) and the brand-new addition of Tirra Lirra By the River. The installation is a collaboration between iconic designer Anna Spiro and inspired by the late award-winning author of the namesake novel, Jessica Anderson, which is being pitched as a special space to experience the festival through a distinctly Brisbane lens.
This is a tiny sample of more than 160 writers, thinkers and opinion makers that will be appearing at the Brisbane Writers Festival – to scope the entire program, head to the BWF website.